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The Weekend in WNY: Truckin’ at Fantasy Island

Food trucks are virtually omnipresent in Buffalo, popping up in business parks, outside hotels, at the heart of neighborhoods and more. But one place where they’re not typically found? Amusement parks.

That changes on Saturday, when Fantasy Island hosts its own Food Truck Festival. The Grand Island entertainment site changed hands in 2016, despite major upgrades the year prior, but still holds sentimental value for Western New Yorkers. Take the coaster Silver Comet, one of the nostalgic reminders of Crystal Beach, for example. Fantasy Island’s version of the Comet turned 20 this year.

Fantasy Island Food Truck Festival, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, May 11 at 2400 Grand Island Blvd., Grand Island. Participation is free with admission to the amusement park, available from $26.99 to $34.99.

We’re already full throttle into food truck season, and Fantasy Island has lured a nice lineup of veteran mobile food vendors, including Lloyd Taco, Polish Villa, Rolling Cannoli and Thai Me Up. Since the fleet will be situated inside the amusement park, admission is required to take part.

Thursday’s Gusto cover story addressed the question of why entrepreneurs still open food trucks despite a scene that’s more crowded than ever. Hear from Caribbean Flava, MooCheesy, Mad Sauces and the Great Aussie Bite to find out why the industry made the most sense to them.

[Related: See a list of regular food truck festivals in the area | 6lack, J. Cole shoot at Fantasy Island]

Get recommendations on what to see and where to be with our twice-weekly newsletter highlighting the best arts, entertainment, dining and family events in the area.

KT Tunstall, 8 p.m. Sunday, May 12 at Buffalo Iron Works (49 Illinois St.). Tickets are $27 in advance, $32 day of show.

KT Tunstall is an electric pop-rock performer, a UK singer-songwriter with the verve and staying power that makes her live shows rather irresistible. After opening for a sold-out Barenaked Ladies show at Artpark last summer, Tunstall was slated to return to the area in November for a gig in Iron Works – which was ultimately postponed until this Sunday.

The Scot’s last release, “WAX,” came in October. Maddie Ross is listed as the opener for the Iron Works show.

Makers + Shakers Spring Boozy Artisan Market, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, May 12 in Hotel @ the Lafayette (391 Washington St.). Tickets are $5 in advance or $8 at the door.

Step Out Buffalo‘s market series continues in its usual stomping grounds on Washington Street. A giant list of vendors – ranging from food to crafts to wellness and more – will set up stations, while six alcohol-focused businesses will pour spirits like mead, liquor and wine. Look back at Smiles from two previous artisan markets and join in the shopping fun on Mother‘s Day Weekend.

Queen City Fine Arts’ open house, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, May 10 and Saturday, May 11 at 1111 Tonawanda St. No cost to attend.

Explore the newest addition to the Buffalo art scene, as well-traveled Justin Dahl debuts Queen City Fine Arts, a new inclusive art studio focused on education, in Riverside. Buffalo Rising elaborated on Dahl’s plans – the instruction is fundamental and covers a wealth of different art mediums, requiring no previous experience.

Opening weekend will feature the work of several local artists in the gallery space and also offer a series of drop-in fine art classes, too.

Farm-to-Pint Expo, 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 11 at Resurgence Brewing Co. (1250 Niagara St.). No cost is listed.

Restaurants have trumpeted the farm-to-table movement, which lauds each step of the process – from the efforts of local farmers to chefs’ presentation of food on plates. But breweries, distilleries, cideries, meaderies and wineries also boast a similar painstaking production process, connecting with New York State hop growers and malting experts for the raw materials vital to their industry. This is the point of the 2019 Farm-to-Pint Week.

The kickoff for the week will be an expo in Resurgence, where there will be several farm-to-pint beers available, plus samples from a handful of companies. News contributor Brian Campbell unveiled the details.

City of Buffalo pop-up shop, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 11 at the Ellicott Square Building (295 Main St.). No cost to attend.

Ellicott Development has a soft spot for pop-ups and small local businesses, with another urban market rolling Saturday in the brilliant Ellicott Square Building, particularly treasuring Buffalo‘s DIY culture.

While there’s no official list of participating vendors, the Facebook event page profiles several and mentions that more than 50 will attend. Free drink samples, breakfast options from The Grove, a cash bar and live music will add to the entertainment.

One of the event’s sponsors and a tenant in the host venue, Finishing Touches by Caitlin Krumm, is a new business that blends clothing and art into one space.

“Dragons Love Tacos,” 2 p.m. Saturday, May 11 and Sunday, May 12 at the Theatre of Youth at the Allendale Theatre (203 Allen St.). Runs through June 1. Prices range from $15 to $28.

Who knew dragons had sensitive stomachs and troubled bowels? This Theatre of Youth play, directed by Kyle LoConti and suited for ages 4 and up, is a lighthearted script that emphasizes personal preferences, communication, fire-breathing, scaly dance parties and tacos.

News contributor Ben Siegel reviewed the production, highlighting its sense of simple fun.

Check Your Head: Beastie Boys Tribute, doors at 8 p.m., show at 9 on Friday, May 10 in Rec Room (79 W. Chippewa St.). Tickets are $20 in advance.

B-E-A-S-T-I-E! The Beastie Boys was a New York hip-hop crew that ran the ’80s and ’90s before ending abruptly in 2012 following the deaths of two band members, but their legacy lives on. DJ Hurricane, the band’s longtime DJ, will drop by Chippewa with their photographer – Ricky Powell – in tow for a QA and an art show.

DJs Rhubarb and Cutler will also spin Beastie Boys sets, with the latter on vinyl.

World‘s Largest Yard Sale, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, May 10; 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 11 at the Hamburg Fairgrounds (5600 McKinley Parkway, Hamburg). Admission is $4 at the door, while children ages 12 and under get in for free.

A happy 20th anniversary to this event: Townsquare Media again presents a shoppers’ wonderland on Mother‘s Day Weekend, with more than 300 vendors scheduled to set up throughout the Fairgrounds. Scavenge for hidden gems, whether it’s crafts, antiques, flea market fodder, garage sale gems and more.

Mary Moser Celebration, doors at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, May 11 at Town Ballroom (681 Main St.). No tickets or cover charge.

Mary Moser was a fixture in the Buffalo music scene, preferring New Wave and punk genres but touching lives of visiting musicians from all over the world. She died March 24 after a six-month fight back from a traumatic brain injury.

U2 – before Bono and friends were massive – was one of the unifying forces for Moser and her husband, Bruce, and like she did on countless other visitors, Moser made an impression on the Irish singer-songwriter, who reached out with his condolences upon hearing of Mary’s death.

Seventeen bands, broken into roughly 10-20-minute sets, will perform at Saturday‘s free event in Town Ballroom, all dedicated to the life and impact of Mary Moser. Read Jeff Miers’ heartfelt reaction, too.

Continuing: Nietzsche’s JazzFest IV, 9:30 p.m. Friday, May 10; 8 p.m. Saturday, May 11; 3 p.m. Sunday, May 12 at 248 Allen St. Tickets range from $5-$12, depending on the day. Read more about the Nietzsche’s event in Jeff Miers’ Soundbites.

5 events to look forward to next week

Taste of Tanzania at Westminster Presbyterian
LOCAL Fest at Lexington Coop
Gusto Vinyl Happy Hour: Deep Purple
“Dear Evan Hansen” at Shea’s
Ride of Silence at Front Park