Your guide to Dayton-area food truck events this spring

Published: Friday, March 24, 2017 @ 1:17 PM
Updated: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 6:00 AM

Some of the most popular food trucks in the Dayton area.

Food truck festivals are kicking off in March - and we can’t wait. Here are the latest details for upcoming food truck rallies in Dayton.

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The Yellow Cab Food Truck Rally

TIME: 5-10 p.m.

WHERE:  700 E. 4th St., Dayton

TRUCKS: Smokin Beebeeq, El Meson, Drunken Waffle, Greek Street Food Truck, Son of a Buscuit, E.A.T. Food Truck, Cupzilla and Hunger Paynes

INFO: Food trucks, local beer, free live music, and The Night Market which offers attendees delicious spices, jams and produce, artisanal bathing products, handmade toys and decorations, and countless other locally made goods. 

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Brunch! A Food Truck Rally

TIME: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

WHERE: 700 E. 4th St., Dayton


INFO: Featuring breakfast cocktails and more. Runs through September.

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Know of one that’s not on this list? Email

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Dayton’s big role in boxing history — and 3 unforgettable moments

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 6:00 AM

Dayton History Fight Night returns to historic Memorial Hall on Saturday, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m. CONTRIBUTED
Dayton History Fight Night returns to historic Memorial Hall on Saturday, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m. CONTRIBUTED

Dayton History Fight Night returns to historic Memorial Hall on Saturday, Feb. 24.

But Fight Night isn’t the first time boxing was held at Memorial Hall. Numerous boxing legends once graced its historic stage. For much of the 20th century, boxing was the king of sports, and Dayton was a premier Midwest boxing city.

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Dozens of hard-hitting fighters, both amateur and professional, hailed from the Gem City and traveled the boxing circuit from New York to California. Local legends like Buddy Knox, Joe Sekyra, Joe Marinelli and Marion Condi duked it out at numerous Dayton arenas during the early 1920s and 1930s.

In 1935 the Dayton Daily News began hosting Golden Glove Tournaments, broadcasted across the city on WHIO radio. The Dayton Gymnastics Club and the Fraternal Order of the Eagles held weekly fights. Popular venues included the Fairgrounds Coliseum, the Patterson Boulevard outdoor arena, the Dayton Opera House, the Lakeside Park Pavilion, and the Westwood Field Gym.

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But Memorial Hall was the crown jewel of Dayton venues. Founded in 1910, it came of age during the heyday of boxing. Here are three famous moments in Memorial Hall boxing history:

Jack Dempsey meets Gene Tunney, October 1925, in Dayton. CONTRIBUTED(Dayton History)

Jack Dempsey meets Gene Tunney, October 1925

Jack Dempsey was an international sports legend in 1925. When he arrived at Memorial Hall in October of that year, it had been six years since he pummelled Jess Willard for the world heavyweight boxing title. It seemed no one could take The Manassa Mauler off his throne.

Eight months earlier, Dempsey had married Estelle Taylor, the silent film star famous for her roles in “Don Juan,” “Dorothy Vernon of Haddon Hall,” and “The Ten Commandments.” Their marriage fell apart in 1931, but not before Dempsey’s reign as world champ.

Gene Tunney snatched the belt from Dempsey in September 1926. While campaigning for that future fight, he followed Dempsey to Dayton to witness his Memorial Hall appearance. Throngs of cheering fans erupted as Tunney, the famed World War I Marine boxer, entered the venue in a black suit.

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Dempsey fought two exhibition matches against Ray Newman and Marty Cutler, but it was Tunney who stole the show. He entered the ring, shook hands with Dempsey, and the pair posed for a now-famous photo. It was the first time the renowned boxers entered the ring together. And it happened in Dayton.

Joe Louis, world heavyweight champion, visited Dayton in early 1935, when his star was still rising. CONTRIBUTED(Dayton History)

Joe Louis vs. Biff Bennett, April 22, 1935

Hellbent on breaking free from a life of hardship, Joe Louis became a professional boxer on Independence Day 1934. The man they called the “Brown Bomber” held the world heavyweight boxing championship for a record-setting 12 years, and he held the love of the American public forever. Louis was king of the ring from 1937–1949. But when he visited Dayton in early 1935, his star was still rising.

Louis faced Biff Bennett at Memorial Hall on April 22, 1935. With a 75-second first-round knockout, the crowd was witnessing a legend on the cusp of greatness. With the Dayton victory, Louis had amassed an incredible 19–0 record in less than one year of professional boxing. A bigger stage was on the horizon.

Considered by many to be the greatest boxing heavyweight of all time, Louis went 68–3 in professional fights, scoring 54 knockouts, including five in the first round. Poor Biff Bennett became one of Lewis’ first-round KO’s that April evening at Memorial Hall. Louis himself was on his way to becoming one of the greatest boxers of all time.

Boxing hall of fame member William Landon “Gorilla” Jones fought at Memorial Hall in Dayton on April 22, 1930. CONTRIBUTED(Dayton History)

Gorilla Jones vs. Tiger Roy Williams, April 22, 1930

William Landon Jones had a rough-and-tumble Memphis upbringing. It was one that taught him to fight. In later years, he used this skill to chauffeur and protect legendary actress Mae West, but it was his own legend as two-time world middleweight boxing champion that got him the gig.

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Nicknamed the “Gorilla” for his extraordinary 75-inch reach, Jones was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame posthumously in June 2009. He fought in 138 professional bouts, won 101, lost 24, drew 13, and knocked out 52 opponents. At Memorial Hall on April 22, 1930 — five years to the day before the great Joe Louis graced the same stage — Jones would suffer defeat.

Represented by Joe Glaser, a showbiz insider who also managed Louis Armstrong, Chicago boxer “Tiger” Roy Williams was a tough all-around contender. The Tiger had taken down Sammy Slaughter, Patsy Perroni, and many of the top middleweight contenders of the time. In Dayton he took down Jones — the man who would snatch the world middleweight title less than two years later.

From January to May of 1930, Williams went undefeated in eight consecutive Memorial Hall matches (one being a draw against Dayton’s own Joe Sekyra on Feb. 24, 1930). When Williams faced Jones, he would deliver the great fighter his second consecutive 10-round loss.

Gorilla Jones’ name would come to be more widely remembered, but that night in Dayton it was Williams, not Jones, who was the star.


Dayton History Fight Night is sponsored by Steve R. Rauch Inc. After training at Brown Institute of Martial Arts, amateur boxers go three rounds at the 108-year-old venue, and beer, wine, soft drinks, and snacks are available.

For the first time ever, Dave Greer’s Classic Jazz Stompers will be playing Dayton History Fight Night. Guests are encouraged to dress in their best 1920s outfits to match the theme of this historically inspired boxing event.

After the final bell tolls, the Fight Night Speakeasy After Party starts swinging in Memorial Hall’s lower level. Featuring a full-service bar and live entertainment from Funky G & The Groove Machine, attendees can mingle with fighters and dance the night away. All proceeds benefit Dayton History in its mission to bring the past to life to understand the present and inspire the future.


WHAT: Dayton History Fight Night

WHERE: Historic Memorial Hall, 121 E. First St.

WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 24, Doors: 7 p.m., Fights: 8 p.m.

ADMISSION: $15 in advance, $20 at the door

TICKETS: (937) 293-2841, online at, and available at Carillon Historical Park, Carillon Brewing Co., Clash Gallery & Boutique, Brown Institute of Martial Arts, Brixx Ice Co., Old Scratch Pizza and Therapy Cafe

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3 fish fry events this weekend in Dayton

Published: Friday, February 16, 2018 @ 11:42 AM
Updated: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 10:15 AM's Amelia Robinson finds out the secret to the fish that will be served at Carroll High School's first St. Pat's Fest. Video by Amelia Robinson.

It’s officially Lent season. 

And that means fish fry season. Sure, many fish fries have been under way for weeks. But since it’s official season now, we have three events this weekend just for you.

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Fish fries take place like clockwork during the Lenten season. These are community events that bring people together in droves to break bread and thousands of pounds of crispy, flaky fish together. CONTRIBUTED

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Feb. 23: Alter High School Knight Out Fish Fry  

This adult only event includes all-you-can-eat fish dinner, traditional beverages, local craft beer, a silent auction, blackjack, Texas Hold’em, instant bingo, wine cork pull and other adult games of chance. Carry-out or drive-thru available from 4:30-6:30 p.m. The UD game will be streamed live. Food also available from Cassano’s and Philly Pretzel Factory. 

WHERE: Alter High School, 940 E. David Rd., Kettering
WHEN: 7 p.m.- midnight, Friday, February 23

COST: $15

INFO: Website | Facebook | 937-434-4434

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Feb. 23: Dayton FOP 44 Fish Fry

All you can eat and drink. Hand-breaded fish, fries, cole slaw, smoked sausage and dessert.  Beer, wine and soft drinks.

WHERE: Dayton Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 44, 4275 Powell Rd., Dayton 
WHEN: 6 p.m.- 11 p.m. Friday, February 23

COST: $15/ 2 for $25

INFO: Facebook

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Feb. 23: St. Anthony Catholic Church Fish Fry 

WHERE: St. Anthony Catholic Church Fish Fry, 830 Bowen St., Dayton
WHEN: 6 p.m.- 11 p.m. Friday, February 23

COST: $15

INFO: 937-253-9132 

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The Hecht family and friends batter Icelandic Cod fillets to be fried at Friday night’s fish fry at Fenwick High School last March in Middletown. The Hecht family has been throwing fish fry events for more than 50 years. NICK DAGGY / STAFF(Nick Daggy)

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‘School of Rock: The Musical’ is bigger than Jack Black — and here’s why you shouldn’t miss it

Published: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 12:00 AM

The cast of the School of RockTour. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY MATTHEW MURPHY
The cast of the School of RockTour. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY MATTHEW MURPHY

Rob Colletti was a high school junior when the hit movie, “School of Rock,” came out. Now, 15 years later, he’s taking on the Jack Black role of Dewey Finn in the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical version of the movie, which plays at the Aronoff Center throughout next weekend.

“I saw (the movie) when it came out,” Colletti said. “I was a huge Jack Black fan and I was also just hitting my stride in my musical discovery. I grew up with my dad playing that music, though his tastes were mellower. The movie added Black Sabbath.”

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Theodora Silverman and Rob Colletti in the School of Rock Tour. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY MATTHEW MURPHY(Contributing Writer)

The story is familiar to many. Finn is a down-on-his-luck rock star wannabe living off his roommate. By chance, he lands a job as a substitute teacher, where he throws out the math textbooks and turns the classroom into a rock school. Naturally, Finn and the kids end up having more to teach each other than how to play The Doors in perfect harmony. According to Colletti, the musical expands greatly on the movie.

“There are two new levels of storytelling,” he said. “First, the relationship between Dewey and Rosalie, the principal, is amplified. There’s also a storyline about the kids, how they’re not listened to by their parents and how they’re being pushed into lives they didn’t choose. There’s a reason why the movie was two hours and the musical is two and a half. Even audiences who know the ending are surprised.”

In addition to retaining all of the classic rock songs from the movie, the Webber score adds 14 more songs.

“(The score) hearkens back to (Webber’s) ‘Jesus Christ Superstar,’ which was a rock opera,” Colletti said. “It’s all guitar, piano, bass and drums. There are no brass or woodwinds. It’s just a rock band in a pit. And the kids play songs onstage, too. I’ve never yet seen an audience that isn’t on their feet at the end.”

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Rob Colletti, in a role originated by Jack Black, portrays Dewey Finn in “School of Rock: The Musical.” CONTRIBUTED(Contributing Writer)

Because a major part of the movie’s appeal was Jack Black’s idiosyncratic brand of physical comedy, Colletti said he felt obligated to replicate that performance, but only to a certain extent.

“I’m very intent on not doing a Jack Black impression,” he said. “I’ll be building on what he did, because it’s iconic for a reason. But it wasn’t just him. If you look at old footage of Mick Jagger and Angus Young, you can see their physicality in (Black’s) performance. It was very specific and it just happened to fit his sense of humor.”

Colletti added that he’s applying his own life experiences to the trials that Finn endures.

“I’ve had my share of failure, too,” he said. “I’ve been dismissed, fired, told no. I use the implications of the lessons I’ve learned.”


What: “School of Rock: The Musical”

When: Feb. 22-March 4; 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturdays, 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Sunday

Where: Aronoff Center for the Arts, 650 Walnut St., Cincinnati

Cost: $30 and up

More Info: 513-621-2787 or

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Feeling inspired? Tackle your passion project with this Dayton workshop

Published: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 @ 6:00 AM

Participants in the pilot session of Gignite worked together for 8 weeks in 2017 on freelance businesses, hobbies, and long-term goals.
Olivia Barrow
Participants in the pilot session of Gignite worked together for 8 weeks in 2017 on freelance businesses, hobbies, and long-term goals.(Olivia Barrow)

Next week kicks off the Gignite incubator series in Dayton. Gignite is an 8-week incubator for side gigs, passion projects and hobbies. It was created and organized by former Dayton resident Olivia Barrow, a content marketer, entrepreneur and former journalist who worked at the Dayton Business Journal. 

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“We provide the time, space, accountability, and inspiration for you to turn those ‘one day I want to’ ideas into real projects,” Barrow said in an interview with Mad Works Co-Working

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A few years ago, Barrow watched her friends launch The Nucleus, Dayton’s first co-working space. At that time, Barrow knew she wanted to incorporate something like this into her work-life routine.  

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“Coworking really appealed to me. I craved collaboration and creative energy from a room full of entrepreneurs,” she said. 

But that opportunity didn’t arise for her until after she left the Gem City.

Soon after quitting her 9-to-5 job, Barrow joined co-working space 100state in Madison

“It has done wonders for my productivity and mental health -- I’m someone who can’t handle staying at home by myself all day,” she said.

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Gignite was then born out of the need for further collaboration among peers. 

“I wished that I could get a group of about 10 people to join me in making an 8-week commitment to spend three hours a week tackling our neglected side-gigs, hobbies and passion projects,” she said. 

Her wish was also her command. In fall of 2017, Gignite launched in Madison, Wisconsin with a pilot session of 11 members.

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The first session comes to Dayton next Monday, and will be hosted at The Nucleus with A.J. Ferguson, Director of UpDayton, facilitating the session. The session runs for three hours every Monday night, from Feb. 26 to April 16. 

For the first hour, A.J. will lead the group in activities designed to break the ice and build relationships -- as well as give everyone a little break to mentally prepare for the adjustment from work day to Gignite. 

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The pilot session included a party on week 8 to celebrate all of the group's accomplishments.(Olivia Barrow)

After discussion and activities, each participant will have up to two hours of “focus time.” Each week, A.J. will counsel each member about their project(s) — what did you accomplish this week, and what are your goals for the next week? 

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Group discussions and creative activities to build relationships and help move your project forward, light refreshments, paper and pens, potential future referrals, electrical outlets, wifi and uninterrupted focus time. On the eighth week, the group throws a party to celebrate their accomplishments. The cost is $150 up front, with a $50 refund if you meet the attendance requirements.

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Want to go?

WHAT: Gignite Incubator

WHERE: The Nucleus, 411 E 5th St., Dayton

HOURS: 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Mondays from Feb. 26-April 16

COST: $150 (you’ll receive a $50 refund if you meet attendance requirements)

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