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Food truck rallies, river clean ups, firefighter challenges and more to do this weekend in Dayton

Published: Thursday, August 17, 2017 @ 6:00 AM
Updated: Monday, July 16, 2018 @ 11:47 AM
By: Alex Perry

It’s only the middle of the week, but we’re already looking forward to the weekend.

Here are a few ways to get a jump start on your plans.

>> Get the latest forecast from WHIO

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>> Top 10 things to do this week


On July 21, dozens of food trucks will park and serve their best bites in hopes of taking home bragging rights. There also will be craft and small business vendors set up to sell accessories, candles and wax melts, soaps and more.

>> The reason The Drunken Waffle food truck changed its name — and its menu 

Want to go?

WHAT: The Darke County Food Truck Rally and Competition

WHEN: July 21 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

WHERE: Darke County Fairgrounds, 800 Sweitzer St., Greenville 

INFO: Facebook


The annual Clean Sweep of the Great Miami River is a huge, two-part effort, with the Dayton-area portion happening on July 20 and July 21. The event is an opportunity to clean up our region’s greatest waterway, as well as remind people that their relationship with the Great Miami River is a two-way street. The Clean Sweep is coordinated and supported by many sponsors, including’s own Cox Media Group Ohio.

>> More than 900 people expected to show their love for Great Miami in river cleanup

Want to go?

WHAT: Clean Sweep of the Great Miami River

WHEN: Friday, July 20 & Saturday, July 21

WHERE: Multiple locations



FutureFest is a weekend of theater featuring six new plays; each production is followed by remarks from the playwright, evaluation by professional adjudicators and audience feedback. Read more about it here.

>> Take a chance on a new play at Dayton’s FutureFest this weekend

Want to go?

WHAT: FutureFest 2018

WHEN: July 20-22 

WHERE: Dayton Playhouse, 1301 E. Siebenthaler, located in Wegerzyn Gardens Metropark. 

INFO: Website 


The rally, last held in Dayton in 2016, will bring dozens of antique and newly constructed band organs to the park. It is sponsored by the Mid-American Chapter of the Musical Box Society International and the Carousel Organ Association of America.
>> Experience the ‘happiest music on Earth’ this weekend in Dayton

Want to go?

WHAT: 43rd annual Band Organ Rally

WHEN: July 21 from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., July 22 from 12 to 5 p.m.

WHERE: Carillon Historical Park, 
INFO: Website


A giant crab and a giant gator are among the more than 30 balloons set to take flight during The Ohio Challenge Balloon Festival and Team Fastrax Warrior Weekend to Remember. The annual event will return to Middletown’s Smith Park/Middletown Regional Airport this weekend.
>> 6 things that will wow you this weekend at hot air balloon festival

Want to go?

WHAT: The Ohio Challenge

WHEN: Friday, July 20, from 4 to 10:30 p.m., and Saturday, July 21, from 7 a.m. to 10:30 p.m

WHERE: Smith Park Path, Middletown

INFO: Website


Featuring a roster of Ohio musicians for a day of fun and music along the Great Miami River, this new event debuts this weekend. Jessica Lea Mayfield, Young Heirlooms and Lioness will be headlining the event. This Pine Box, Shrug, M Ross Perkins, Sylmar and Neo American Pioneers are also in the lineup.

>> There’s a NEW festival with music, beer, food coming to the Great Miami River this summer

Want to go?

WHAT: Adventures Fest

WHEN: July 21 from 10 a.m. to midnight

WHERE: Adventures on the Great Miami, 1995 E. Ross Road, Tipp City

TICKETS: Eventbrite

INFO: Facebook


Firefighters try to woo the crowd as one-by-one they compete in an obstacle course during the challenge. The event also will include a performance by the band Stranger, beer sales and other activities.  Funds raised at the free event and from sales of the 2018 Hunks and Ladders calendar benefit A Special Wish Foundation Inc., Miami Valley Firefighter/EMS Memorial Association and Pink Ribbon Driven.

>> Women smashing their way into upcoming firefighter challenge

Want to go?

WHAT: Hunks and Ladders Firefighter Combat Challenge

WHEN: Begins at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, July 21

WHERE:The Greene, 4450 Buckeye Lane, Beavercreek

COST: Free 

INFO: or Facebook


The restaurant at 903 E. Dixie Drive in West Carollton is planning a two-day weekend blowout to celebrate its 40th anniversary, according to details posted to Eventbrite.
>> Classic restaurant celebrating 40 years with epic parking lot parties


What: El Meson’s 40th Anniversary Weekend 

When: 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, July 20 and 21 

Where: El Meson, 903 E. Dixie Drive in West Carrollton

Cost: Admission is $5 for both days and a limited number of $35 VIP tickets are available for Friday or Saturday patio seating.

Tickets: Visit the Eventbrite page for advance VIP tickets