How to Spend Your Labor Day Weekend in Buffalo

  • 01 of 07

    What to Do This Labor Day Weekend

    Buffalo waterfront.
    ••• whereisemil / Flickr

    While you may have missed out on seeing the world’s largest rubber duckie making its way to Buffalo, we’ve got you covered on what to see and do this Labor Day weekend throughout Western New York. 

    With festivals, markets, tours and activities you won't be hard-pressed to pack your weekend full of things to do. You might even be able to work in some time to relax but let's not get too out of hand. The summer is all too fleeting in Western New York and Labor Day weekend is one of the last opportunities to soak up the sun and embrace the warm weather. So leave those stay-at-home days for the winter and hit the road, there's plenty to see and do.

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  • 02 of 07

    Largest Rubber Duckie Makes Her Way to Buffalo's Canalside

    Rubber Duck at Canalside.
    ••• Courtesy of Big Duck US

    Not only was “Mama Duck” in town, but her 10-foot tall mini-me was as well. The pair came in for the annual Maritime Festival from August 26 to the 28th. If you’re still kicking yourself for choosing to stay home instead of venturing out to see the 61-foot, 11-ton duck while it was in town there's no need to worry. The pair will be making their way to Erie, PA, and Syracuse later this summer so you still have a chance to catch them before they’re gone. But just in case you don't feel like hopping in the car, I've included a shot for good measure.

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  • 03 of 07

    Fill Your Face at the Annual Buffalo Chicken Wing Festival

    Buffalo Chicken Wing Festival.
    ••• John Normile / Getty

    This has got to be my all-time favorite event in Buffalo and anyone who knows me knows that I love my chicken wings and blue cheese. The festival spawned from a passing reference in the 2001 Bill Murray movie Osmosis Jones and quickly became a success. Now in its 15th year, the festival has grown to accommodate restaurants from all 50 states and 34 countries, 860,000 visitors and has served 257 tons of wings--that's 4.5 million wings. There have been 220 different restaurants who have participated throughout the years, serving all different styles from traditional to artisanal, and there are a number of restaurants serving up dishes other than wings. There has also even been a wedding (no, unfortunately, it wasn't mine.)

    Although it may be in its 15th year, I'm pretty surprised that there wasn't a festival at all in Buffalo considering our city is the birthplace of the wing. And for those of you wondering if Anchor Bar, where the first wing was ever created, will...MORE obviously be at the event.

    The festival has managed to raise $325,000 in charitable contributions so at least when you go out this weekend and fill your face you know that your efforts will be for a good cause. If you're feeling extra courageous there's a wing eating competition and a bobbing for wings event where participants search for wings using only their mouths in a kiddie pool filled with blue cheese (I know, it's the dream.)

    Price of admission is $5 per day, and children under eight get in for free. Food tickets are $1 each and jumbo wings are also $1.

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  • 04 of 07

    Celebrate the Arts at Allentown's Gallery Walk

    ••• Dave Pape/Flickr

    During the first Friday of every month during the summer you can take part in a tour through Allentown to scope out the local galleries and celebrate the arts. From 6-9PM, there will be performance artists and musicians entertaining the crowds as they walk the shops and galleries, and dine at local spots. It's a great way to kick off the end of summer with a bang and support local businesses.

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  • 05 of 07

    Get High at the New York State Festival of Balloons

    Hot air balloons in Buffalo.
    ••• Allyson Praytor / Getty

    From Thursday, September 1 to Monday, September 5 at the Dansville Municipal Airport, you can take part in what I consider to be one of the coolest local festivals of the year, the New York State Festival of Balloons. An entree is $5 per person but children under 12 are free so it's perfect for the family.

    Started in 1997, the festival draws in an average of nearly 35,000 spectators each year. There are six scheduled launches beginning at 6 PM on Friday, and going through Monday at 6 AM and 6 PM. If heights aren't your thing then don't worry, there are plenty of other activities to take part in. There will be arts and crafts vendors, a food court, rides and a car show.

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  • 06 of 07

    Taste of Niagara Falls

    Niagara Falls from above.
    ••• naibank / Getty

    Make a trip to Niagara Falls this weekend and not only for the spectacular views. The annual Taste of Niagara Falls is taking place this Saturday and Sunday, September 3 and 4 at noon on Old Falls Street. Over 25 local restaurants will be in attendance in addition to many local businesses. Enjoy live music, an outdoor movie, and a beer tent while the weather is still beautiful.

    Make a day of the festivities by stopping at the state park in the morning for the stunning views and then make your way over to the festival. It's a great way to spend a long weekend and you'll be supporting local businesses.

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  • 07 of 07

    Celebrate Heritage (or Great Food) at the Annual German Day Festival

    Buffalo German Day Festival
    ••• Alexander Hassenstein / Getty

    If there is one thing that Buffalonians love to do it's celebrate their heritage. From the St. Patrick's Day parade in March to the Dyngus Day Festival in early spring, Buffalo knows how to party and the German Day Festival is no different. On Saturday and Sunday at Cheektowaga Town Park there will be live music, German food and plenty of beer. So put on your lederhosen and grab a stein for a fun weekend packed with heritage (and beer.) 

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