Just when you thought themed parties couldn’t get more niche, the Everything Buffalo Party comes around to show Floridians just how Buffalo, New York, likes to party.
The fourth annual Everything Buffalo event, hosted by former Buffalonian and current Sarasota Realtor Tim Mitten, will take place Wednesday, March 4. The party will feature signature Western New York food, Buffalo-native entertainment and plenty of Bills jerseys to go around. So whether you are a homesick Buffalonian or a Floridian looking to get a taste of WNY, Everything Buffalo will be the place for you.
So... why Buffalo? Mitten says he simply missed his Buffalo friends and food. He lived in Buffalo for 15 years before relocating to Sarasota in 2003. By 2010, he was hosting themed promotional events, and when he joined Wagner Realty in 2015, fellow Buffalonians encouraged him to bring a bit of Buffalo down to the Sunshine State.
The first party was, naturally, hosted by White Buffalo Saloon, with a total of 750 guests. By year two, attendance had grown to 1,150, and last year’s event drew 1,600 guests to Robarts Arena. The event grew solely through word of mouth; he says he barely advertised the first two years.
All the food, entertainment and even some bartenders will be from Buffalo. “Buffalo has diverse, regional ethnic food,” Mitten says. Besides ever-popular Buffalo wings, food options will include signature “beef on weck” sandwiches, which are made with hot roast beef and sauerkraut on kummelweck buns. There will also be sponge candy, hot dogs and spaghetti.
“Even the kitchen staff, who are from Florida, couldn’t stop raving about the food,” says Mitten.
Mitten helps pick up-and-coming Buffalo bands to perform on the event’s indoor and outdoor stages. Last year, the event featured a young girl who sang "The Star Spangled Banner" at Bills’ games. Each year, Mitten partners with a Buffalo-based charity; this year’s is Music Is Art, which will run an auction selling paintings.
Many people have reached out to Mitten thanking him for creating a fun way for Buffalonians to gather. “I usually thank them," he says. "If they didn’t support all this, I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing.” More than 95 percent of guests last year were from Western New York, and they plan to keep on coming. So far, 1,200 guests are expected to attend this year.
Ever since the launch of Mitten’s company, Full Moon Promotions, 10 years ago, Mitten has been asked to host other city-themed events, but he's staying focused on Buffalo for now. "I don’t think people from any other city are just as excited to see each other, and talk about the good 'ol days,” he says.
The Everything Buffalo Party takes place 5-10 p.m. Wednesday, March 4, at Robarts Arena, 3000 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota. Tickets are $52 and can be purchased online.