Dave Harter Reporting for Green Options Buffalo:
Near – Shakespeare in Delaware Park
Shakespeare in Delaware Park has the crown for my favorite date spot in Buffalo. Riding up to the park with a blanket on my rack and panniers full of snacks still gets me way more pumped than most other potential date venues. I remember seeing Much Adu About Nothing on The Hill in my teens with a date who had not yet ventured to this Buffalo treasure. She thought it was about the coolest thing in the world and I (as most teenage boys on a date with a swooning girl might) felt like Zeus. “Thank you Shakespeare in the Park,” I thought, while packing up the blanket and pondering the appropriate timing for the goodnight kiss I was now sure to maneuver.
This weekend marks the closing of Shakespeare in the Park’s 2011 season with the final performances of As You Like It. Like Much Adu About Nothing, As You Like It is a rolling comedy filled with precarious romance, well-intentioned (though disastrous) errors and of course, weddings. This is a perfect date show and your bicycle is the perfect date vehicle. Shakespeare in the Park is even willing to reward you for choosing a healthy, community friendly transport option. If you ride your bike to the show with your Bicycle Benefits sticker slapped on your helmet you’ll get %10 off at the merchandise table.
So take some of that money you save on gas, repairs, oil changes and parking from riding your bicycle all summer and take someone special out for some giggles at Shakespeare Hill. With gas hovering around $4/gallon you should be able to afford a generous donation to this (astonishingly) FREE production (employing lots of local actors and technicians!) and still have plenty left over to buy some neat merchandise with your Bicycle Benefits reward. Afterwards you might just be happy that you supported one of the world’s largest outdoor Shakespeare festivals (right here in beautiful Buffalo, NY) or perhaps you’ll also feel like throwing some lightning around.
Shows start at 7:30 on Shakespeare Hill in Delaware Park behind the Rose Garden. Coming early is recommended. Shows run through Sunday and are weather contingent.
Far – BEAT Fest!
To those who venture about with an eye for natural treasure, this region is boundless with offerings. BEAT Fest began 7 years ago with a goal to share and nurture a piece of that treasure by offering a weekend-long music holiday in Cattaraugus county. “BEAT Fest is a celebration of summer in Western New York,” organizer Darren Kresge tells me. Really though, BEAT Fest is a celebration to benefit Western New York.
BEAT Fest, which stands for “Buffalo Environmental Action Team,” began with the belief that celebrating the environment through camping, music and really, really good beer could also be used to benefit the environment. Since its creation seven years ago the non-corporate, grassroots BEAT Fest organizers, supporters and volunteers have succeeded in using the festival to launch clean-up campaigns in Broderick Park, Cattaraugus Creek and all over Gowanda.
While this festival is located in Cattaraugus County, its roots are in Buffalo. Fundraising for the event happens annually at Tudor Lounge, locally produced Flying Bison is the official brew, the musicians are Buffalo’s own and ALL of the proceeds go to Buffalo’s tireless, grassroots, healthy, sustainable and community friendly transport options visionaries at Green Options Buffalo.
Your ticket includes access to a sprawling piece of land (100 acres) for joyous meandering, facilities for tent camping, concessions including Flying Bison’s famous Rusty Chain and a stage stocked with mad Buffalo talent. Gracing the line-up this year will be BloodThirsty Vegans, TheHeavenly Chillbillies, The Family Dinner, The Todd Eberwine Band and many more. Youth activities coordinated by professional educators are available during the day for family adventurers though the party is sure to go late into the night.
With a progressive history, BEAT Fest is continuing the tradition of forward thinking by offering a steep discount to attendees who ride their bicycles this year. Any attendee who rides their human powered vehicle with their Bicycle Benefits sticker to BEAT Fest will not only spend nothing on gas, but save $15 on their gate ticket ($20 instead of $35), the first 10 cyclists will also receive a FREE BEAT Fest t-shirt. Facilities to lock up your bicycle are available (though probably unnecessary at such a friendly event) along with facilities to wash up and refill all those water bottles on your frame. I’ll be riding down myself and generally taking this route, leaving from city hall Friday around noon. I am absolutely open to route suggestion should some fellow cyclists care to join me.
If you need a Bicycle Benefits sticker you can get them here. Bicycle Benefits stickers come free with membership to Green Options Buffalo and you can sign-up right now, here. If you’d like to join me on my ride down to BEAT Fest and have questions I can be contacted by email – firstname.lastname@example.org.
BEAT Fest is proudly a ZERO-Landfill event. Tickets can be purchased at the gate or here. Event organizers politely request: No pets, fireworks, bottles or glass, no under 18 unaccompanied by guardian, no driving after ANY drinking or after dark, no trace.
Happy adventuring this weekend.