Must-see homes will be decked out for holidays in St. Anne’s Hill tour

Published: Thursday, November 09, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

St. Anne's Hill is hosting its popular holiday home tour again in 2017. Contributed photo
St. Anne's Hill is hosting its popular holiday home tour again in 2017. Contributed photo

Celebrate the holidays in St Anne’s Hill Historic District with the biennial Dickens of a Christmas Holiday Home Tour

>> PHOTOS: St. Anne’s Hill Home & Garden Tour 2016

The popular event takes place December 8-10, 2017. 

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“Our neighbors are so generous in opening their doors to these beautiful, century old homes,” Susan Gray, president of St Anne’s Hill Historic District said.

“There’s so much history to our city and to each house, and the Holidays are just a great time to remember it while getting in the spirit of the season.” 

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A guide, dressed in period costumes and brimming with information about the remarkable history of the Historic District and life in the 19th century, leads each tour throughout the neighborhood’s beautiful Victorian Homes.

“So many volunteers’ hours of hard work make this event a great family tradition,” Gray said. “For as wonderful as the houses are, it’s really the people that make the Holiday Tour, and our neighborhood, so special.”  

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The Home Tour concludes with the beloved tradition of bread pudding served at the historic Bossler Mansion, which also features Victoria’s Parlor Gift Shop with an assortment of unique gift items handmade by residents and friends of St Anne’s Hill.  

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For those interested in attending the Dickens of a Christmas Holiday Home Tour, RSVPs are recommended to guarantee a spot.

Tours take approximately two and a half hours to complete and start every half hour on Friday, December 8 from 3-8 p.m., Saturday, December 9 from 11 a.m.-7 p.m., and Sunday, December 10 from 12-5 p.m. 

More information can be found on the Facebook event page. Tickets are available online or by phone at 937-368-TOUR.

Want to go?

WHAT: St. Anne’s Hill Dickens of a Christmas Holiday Home Tour

WHEN: Dec. 8-10

WHERE: St. Anne’s Hill Historic District

COST: $22/ticket in advance, $30/ticket at event

INFO: Facebook | Eventbrite tickets | 937-368-TOUR


St Anne’s Hill Historic District Hosts Dickens of a Christmas Holiday Home Tour

Friday, December 8 – Sunday, December 10

$22 in advance / $30 at the event

Saint Anne’s Hill Historic District

The top 10 things to do this week

Published: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

Victoria Theatre Association presents the Nebraska Theatre Caravan’s production of A Christmas Carol at Victoria Theatre in Dayton on Tuesday and Wednesday, Nov. 28 and 29. CONTRIBUTED
Victoria Theatre Association presents the Nebraska Theatre Caravan’s production of A Christmas Carol at Victoria Theatre in Dayton on Tuesday and Wednesday, Nov. 28 and 29. CONTRIBUTED


December is still a few days away, but from the high number of Christmas events in this week’s Top 10, it’s clear the 2017 holiday season has begun. First up is the big daddy of downtown Christmas celebrations, the 45th annual Dayton Holiday Festival at Courthouse Square in Dayton at 4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 24.

The Grande Illumination tree lighting is at 7:45 p.m. followed by the Dayton Children’s Parade Spectacular in Lights at 8 p.m. The festival also includes the Gingerbread Homes for the Holiday Contest, a visit from Santa Claus and two of his reindeer and performances by Alexis Gomex Trio, the Dayton Gay Men’s Chorus, the Miami Valley Music Men and others.

The Tike’s Shoppe and Wintergarden Wonderland both open in the Schuster Center’s Wintergarden that day, as does Virginia Kettering’s Holiday Train Display and the Holiday Village in the Kettering Tower lobby. Cost: Free. Call 937-224-1518 or visit

>> MORE FAMILY FUN: Live reindeer, new pedal wagon shuttle add to the fun at this beloved holiday event 

The Brad Mehldau Trio performs in the University of Dayton s Sears Recital Hall on Wednesday, Nov. 29. CONTRIBUTED(Contributing Writer)


While he remains firmly rooted in jazz, Brad Mehldau has always drawn from rock, roots music and other styles. This has led to collaborations with musicians as diverse as jazz saxophonist Joshua Redman and bluegrass musician Chris Thile. Through it all, the pianist works regularly with his trio, which has released albums such as “Where Do You Start” in 2012 and “Blues and Ballads” in 2016. University of Dayton’s 2017-2018 ArtsLive season presents Mehldau in concert with his trio in UD’s Jesse Philips Humanities Center’s Sears Recital Hall, 300 College Park, Dayton, at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 29. Cost: $18. Discounts are available for seniors and University students, faculty, staff and alumni. Visit

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Gates will open soon for the Legendary Lights of Clifton Mill in Greene County. The display of over 4 million Christmas lights is open daily through January 1st with gates opening at 5 p.m. Visitors can also see Santa’s workshop, a miniature village and the Santa Claus museum, as well as a musical light show that occurs every hour. Staff file photo(Staff Writer)


For more than two decades, people throughout the region have celebrated the Christmas season with a visit to the Legendary Lights of Clifton. Despite massive damage from a recent storm, the massive holiday display is scheduled to open its 30th season at Clifton Mill, 75 Water St., Clifton, on Friday, Nov. 24. The Legendary Lights of Clifton is open 5 to 9 p.m. daily through Dec. 31, with more than 3.5 million lights illuminating the mill, the gorge, the riverbanks, trees and bridges. Cost: $10, free for children 6 and younger. Call 937-767-5501 or visit

The Woodland Lights holiday lighting display is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.(Staff Writer)


Another local holiday favorite, Woodland Lights opens at Washington Twp. Recreation Center, 895 Miamisburg-Centerville Road, Washington Twp., on Friday, Nov. 24. The annual holiday display features a half-mile of lights, a laser light show, trackless train ride and other activities. Woodland Lights is open 6 to 9 p.m. through Dec. 30. The display is open weekends through Dec. 3, and nightly starting Dec. 8. Cost: $8 admission, free ages 2 and younger. Call 937-433-0130 or visit

>> PHOTOS: Breathtaking lights display in Washington Twp.


It has been 40 years this month since the Commodores hit the Top 10 with the dance-floor classic, “Brick House.” However, that song and other hits such as “Sail Away,” “Easy” and “Three Times a Lady” still resonate with music fans, which keeps the band working steadily. The classic R&B group, which features longtime members William King, Walter “Clyde” Orange and J.D. Nicholas, headlines KMCF’s 29th Annual Heart to Heart concert at the Schuster Center, Second and Main streets, Dayton, at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 28. Cost: $27-$67. Call 937-228-3630 or visit

Atlanta-based actor Andy Harvey will play Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol” at the Victoria Theatre. SUBMITTED PHOTO(Staff Writer)


Charles Dickens created plenty of memorable characters, but few have had the staying power of Ebenezer Scrooge, Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim from the writer’s holiday classic, “A Christmas Carol.” Victoria Theatre Association presents the Nebraska Theatre Caravan in the Projects Unlimited Star Attraction Series production of the play at Victoria Theatre, 138 N. Main St., Dayton, at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, Nov. 28 and 29. Cost: $30-$50. Call 937-228-3630 or visit

Ohio native Chip Davis returns to the area for A Mannheim Steamroller Christmas at the Schuster Center in Dayton on Wednesday, Nov. 29. CONTRIBUTED(Contributing Writer)


Christmas music has been a huge part of the musical repertoire of Mannheim Steamroller since 1984. It helped expand the fan base of the neo-classical group, which was formed by Ohio native Chip Davis in 1974. This led to more than two dozen holiday-themed releases, including a live album in 2015. Victoria Theatre Association’s Projects Unlimited Star Attractions Series presents A Mannheim Steamroller Christmas at the Schuster Center, Second and Main streets, Dayton, at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 29. Cost: $57-$77. Call 937-228-3630 or visit

WinterFest, one of the Cincinnati area s beloved annual traditions is back. CONTRIBUTED(Contributing Writer)


For the first time since the 1990s, Kings Island, 6300 Kings Island Drive, Mason, is hosting Winterfest. The once-popular event returns on Friday, Nov. 24, with more than 15 rides open, including the new Mystic Timbers. Winterfest is presented 5 to 10 p.m. through Dec. 30. Open Friday, Saturday and Sunday through December 10, open daily Dec. 15 through 23 and Dec. 26 through 30. Cost: Tickets start at $25. Call 513-754-5700 or visit

>> What you need to know about Winterfest


Dayton History is getting into the holiday spirit with Carillon Christmas. The nightly holiday celebration opens at Carillon Historical Park, 1000 Carillon Blvd., Dayton, from 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 29. Opening night includes the Carillon Christmas tree lighting, traditional holiday fare, a visit from Santa Claus, live music and historical craft demonstrations. Cost: $8 adults, $7 seniors 60 and older, $5 children 3-17 and free for Dayton History members and children under 3. A Carillon Christmas continues through Dec. 30. Carillon Historical Park is closed Christmas Eve and Christmas. Call 937-293-2841 or visit

>> Must-see holiday light displays

Award-winning country singer Martina McBride brings The Joy of Christmas Tour to Hobart Arena in Troy on Wednesday, Nov. 29. CONTRIBUTED(Contributing Writer)


Martina McBride is in the mood for Christmas music. She has been in the studio recording a new holiday album, her first since “White Christmas” in 1998, which is scheduled for release next fall. Last week, the country singer took a break from the studio to embark on The Joy of Christmas Tour. McBride brings the special holiday show to Hobart Arena, 255 Adams St., Troy, at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 29. Cost: $32-$75. VIP packages are available. Call 937-339-2911 or visit

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Macy’s Day Parade 2017: 5 things to know about the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Published: Thursday, November 23, 2017 @ 10:54 AM
Updated: Thursday, November 23, 2017 @ 10:54 AM

Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade - 5 Fast Facts

There are a number of things associated with Thanksgiving− turkey, pilgrims, big dinners and family. One of them is the tradition of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

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Since 1924, Macy's has helped thousands of families celebrate the holidays with its annual parade. 

If you plan to travel to New York to see the spectacle for yourself this year or will be tuning in, here are five things to know about the parade:

Spider-Man at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade in New York.(Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

Where is the parade route and where can I view it?

The parade steps off at 9 a.m. sharp from 77th Street and Central Park West and travels south. Once the procession hits Columbus Circle, it turns east onto Central Park South and marches until turning south again onto 6th Avenue. The parade continues south until reaching 34th Street, where it turns west and ends at 7th Avenue. The last of the balloons and performers touch 7th Avenue around noon.


While there is no seating available for the public, anyone is welcome to bring blankets or chairs and find a spot along the parade route at no charge. Since these spots are first-come, first-serve, some families camp out several hours before the parade begins. Plan to arrive early to snag good seats.

Many regular parade-goers recommend avoiding Macy's official parade viewing area on 34th Street, since it's the most crowded. One balloon handler on Reddit suggested that Columbus Circle also might not be a good viewing area, since the winds are more unpredictable and the procession moves more quickly through that spot. He added that the first few blocks south of 77th Street tend to attract smaller crowds because that street is farther from the train stations.

What is included in the parade procession?

In addition to more than two dozen inflated balloons, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade features floats, clowns, performers and marching bands from across the country. The Peanuts gang appear on their float, Snoopy's Doghouse, alongside McDonald's Big Red Shoe, Mount Rushmore, Winter Wonderland by Delta Airlines and more, including Macy's many floats.

Macy's website also lists the participating clown troupes with themes like Breakfast Clowns, Arrsome Pirates and Viking Clowns. Marching bands in the procession include several high schools and colleges, the U.S. Air Force, New York Police Department, and, of course, Macy's Great American Marching Band.

In addition to the parade procession, the event features performances that are held in the official Macy's viewing area on 34th Street. Check the Macy's website for updates to the lineup and more information on these performances.

The Harrison High School Marching Band from Kennesaw performed Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016 in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.(Jim Galloway / AJC)

Is Macy's unveiling anything special this year?

Among Macy's novelty balloons is a special tribute that deserves recognition. As a nod to the 70th anniversary of "Miracle on 34th Street," Macy's is recreating "Harold the Baseball Player," a balloon that was featured in the classic black-and-white film set in New York.

Though the original balloon appeared in full color during the 1946 Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, the recreation is black, white and gray as a throwback to the movie, which was shot on location and featured the parade. 

Can I see the balloons outside of the parade?

All of the balloons are inflated on Wednesday, November 22, and the event is open to the public. Head to Central Park West between 77th Street and 81st Street, near the American Museum of Natural History.

The balloons are inflated between 3 and 10 p.m., but the bulk of them are done in the evening, so it's best to be late to this event.

What if I can't get to New York?

If you can't get to the Empire State for Thanksgiving, there are still plenty of ways to experience the parade in your pajamas. Watch the procession at 9 a.m. EST on NBC to see the balloons, floats and performers without fighting any crowds.

For a behind-the-scenes experience, Macy's has created a series of 360° videos that take the viewer on a tour of its parade studio. See the magic behind the Thanksgiving tradition and learn about how the balloons are made, from sketch to inflation.

This breathtaking holiday light display is celebrating 25 years -- and it returns this weekend

Published: Thursday, November 23, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

Millions of colorful bulbs have transformed Countryside Park in Washington Twp. into a holiday wonderland for 25 seasons.

Woodland Lights celebrates its 25th anniversary season with the lights and sights people have come to love and a month of holiday activities. 

>> 11 photos of Woodland Lights that prove its one of the area’s best traditions

Woodland Lights in Washington Twp. is one of the Dayton area’s signature holiday displays. CONTRIBUTED(Contributing Writer)

To mark the occasion, every night of this year’s festival includes carriage rides, amusement rides, live animals, concessions and activities for kids. Woodland Lights offers a walk through eight acres of lights sparkling along a wooded path and a whimsical view of illuminated characters preparing for the holidays.

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Santa and his elf welcome children nightly through Dec. 23 to their historic log cabin that’s decorated for the holidays. Costumed characters visit many nights and local arts organizations take the stage on weekends. 

>> This breathtaking holiday tradition is marking its 25th year, and it’s STILL a must-see

Get in the holiday spirit at the Woodland Lights annual display of twinkling lights in Washington Twp. CONTRIBUTED


Cost: Tickets are available at the gate, any Washington Twp. recreation facility or online. $8 for adults. Free for children 2 and younger. 

When: Opens for the season Nov. 25. The holiday lighting festival is open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 3 and nightly Dec. 8-30, except Dec. 23 and 24.

Hours: 6-9 p.m.

Location: Countryside Park on the Washington Township Recreation Campus, 895 Miamisburg-Centerville Road, Washington Twp.

Info:  Website

Dayton Music Insider: Thanksgiving Guide to Live Music

Published: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 @ 2:51 PM

Normally I would start off this week’s blog by telling you to go see the annual  Such a Night: The Last Waltz performance at Dayton Art Institute, but both performances are sold out already! Congrats to the organizers and musicians! And to my dear friends, please listen to me when I tell you in September to buy your ticket!

Don’t have a ticket to that amazing event? Never fear! There are TONS of great shows happening all over the Miami Valley this weekend, so get into some fun with you friends & family this holiday weekend!

Wednesday November 22nd

Looking for an enjoy show to check out with friends before Thanksgiving festivities begin? Check out the lovely  Blue Note Bistro  in Miamisburg, from 5:30-9:30pm, for some jazz with Bruce Wilkes. 

One of my absolute favorite shows of the weekend is the annual   Werksgiving  concert at  Oddbody’s Music Room. These home town boys, turned national touring act are known for their electrifying dance parties. They will have you grooving all night long! $15 day of show. Doors 8pm. Show 8:30pm. 18+

There’s a big ole group party going on at Hannah’s  on Ludlow downtown. They are inviting musicians, singers and poets for a pop up jam session, dubbed  Danksgiving Party with LuvLocz. Fun goes from 9pm-1am. 21+

Come out to Oscar’s on Thanksgiving Eve and get your gobble on. Get yourself liquored up and ready to handle those relatives that drive you crazy. Or if you love being around them, bring everyone out for a celebration and make some new memories. The Key Concepts, Neo-American Pioneers, and BENT will provide the musical backdrop for the evening and Oscar’s will provide the non-turkey & dressing fixings and a variety of libations. Show starts at 9PM. $5 cover. 21+

Friday November 24th

At Blind Bob’s, it’s another Black Friday Showcase for all those heavy metal music fans out there! The showcase features a fully stocked line-up with   Back Stabbath Maharaja,   Hexadiode and  Big Lightning.  9pm. $5 cover. 21+

I’m excited to check out soul singer Bashiri Asad  (Indianapolis) at Trolley Stop  on Friday night. He’s got an old school vibe that’s great for groups with varied musical tastes, or a swanky date night! 9:30pm. $5 cover. 21+

Hannah’s is offering a free show for all of you who have spent all your money shopping today! A special drum only set kicks off the night at 9:30pm, then at 10pm enjoy original tunes from  The Willy Clark Band
and then The DayDreamers at midnight. Free! 21+

Another early night for jazz fans at  Blue Note Bistro in Miamisburg, which features two shows: Danny Voris at 5pm, followed by the Brad Myers Trio at 8pm.

Yellow Springs folks, make sure you check out the Stark Folk Band  (on at 11pm) who will be playing a double set of old faves and new tunes at Peach’s Grill  on Friday night. The night starts off at 10pm with The Whetstone’s debut performance!  Free show! 21+

North of town, there is another dynamic rock show at Oscar’s  in Vandalia , featuring   RIND  (Rock Is Not Dead),   FOUNDING FATHERS, and   Kuber. They perform a mix of rock, new wave, indie and punk. Enjoy and rock on! 9pm-2am. $5 cover.

I know tons of jam and hard rock fans will be heading south for the Glostik Willy show at Old Crow for Black Friday. They will be joined with  Eyeris Wide, High Altitude, and  The Ram Ones. Cover: $7 (10% goes back to Chubby’s family. Chubby was a music super fan who passed recently, and helped start this annual show!) Doors: 8:00 p.m. Show Time: 9:00 p.m.

Saturday November 25th

It’s  Small Business Saturday! Make sure to support your local small businesses, especially those record stores. (Music is always the perfect gift, in my humble opinion!)

Skeleton Dust Records  downtown Dayton is also featuring live-in store performances throughout the day with Noisteria Emission  (abstract modular electronics from Dayton) and Andy Gabbard  (from Buffalo Killers) will be providing live in-store performances throughout the day as well. 12-8pm.

Hard rock / metal fans are in for another great night of music at Blind Bob’s with Neon WarshipWild SavagesGrand Mammoth, and   Bison Machine.   Very cool! 9pm. $5 cover. 21+

An eclectic show is happening at Oregon Express on Saturday with Rich Man’s TrickWhiskey For Kids, and Earth TongueThis could be RMT’s last show for awhile, so catch them while you can! Show at 10pm. $5 cover. 21+

Gin-Soaked Angels  is planning on a raging party to kick off the holidays on Saturday night when they take over  Hannah’s on Ludlow. Music kicks off at 10pm!

Metal fan alert: Whitechapel, with special guests Carnifex, Rings of Saturn, Entheos, and So This Is Suffering are going to be rockin’ out at Oddbody’s Music Room. This is a huge show, so make sure you get your tickets ASAP! $30 advance, $35 day of show. 18+ Doors 5pm, Show 5:30pm.

Dead Tuth has had enough. They explain that they’ve exceeded their expectations with their band and are deciding to call it quits. Come see their final performance with special guests from the Queen City The ZG’S and Dayton’s own  Dipspit. All this is happening at  Oscar’s Bar in Vandalia. Doors at 9, music at 10.

South of town, jazz fans at  Blue Note Bistro can enjoy music at 2 times:  Danny Voris at 5pm, followed by the Brad Myers Trio at 8pm.

Road trip! If you are up for a bit of a drive, don’t miss  The Big Damn Tryptophan Jamone of Dayton music’s traditions that has transplanted to  Octave,  a very cool new venue in Covington, KY. This year again features  Johnny Neel,  Chris Houser,  Bob Dellaposta and many other amazing musicians will be jammin together! Doors 8pm. Music 9pm. Tickets $8 at the door.

Happy Thanksgiving to all! And  as  always, thank you for supporting live music!

Your Dayton Music Insider,

Libby Ballengee

Note to Readers:  The information above is for November 23rd-25th 2017. This is a listing of interesting shows in the Miami Valley region, but is by no means definitive. There are always lots of shows, and so much space and time to touch upon them all. If I don’t list a price, I’m not sure what it is. Typically cover charges for local shows are $5. Click hyperlinks to find out more about the bands, venues, and events, including start times, directions, and ticket information.  You can keep up with my live music adventures on  Facebook,  Instagram, or  Twitter. Cheers!