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3 things you shouldn’t miss at Bellbrook’s Sugar Maple Festival

Published: Thursday, April 20, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

Scenes from the 38th annual Bellbrook's Sugar Maple Festival, which took place April 22-24, 2016. Photos by Tom Gilliam, Contributing photographer.
Tom Gilliam
Scenes from the 38th annual Bellbrook's Sugar Maple Festival, which took place April 22-24, 2016. Photos by Tom Gilliam, Contributing photographer.(Tom Gilliam)

The Bellbrook Sugar Maple Festival traditionally kicks off festival season in the Dayton area, and this year’s 39th annual event is no different.

Beginning Friday, April 21, the three-day party will fill downtown Bellbrook with music, food and superheroes. You read that right: Batman, Spiderman, Wonder Woman and more will parade through nearby Bellbrock Park as part of the festivities. 

>> The 10 festivals we just cannot wait for

Here are three things you must take part in while at this year’s festival.

1.) PANCAKES WITH HOMEMADE SYRUP

How about a short stack with authentic sugar maple syrup?(Contributed)

Anyone who’s tried real maple syrup knows it sends Mrs. Butterworth and her version packing every time. The Dill Family Farm in West Liberty has been producing authentic sugar maple syrup for more than 125 years. There’ll be plenty of their syrupy goodness available for purchase at this year’s Sugar Maple Festival. 

>> Through the years: A World A’Fair

An all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast will be held Saturday, April 22 at the Bellbrook United Methodist Church, 47 E. Franklin St. from 8-10:30 a.m.

2.) GREAT MUSIC

The classic bluesy American stylings of Dayton's Todd The Fox will fill the air at Bellbrook's Sugar Maple Festival, April 22.(Contributed)

Plenty of music is planned for this year’s festival, including Spungewurthy (Friday), Wasted Potential (Saturday) and Danny Voris (Sunday).

But you definitely owe it to yourself to check out Todd The Fox on Saturday at Bellbrock Park from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. His brand of classic bluesy American songwriting and charm is guaranteed to win you over.

3.) RECYCLED SCULPTURE CONTEST

Festival organizers say this event has grown every year since its inception several years ago. Area businesses and community organizations are tasked with creating a sculpture completely out of recycled materials to promote themselves for various prizes. The results are displayed throughout the weekend. 

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WANT TO GO?

What: Sugar Maple Festival

Where: Downtown Bellbrook

When: April 21-23

Cost: Free

5 reasons to check out the Cincy Brew Ha-Ha

Published: Wednesday, August 23, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

The Cincy Brew Ha-Ha, the largest craft beer and stand-up comedy festival in America, is celebrating its fifth anniversary by focusing on Cincinnati breweries. CONTRIBUTED
Contributing Writer
The Cincy Brew Ha-Ha, the largest craft beer and stand-up comedy festival in America, is celebrating its fifth anniversary by focusing on Cincinnati breweries. CONTRIBUTED(Contributing Writer)

Cincy Brew Ha-Ha, the largest craft beer and stand-up comedy festival in America, is celebrating its fifth anniversary this weekend. Patrons can choose from over 80 comedians on four stages while sampling from over 110 craft beers, ciders and wines. While the lineup of beer and comedy changes every year, here are five reasons to attend this year’s festival.

The Cincy Brew Ha-Ha, the largest craft beer and stand-up comedy festival in America, is celebrating its fifth anniversary by focusing on Cincinnati breweries. CONTRIBUTED(Contributing Writer)

1. Hometown beers

This year, the Cincy Brew Ha-Ha has decided to focus much more on local breweries than they have in the past, so Christian Moerlein, Rhinegeist, Taft Ale House, 50 West, Woodburn, Tap and Screw, Queen City, Rivertown, Mt. Carmel, and Sam Adams will all be highly represented.

Kevin Heffernan and Steve Lamme, stars of "Super Troopers" (and the impending sequel, "Super Troopers 2"), will headline the Cincy Brew Ha-Ha on Aug. 24. CONTRIBUTED

2. Kevin Heffernan and Steve Lamme

Kevin Heffernan ad Steve Lamme are members of the Broken Lizard comedy troupe, who are best known for their 2002 sleeper hit film, “Super Troopers.” Heffernan and Lamme’s performance at Cincy Brew Ha-Ha coincides with news that “Super Troopers 2” has wrapped production and will be released in spring 2018. Heffernan and Lamme will headline the Aug. 24 lineup, taking the Pabst Main Stage at 10:15 p.m.

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3. A Tale of Two Seasons

“We still have a lot of summer beers, the lighter wheat and fruit beers. But we’re also getting close to fall, so we’ll also have a lot of pumpkin beers and even heavier winter beers. Late August allows us the luxury of featuring beers from both categories,” said Cincy Brew Ha-Ha organizer Michael Fillhart.

Indeed, some of the fall offerings include Oktoberfest beers from Sam Adams and Great Lakes and Jack-O Traveler Pumpkin Shandy, while some of the lingering summer beers include Queen City’s Bengale Bee Honey Orange Wheat, Nellie’s Keylime Caribbean Ale from Taft’s Ale House, and Purple Haze by Abita & Ace Cider.

Brooks Wheelan, recent "Saturday Night Live" alum, will headline the Cincy Brew Ha-Ha on Aug. 26. CONTRIBUTED

4. Brooks Wheelan

Brooks Wheelan was a cast member of “Saturday Night Live” for the 2013-14 season. He was featured prominently on “Weekend Update” and did notable impressions of Rand Paul, Harry Styles, Matthew McConaughey and Slash. Since then, he has been doing stand-up comedy nationwide, pausing occasionally to appear on “Conan” or to film a Comedy Central special. Wheelan will headline the Aug. 26 lineup, taking the Pabst Main Stage at 9:55 p.m.

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Bryan Callen, “MadTV” veteran who co-starred in “The Hangover,” will headline the Cincy Brew Ha-Ha on Aug. 26. CONTRIBUTED(Contributing Writer)

5. Bryan Callen

This actor/comedian/podcaster is best known as the vulgar wedding chapel owner in the hit movie, “The Hangover.” He was one of the original cast members of “MadTV” in the mid-90s, and has appeared on “How I Met Your Mother,” “Entourage,” “Suddenly Susan,” “NewsRadio” and scores of other TV shows. Callen will headline the Aug. 25 lineup, taking the Pabst Main Stage at 9:30 p.m.

Want To Go?

WHAT: Cincy Brew Ha-Ha Festival

WHERE: Sawyer Point, 705 E. Pete Rose Way, Cincinnati

WHEN: Aug. 24-26, 5:30 p.m.

COST: $5 (beer wristband), beer tickets are $1. 1 beer ticket gets you a sample size beer and 5 beer tickets get you a full beer serving. No charge for the comedy shows.

MORE INFO: www.cincybrewhaha.com

Your complete guide to all the festivals happening in Dayton this weekend

Published: Thursday, August 17, 2017 @ 6:00 AM
Updated: Thursday, August 17, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

Nothing beats a summer festival - and Dayton has more than you could ever dream. Here's 10 of the best ones you won't want to miss. (Tabatha Wharton)

You know you’re in the prime of summer when you actually have to choose between all the different festivals happening on the weekend. 

>> Your guide to festivals in and around Dayton in 2017

Luckily, you have us to make it easy for you. Here’s a complete rundown of all the festivals going on in the Dayton area this weekend. 

>> Stay in the know: sign up for our newsletters

Carnival rides are a favorite attraction at the Bellbrook Lions Club Festival. For a $20 wristband a person can ride all night. CONTRIBUTED

1.) BELLBROOK LIONS CLUB FESTIVAL 

Food, gaming for adults and children, Lions Brew Tent featuring craft beers from several Dayton-area craft breweries and a drawing for a $10,000 grand prize at the end of the festival. 

WANT TO GO? 

When: Aug. 17-19, 6-11 p.m. Thursday, 6-11 p.m. Friday, 4-11 p.m. Saturday 

Where: Old Sugarcreek Elementary School grounds, Bellbrook
>> MORE THINGS TO DO: Must-try Ohio beers at Jungle Jim’s Buckeye Beer Bash

A group of local residents are working to re-start the annual Carlisle Railroad Days festival and parade. This photo is from the 2012 festival as Samantha Patla (6) of Carlisle plays on one of the inflatables.

2.) CARLISLE RAILROAD DAYS

Family fun, food, games, vendors and bluegrass music. Firecreek will close down the festivities this year.

WANT TO GO?

When: Aug. 18-19, All day Friday and Saturday 

Where: Village of Carlisle

>>RELATED: 5 reasons not to miss this real-life Thomas train ride

Scenes from the annual Dayton African American Cultural Festival at Riverscape in downtown Dayton on Saturday, August 24, 2013. Barbara J. Perenic/Staff(Barbara J. Perenic)

3. DAYTON AFRICAN-AMERICAN CULTURAL FESTIVAL

Live music, African drumming, gospel, jazz, R&B, blues, hip-hop, dancers, live performances and more.

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WANT TO GO?

When: Aug. 19-20, 12-8 p.m. Saturday, 12-6 p.m. Sunday

Where: Dayton Island Metro Park on Saturday, 101 Helena St., Dayton. Courthouse Square on Sunday, corner of Third and Main, Dayton.

Cost: Free

>>PHOTOS: Spotted at the 2015 African American Cultural Festival

4. THE SUNFLOWER FESTIVAL

Food truck rally, live entertainment, fishing derby, 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament, pony parties, farmers market and more.

WANT TO GO?

When: Aug. 19, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Where: Stanley Jones Park, 198 S. Clayton Road, New Lebanon

>>PHOTOS: Where to find the most beautiful field of Sunflowers 

5. FESTIVAL OF NATIONS

Celebrating nations and cultures from around the world through interactive booths/displays, food, dance, music, story-telling and arts and crafts.

WANT TO GO?

When: Aug. 19, 2 to 8 p.m.

Where: Great Miami River Levee, Troy

>>RELATED: 5 global cuisine restaurants in Riverside worth seeking out

Fairborn annual Sweet Corn Festival is a summer tradition. CONTRIBUTED(Larry C. Price)

6. FAIRBORN SWEET CORN FESTIVAL

Family-oriented event featuring some 180 handmade arts and crafts booths and food vendors. Also, activities for children, including pony rides the Big Bounce, and free entertainment. Pets are allowed, but should be kept on a leash and owners must clean up after their pets.

>>MORE: Tradition gets bigger and better at this sweet Fairborn festival

WANT TO GO?

When: Aug. 19-20, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday

Where: Community Park, 691 E. Dayton-Yellow Springs Road, Fairborn

elé Cake Co. Bistro & Wine Bar will serve Spicy Shrimp and Grit with Fried Green Tomatoes, Bacon and Hollandaise Sauce at Bacon Fest.(Photo: Submitted)

7. BACON FEST

An event commemorating pork’s best side with concoctions such as bacon funnel cakes, bacon tacos, candies bacon and bacon-wrapped chicken wings.

>> MENUS: The delicious dishes you HAVE to try at Bacon Fest 2017

WANT TO GO?

When: Aug. 20, 3-9 p.m.

Where: Fraze Pavilion, 695 Lincoln Park Blvd., Kettering

Festival goers will enjoy wine tastings, food and music at the Hanover Winery Wine Festival on Friday, Aug. 18 and Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017. CONTRIBUTED(Contributing Writer)

8. HANOVER WINERY WINE FESTIVAL 

Festival goers and wine lover’s from across Butler County and beyond will enjoy wine tastings, food, live music and more during the Hanover Winery Wine Festival on Friday, Aug. 18 and Saturday, Aug. 19.

>>Sip your wine in a gorgeous setting at this weekend’s wine festival

WANT TO GO?

Where: Hanover Winery, 2121 Morman Road, Hamilton

When: 6 to 10 p.m., Friday, August 18; and 1 to 10 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 19

Cost: $5 entry, or a $10 wine-tasting entry (which includes a souvenir wine glass and a tasting card for 7 wine tastings.)

More info.www.hanoverwinery.com or email info@hanoverwinery.com. 21 and over event. Guests may bring a lawn chair or a blanket. Rain or shine.

9. HEARTFEST DAYTON WELLNESS FESTIVAL

The 2nd annual national wellness festival, HeartFest comes back to Dayton on Saturday, August 19th! This free community festival is a fun-filled day of enlightening speakers in our indoor hall, energizing movement classes in our outdoor movement tent, delicious food vendors and a 20 pound chocolate fountain, engaging activities in our youth tent, informative vendor presentations and relaxing guided meditations. Enjoy a day you will remember and leave feeling renewed! 

WANT TO GO?

Where: Heartfulness Center, 3153 Lantz Road, Beavercreek 

When: Saturday, August 19, 2017, 10am - 5pm 

Cost: FREE 

More info: See complete schedule of events at http://www.daytonheartfulness.org/heartfest-8-19-17.html

 

Tradition gets bigger and better at this sweet Fairborn festival

Published: Wednesday, August 17, 2016 @ 6:00 AM
Updated: Wednesday, August 16, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

Expect lots of this sweet corn at the annual Fairborn Sweetcorn Festival this weekend. STAFF FILE PHOTO BY DAVE MUNCH
Dave Munch
Expect lots of this sweet corn at the annual Fairborn Sweetcorn Festival this weekend. STAFF FILE PHOTO BY DAVE MUNCH(Dave Munch)

The 36th annual Fairborn Sweet Corn Festival is Aug. 19-20. This is one tasty festival that seems to get a little bigger and better each year.

IN THE BEGINNING

The festival started up in 1982 with 40 vendor booths and a few thousand attendees. Now, it’s up to more than 170 booths and more than 45,000 joining in on the tasty fun over the two-day event.

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CORN ROYALTY

One thing that hasn’t changed is having the Sweet Corn King and Queen kick things off with a ribbon cutting ceremony. This year’s honorees are Pastor Craig Fourman of the Abiding Christ Lutheran Church and his wife Leann.

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WHAT TO EXPECT

With the Sweet Corn Festival officially opened, visitors can expect to see attractions like a corn eating contest, free entertainment, arts, crafts booths, and – of course – the star of the show: delicious steamed sweet corn from Brentlinger Farms. The corn is cooked in the husk using a steam engine from the 1800s. 

August 19, 2000: Lori Red, left, holds an ear of corn for Dan Leavitt, Springfield, left, as he competes against Bill Theall, right, Fairborn in a corn eating contest. Watching and waiting for his turn to compete is Dave Kennedy, center, Miamisburg. The contest was just one of the many activities held at the annual Sweet Corn Festival in Fairborn on Saturday.(Aimee Obidzinski)

You can also have fun with the corn eating contest, where two teams battle it out for sweet corn supremacy. The catch is the combatants aren’t allowed to hold the corn themselves. 

If corn is not your thing, you can look to tasty options like barbecue chicken, Don LeDoux’s Cajun Specialties and grub from the Cork-N-Bottle Grill to name a few.

>>The delicious dishes you HAVE to try at Bacon Fest 2017

August 17, 2002: Joe McGhee, 2 years old and a resident of Wright Patterson Air Force Base, peers through the steering wheel at his mom and dad while riding a tractor ride at the 21st Annual Fairborn Sweet Corn Festival.(Ron Alvey)

The event is designed to be family-friendly, with attractions for kids such as pony and train rides and a bounce house.
You can also get a little exercise by participating in the 5k or 10k Volksmarch, which is free but registration is required and starts Saturday at 8 a.m. 

Alcohol will not be available.

WANT TO GO?

When: 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturday; 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Sunday.

Where: Community Park, 691 E. Dayton-Yellow Springs Road, Fairborn

Price: Free parking and admission

Info: www.fairbornsweetcornfestival.org

3 reasons to go to the African American Cultural Festival 

Published: Thursday, August 17, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

Nothing like a beautiful day at Island Metropark celebrating African American culture with great music, food, clothing and wares. The 2015 African American Cultural Festival featured several special moments, including a flower petal tribute to the late Julian Bond, a former NAACP chairman, politician and social activist, and a traditional African wedding ceremony. VIVIENNE MACHI / STAFF
Nothing like a beautiful day at Island Metropark celebrating African American culture with great music, food, clothing and wares. The 2015 African American Cultural Festival featured several special moments, including a flower petal tribute to the late Julian Bond, a former NAACP chairman, politician and social activist, and a traditional African wedding ceremony. VIVIENNE MACHI / STAFF

A legendary Dayton funk band and a nationally-known R&B singer are among those set to entertain revelers at the ninth annual Dayton African American Cultural Festival.

The free, family-friendly festival will be held  12 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 19 at Island MetroPark, 101 E. Helena St. in Dayton, and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 20 on Courthouse Square, near the corners of Third and Main streets in downtown Dayton.

>> 25 festivals coming up this month you may (or may not) know about

“This is going to be a healing process for our community,” said Tommy Owens, an event organizer. “We are very excited about this.” 

Below are just three reasons to attend African American Cultural Festival. 

1.) A SATURDAY OF MUSIC

Scene from the annual Dayton African American Cultural Festival at Riverscape in downtown Dayton on Saturday, August 24, 2013. BARBARA J. PERENIC FILE PHOTO/STAFF(Barbara J. Perenic)

Two well-known acts will close out the festival. SLAVE is set to perform at 4 p.m. Saturday, according to Tommy Owens, an event organizer. 

Formed in Dayton in 1975, the band’s hit include “Watching You," "Slide," "Just a Touch of Love" and "Snap Shot."
>> 8 Dayton acts you should give a funk about

 

Glenn Jones, who is known for the songs “I’ve Been Searching,” “Show Me” and “We’ve Only Just Begun,” is also set to perform Saturday at 7:10 p.m. See the full schedule of the Saturday lineup below. 

The festival wil also feature hip-hop, blues and dance performances. 

>> PHOTOS: Spotted at the 2015 African American Cultural Festival

2.) AFRICAN CULTURE 

Nothing like a beautiful day at Island Metropark celebrating African American culture with great music, food, clothing and wares. The 2015 African American Cultural Festival featured several special moments, including a flower petal tribute to the late Julian Bond, a former NAACP chairman, politician and social activist, and a traditional African wedding ceremony. VIVIENNE MACHI / STAFF

Owens said two couples will be married during a wedding ceremony that borrows traditions from African cultures. There will be an African village with drumming, dancing and storytelling.

There will also be African and African-American art and other merchandise, a natural hair show and a fashion show. Food vendors will be on site.  

The event also includes a youth area and health screenings.

3.) SUNDAY WORSHIP

Nothing like a beautiful day at Island Metropark celebrating African American culture with great music, food, clothing and wares. The 2015 African American Cultural Festival featured several special moments, including a flower petal tribute to the late Julian Bond, a former NAACP chairman, politician and social activist, and a traditional African wedding ceremony. VIVIENNE MACHI / STAFF

The MarketPlace Movement Church will be featured at during Sunday’s Gospel Explosion on Courthouse Square, which includes multiple performers. 

>> ‘She is a very strong woman’: Wife of prominent Dayton civil rights activist celebrates 100th birthday

Aug. 23-24: Dayton African American Cultural Festival(Barbara J. Perenic)

SATURDAY FESTIVAL SCHEDULE 

1 p.m. New Harvest Gospel

1:45 p.m. DJ Oscar

2 p.m. Hot Number

2:45 p.m. DJ Oscar

3 p.m. Chenault Dancers

3:45 p.m. DJ Oscar

4:00 p.m. SLAVE

5:05 p.m. African wedding

5:15 p.m. Racheal Jackson work out

5:45 p.m. TBA

6:00 p.m. Mississippi Red

6:45 p.m. Dejavue Ballroom Dancers

7:10 p.m. Glenn Jones accompanied by Dayton’s on Eldridge Coats and band

7:50 p.m. Closing Ceremony 

Nothing like a beautiful day at Island Metropark celebrating African American culture with great music, food, clothing and wares. The 2015 African American Cultural Festival featured several special moments, including a flower petal tribute to the late Julian Bond, a former NAACP chairman, politician and social activist, and a traditional African wedding ceremony. VIVIENNE MACHI / STAFF
Nothing like a beautiful day at Island Metropark celebrating African American culture with great music, food, clothing and wares. The 2015 African American Cultural Festival featured several special moments, including a flower petal tribute to the late Julian Bond, a former NAACP chairman, politician and social activist, and a traditional African wedding ceremony. VIVIENNE MACHI / STAFF