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Local Fazoli’s to host all-you-can-eat spaghetti contest

Published: Wednesday, April 19, 2017 @ 6:10 AM


            Fazoli’s CEO Carl Howard, who has led the Italian restaurant chain since 2008, is a native of Kettering and a 1983 graduate of Fairmont East High School. MARK FISHER/STAFF

Only fast slurpers need apply.

Fazoli’s will host a spaghetti-eating contest from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 22 at its Sugarcreek Twp. restaurant at 6110 Wilmington Pike in front of the Sugarcreek Plaza.

Contestants will compete to eat the largest amount of spaghetti and marinara sauce within eight minutes. The winner will receive a $250 Visa gift card, free spaghetti at Fazoli’s for one year and a Fazoli’s T-shirt.

At the conclusion of the contest, Fazoli’s will donate 1,000 pounds of dried pasta to Feed the Children, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending childhood hunger, a Fazoli’s spokeswoman said in a release.

RELATED: Fazoli’s chooses Dayton to launch new restaurant concept (March 2010)

Fazoli’s is hosting the pasta-eating contest as a way to kick off its Endless Pasta Fest, where diners can take advantage of unlimited refills on all pasta dishes for $6.99.

The restaurant chain recently announced that it has completely removed all artificial sweeteners, flavors, preservatives and colors from its food menu. Fazoli’s officials said the fast-casual Italian chain is the first national brand under 1,000 units and the third restaurant overall — behind Panera Bread and Chipotle — to offer a completely “clean” food menu.

“We know our guests love Fazoli’s spaghetti and signature marinara sauce, so we thought a pasta eating contest would be a fun way to celebrate our Endless Pasta Fest promotion while contributing 1,000 pounds of dried pasta to Feed the Children,” Donna Josephson, chief marketing officer of Fazoli’s, said in a release.

RELATED: Restaurant exec from Kettering wins national award (May 2014)

Fazoli’s CEO Carl Howard, a native of Kettering and a 1983 graduate of what was then Fairmont East High School, came back to Dayton three weeks ago to call attention to the clean-menu initiative and to call attention to a revamped menu.

“We eliminated more than 80 artificial ingredients from 61 different menu items,” Howard said March 27 at the Fazoli’s across from the Dayton Mall in Miami Twp. “Every step along the way, we’ve improved the food.”

RELATED: Fazoli’s CEO announces menu overhaul

The overhauled menu is now in place in all Fazoli’s in the Dayton area and in the Lexington, Ky. area, where the chain is headquartered. It will be in place by the end of June in all Fazoli’s company-owned restaurants.

Founded in 1988, the chain operates 213 units across 25 states, including seven restaurants in the Dayton-Springfield area.

RELATED: Fazoli’s Italian restaurant chain sold (July 2015)

The chain has been on the rebound under Howard’s leadership. Fazoli’s has generated 15 straight quarters of same-store sales growth, and same-store sales increased 4.9 percent in January, according to the trade publication Nation’s Restaurant News.

Howard is a bit of an anomaly in the high-turnover restaurant industry. He has led Fazoli’s for nine years, and even survived a corporate change of ownership: in July 2015, Fazoli’s was sold by Sun Capital Partners to Sentinel Capital Partners, which also owns TGI Fridays and which just last month sold its Checkers/Rally’s Drive-In Restaurants.

Skillet, Britt Nicole, Colton Dixon to play show in Dayton

Published: Monday, June 26, 2017 @ 10:55 AM

Skillet will headline the opening night of SpirtSong. JOSEPH CULTICE/CONTRIBUTED
Contributing Writer

Want to see two Grammy nominees with an American Idol alum? Well, here’s your chance to ring out your summer on a positive note.

>> RELATED: Must-see concerts in 2017

Food for the Hungry presents the AiR1 Positive Hits Tour featuring GRAMMY® nominees Skillet and Britt Nicole, American Idol alum Colton Dixon, and special guests Tauren Wells and GAWVI. The tour will visit 29 cities including a stop in Huber Heights, OH at Rose Music Center on Wednesday, September 27.

>> PHOTOS: The acts we can’t wait to see at the Ohio State Fair this summer

Tickets for the Huber Heights show will go on sale to the public beginning 10:00am on Friday, June 30th at www.Ticketmaster.com, www.Rosemusiccenter.com, and the Rose Music Center box office. Charge by phone at 1.800.745.3000. 

>> PHOTOS: Summer 2017 concerts at The Rose Music Center

>> PHOTOS: Summer 2017 concerts at Fraze Pavilion

Ticket prices include parking and are subject to applicable Ticketmaster fees. Dates, times and artists subject to change without notice. 

WANT TO GO?

WHAT: AiR1 Positive Hits Tour

WHERE: The Rose Music Center at the Heights, 6800 Executive Blvd., Huber Heights

WHEN: Wednesday, September 27th

Celebrate the 4th all day at Centerville's Americana Festival

Published: Wednesday, June 29, 2016 @ 6:00 AM
Updated: Monday, June 26, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

What began in 1972 as a sidewalk sale promoted by the Centerville downtown merchants is now one of the area's most celebrated and patriotic Fourth of July events. 

The 44th Annual Centerville-Washington Township Americana Festival kicks off on Tuesday, July 4 with a bevy of events leading up to the fireworks display at Centerville High School. With this year's theme being The Best is Yet to Come, here are the reasons why you should venture into Elk Country this holiday weekend:

1. Run a 5K

The Up and Running Americana 5k Run/Walk starts at 7:30 a.m. July 4 at the Centerville High School Stadium on East Franklin Street, and follows the parade route down Franklin Street to just past Magsig Middle School, where the runners and walkers will turn around and head back to the high school. The race finishes with a lap around the track in the stadium. The race is chip timed and results will be available immediately at the race.

>>RELATED: The best places to watch the fireworks

2. Watch the parade

The parade begins at 10 a.m. July 4 on East Franklin Street, west of Centerville High School, and proceeds West to Cline Elementary on Virginia Avenue. Showcasing more than 120 units, the parade features numerous bands, floats and numerous mobile and walking units. If you can’t make it to the parade on July 4, watch it live on Time Warner Channel 5. >> Here’s your guide to ALL THE FESTIVALS in Dayton this summer

Top 10 things to do this week

Published: Friday, June 23, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds Demonstration Squadron, also known as American s Ambassadors in Blue, is among the participants in the Vectren Dayton Air Show at Dayton International Airport, 3800 Wright Dr., Vandalia, on Saturday and Sunday, June 24 and 25. CONTRIBUTED
Contributing Writer

1) VECTREN DAYTON AIR SHOW

The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds Demonstration Squadron, also known as American’s Ambassadors in Blue, is among the participants in the Vectren Dayton Air Show. The annual event, founded in 1975, returns to Dayton International Airport, 3800 Wright Drive near Vandalia, on Saturday and Sunday, June 24 and 25.

The Air Show also features world-class aerobatic champions, military jets, live music and more. Other highlights include the GEICO Skytypers Team, Rob Holland Ultimate Air Shows, Misty Blues All Woman Skydiving Team and Redline Airshows Aerobatics Team.

Air show hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day with featured shows from 11:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Cost: Gate tickets: $25 adults, $16 youth 6-11 and seniors 60 and older. Free for kids 5 and younger. Call 937-898-5901 or visit www.daytonairshow.com.

>> Insider’s Guide to Dayton Air Show: 7 things to know

>> Where to eat and drink before and after the air show

2) FRAZE PAVILION

Fraze Pavilion, 695 Lincoln Park Blvd., Kettering, has a busy week of concerts coming up along with the introduction of the new festival, Sliders, Sides & Suds, on Saturday, June 24. Piano-playing songstress Diana Krall returns with the Turn Up the Quiet Tour at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, June 25. Cost: $38.75 to $68.75 in advance, $43.75 to $73.75 at the door. A cappella group Duwende performs with special guests Freedom’s Boombox and Eleventh Hour at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 27. Cost: $2. Call 937-296-3300 or visit www.fraze.com.

>> You have to see the mouthwatering menu for this new slider festival

3) DONNIE BAKER

Ron Sexton was a veteran of sports radio in 2005 when his comedic call-in segments on the nationally syndicated “The Bob & Tom Show” totally altered his career path. Today, he tours as his comedic alter ego, the squirrelly redneck Donnie Baker. The comedian returns to Wiley’s Comedy Joint, 101 Pine St., Dayton, on Friday and Saturday, June 23 and 24. Show times are 7:15 and 9:45 p.m. Cost: $20. Call 937-224-5653 or visit www.wileyscomedy.com.

4) KEEPING THE TRADITION POW WOW

The Miami Valley Council for Native Americans presents the 29th annual Keeping the Tradition Pow Wow at SunWatch Indian Village and Archaeological Park, 2301 W. River Road, Dayton, on Saturday and Sunday, June 24 and 25. Pow Wow hours are noon to 8:30 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Cost: $8 adults, $6 seniors 60 and older and students 6 to 17. Weekend passes available. Dayton Society of Natural History Members admitted half price. Children 5 and younger admitted free. Call 937-268-8199 or visit www.sunwatch.org.

>> 5 things you must experience at Keeping the Tradition Pow Wow

5) RADIO RAMBLERS

Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers has been on a steady rise for years but the locally-based bluegrass group received a big boost in 2016. The group’s latest album, “Sacred Memories,” was the winner in the best gospel album category at the 2016 International Bluegrass Music Awards. The Springfield Arts Council’s Summer Arts Festival presents the award-winning band in concert at Turner Pavilion, Veteran’s Park, 250 Cliff Park Road, Springfield, at 8 p.m. Thursday, June 29. Cost: Free. Visit www.springfieldartscouncil.org.

6) RAIL FESTIVAL

Attention: railroad enthusiasts, it’s time once again time enter the immersive world of locomotives, storage cars, cabooses, engineers and more during the Rail Festival. Dayton History and Carillon Park Rail and Steam Society present the 12th annual event at Carillon Historical Park, 1000 Carillon Blvd., Dayton, on Saturday and Sunday, June 24 and 25. Attractions include model train displays, free miniature train rides, live steam engines and food and merchandise vendors. Rail Festival hours are 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Cost: $8 adults (18-59), $7 seniors (60 and older), $5 children (3-17) and free children younger than 3 and Dayton History members. Call 937-293-2841 or visit www.railfestival.com.

7) ROSE MUSIC CENTER

Rose Music Center, 6800 Executive Blvd., Huber Heights has a full slate of concerts over the next week, starting with country singer Gary Allan with opener Walker McGuire at 8 p.m. Friday, June 23. Cost: $23.50-$57. Grammy Award-winning Australian duo For King & Country performs at 8 p.m. Saturday, June 24. Cost: $23.50-$47. Multi-platinum-selling saxophonist Boney James shares the stage with special guests Morris Day & the Time at 7 p.m. Sunday, June 25. Cost: $23.50-$62. Collective Soul performs with co-headliners Our Lady Peace and special guests Tonic at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 27. Cost: $23.50-$63. The O’Jays will be joined by hometown heroes the Ohio Players at 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 28. Cost: $23.50-$71. Call 937-228-2323 or visit www.ticketmaster.com.

>> Gary Allan to perform at Rose Music Center

>> For King & Country headed to Rose Music Center

8) NOREEN’S SCHOOL OF DANCE

To celebrate two decades of teaching students the finer points of movement, Noreen’s School of Dance in Hillsboro has organized a special student recital. The school, which teaches dance to students age 3 through adults, presents its “20 Year Show” at the Schuster Center, Second and Main streets, Dayton, at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 25. Cost: $24. Call 937-228-3630 or visit www.ticketcenterstage.com.

>> 15 amazing dates in Dayton for $15 (or less!)

9) GRANGER SMITH

It’s only been two years since Granger Smith signed his record deal with Wheelhouse Records and his recent success is proof that it’s helpful to have some established professionals behind you to really make some noise in Nashville. After seven-self released albums, Smith scored his first gold record in June with his latest single, “Backroad Song.” The rising country singer from Dallas performs at JD Legends, 65 Millard Drive, Franklin, at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, June 24. Cost: $20. Call 937-746-4950 or visit www.jdlegends.com.

10) WINE AND YOGA

The Citilites Unwind Series presents another offering of Wine and Yoga in the Schuster Center’s Wintergarden, Second and Main streets, Dayton, at 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 28. A gentle practice is followed by a glass of wine. Cost: $20. Participants in the wine tasting must be 21 and older. Call 937-228-3630 or visit www.ticketcenterstage.com.

Insider’s guide to Dayton Air Show: 7 things to know

Published: Monday, June 13, 2016 @ 11:58 AM
Updated: Friday, June 09, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

Flashes of light and thunderous booms can mean one of two things this time of year in southwest Ohio: either a summer thunderstorm or the Vectren Dayton Air Show. This year’s event takes place June 24-25 from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. at the Dayton International Airport, 3600 Terminal Dr.

>> Dayton Air Show: Parking, deals, dos and don'ts 

“It’s going to be an exciting experience for the entire family,” said Sheila Wallace, media chairperson for the air show. “There is some type of act to appeal to people of all ages.”

The annual event consistently draws thousands upon thousands of spectators, and there’s a lot to see and do. Here’s what to know and how to make the most of your experience.

1.) AERIAL HIGHLIGHTS

This year’s headline act the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds have canceled their performance Saturday following a crash Friday on the air show grounds.

They are still planning to perform Sunday.

>> Thunderbirds will not fly on Saturday following crash

Here’s a look at other acts still scheduled to perform all weekend:

America’s newest fighter, the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, will be flying in the feature show as a Heritage Flight with the P-51 Mustang “Baby Duck” for the first time ever. The Lightning II is a 5th generation fighter that combines advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility.

>> 5 things you didn’t know about Dayton’s aviation history

The F/A-18 Super Hornet is the Navy’s premier strike fighter. The Super Hornet is a more powerful version of the F-18 Hornet, which is the aircraft flown by the Blue Angels

Two B-25’s will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the famous Doolittle Tokyo Raid. The show commemoration will feature both a flight and ground display of the B-25’s “Champaign Gal” and “Axis Nightmare” complete with pyrotechnics; a fitting tribute to the brave men that flew this historic mission.

>> PHOTOS: B-25 Bombers on display for the 75th anniversary of the Doolittle Raid

Civilian acts include the Redline AirshowsSean D. Tucker, the Misty Blues All Woman Skydiving TeamRob Holland Ultimate Airshows, and the Suzuki Extra 330SC.

Of course, when the Wright B Flyer takes to the sky, the crowd will erupt in cheers as it honors Dayton’s most famous brothers, Wilbur and Orville Wright, who brought flight to the world.

>> The Wright Brothers: everything they never taught you in school

2.) PLANES ON THE GROUND 

It’s difficult to miss what’s taking place in the sky, but that’s only part of the air show experience. Some of the treasures never leave the ground. 

“We have great static displays,” Wallace said.  

Planes on display include the U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer, the U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon, the U.S. Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet, the U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III, and the U.S. Army UH-60 Blackhawk. 

Plus, spectators can climb onboard an FedEx 757 and see the oldest flying DC-3, Flagship Detroit on display.

3.) JUST FOR KIDS

“The kids hangar is a great outlet for kids, especially little ones,” Wallace said. 

In the Vectren Kid's Hangar, children can enjoy free face painting, giant sandboxes and hands-on crafts. The air show is a family-friendly event, and to help spark interest in aviation, the National Aviation Heritage Area is sponsoring Aerospace Adventures, with interactive, hands-on activities and experiments for ages 6-16.

>> 5 impressive airplanes at the Air Force Museum

4.) CONCESSIONS 

“There is a huge assortment of vendors,” Wallace said. “We’ll have something there for every taste in food.” 

Coke is one of the event sponsors, so there will be plenty of Coke products. Budweiser will sell beer products. PRO TIP: Concession purchases are cash only. If you need more cash, ATMS will be on site.

>> Where to eat and drink before and after the Dayton Air Show

5.) WHAT TO BRING 

Being on the hot tarmac all day means spectators need to come prepared. Bring sunglasses, hats and sunscreen, and remember to protect children’s skin as well. Consider wearing light-weight, light-colored long-sleeve tops and comfortable shoes. It’s smart to bring unopened bottled water, which is allowed. 

General admission ticket holders can bring their own lawn chairs and blankets. Those with Blue Sky Chalet/Pavilion tickets don’t need to bring their own lawn chairs. To enjoy the aerial performances, pack a pair of binoculars. 

Other items allowed inside the gate: regular-size umbrellas (but not the large, backyard kind), strollers and wagons, cameras (your camera bags will be checked at the gate), mobility scooters for the disabled (rentals are available, call 567-674-6185 to reserve), wheelchairs and service eye dogs.

>> 3 things you didn’t know about the Dayton Air Show

6. WHAT TO LEAVE AT HOME 

Coolers are not permitted on the grounds. Neither are pets, bicycles, rollerblades or scooters.

>> A.J. Hawk to earn his stripes with the Thunderbirds at this year’s Air Show

7. WHERE TO PARK 

On-site parking is available: cash only, $10 per car, and $20 for RVs, buses and large vehicles. Motor homes, RVs and motorcycles will be directed to special parking areas. 

How to get there: From I-75, take Exit 64, Northwoods Blvd. From I-70, take Exit 32, Airport Access Road. Shuttles will also run from the U.S. Air Force Museum and the Wright Stop Plaza in downtown Dayton to the gate for $3 round trip. Shuttle service is available between 8 a.m.-6 p.m. 

“The RTA is a wonderful way to get there,” Wallace said. 

The best time to arrive? “I would say early," Wallace said. "The gates open at 9 a.m."

WANT TO GO? 

WHAT: Vectren Dayton Air Show

WHERE: Dayton International Airport, Vandalia

HOURS: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. June 24-25

TICKETS: General admission tickets are available at area Kroger stores and at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. Advance online sales are available through Sunday, June 25th at 12 PM ET. All ticket sales are final, no refunds, no rain checks. Click here to view the assortment of ticket options, or call 888-695-0888. Tickets available at the gate are cash only.