12 things to look forward to in January

Published: Monday, January 01, 2018 @ 6:00 AM

The AMA hosted a day of amateur arenacross competition at the Nutter Center in Fairborn Sunday, Jan. 22, 2012.
E.L. Hubbard
The AMA hosted a day of amateur arenacross competition at the Nutter Center in Fairborn Sunday, Jan. 22, 2012.(E.L. Hubbard)

New year, new things to look forward to. Here are 12 things to do in January.

Thousands take part in Dayton’s MLK Day march. Photo by Marshall Gorby(Staff Writer)



Visual art, high school basketball and Martin Luther King Day celebrations are just a few of the diverse events on tap in January. First up is the 2018 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration. “Am I My Brother’s Keeper?” is theme of the annual observance, which offers a month of commemorative events, including the MLK March and Youth Rally on Monday, Jan. 15. The walk begins at the Charles Drew Health Center, 1323 W. Third St., Dayton, at 10 a.m., followed by the youth rally at Dayton Convention Center, Dayton, at 11 a.m. Visit www.mlkdayton.org


Cut It Out, a chalk drawing by Simeon Estes, is among the work of 40 college and university art and design students featured in The Cline Show: Annual Arts & Design Invitational, on display at Dayton Visual Arts Center in Dayton, Friday, Jan. 12 through Friday, Feb. 2. CONTRIBUTED


“The Cline Show: Annual Arts & Design Invitational” opens at Dayton Visual Arts Center, 118 N. Jefferson St., Dayton, on Friday, Jan. 12. The exhibition features the work of 40 college and university art and design students. DVAC hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Cost: Free. An opening reception for this exhibition will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. February 2. “The Cline Show” is on display through February 10. Call 937-224-3822 or visit www.daytonvisualarts.org


Versailles junior and OSU commit Justin Ahrens (with ball) tallied 26 points and nine rebounds in a 61-56 defeat of Tri-Village in the Premier Health Flyin’ to the Hoop at Trent Arena in Kettering last season. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF(Staff Writer)


More than 75 projected Division I basketball recruits from 38 teams will be participating in the 2018 Flyin’ to the Hoop Invitational. Some of the top players in the 16th annual high school tournament include Bol Bol from number one ranked Findlay Prep, Charles Bassey from Aspire Academy and Silvio De Sousa from IMG. The Flyin’ to the Hoop Invitational returns to Trent Arena, 3301 Shroyer Road, Kettering, Friday through Monday, Jan. 12-15. Games begin at 6:30 p.m. Friday, and 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Cost: $10-$100. Visit http://flyintothehoop.com

The Bloody Mary Showdown took place Sunday, Jan. 15 at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds Coliseum. TOM GILLIAM/CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER



 Local bartenders will be pitting specialty drinks against each during the return of the Bloody Mary Showdown. The third annual competition is presented at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds, Bldg. 1, 1043 S. Main St., Dayton, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 14. Cost: $25 for judging credentials, which includes eight four-ounce samples and a chance to vote for your favorite recipe. The $40 VIP tickets includes early entry at 11 a.m., 12 tasting tickets and two votes. Proceeds benefit The First Tee of Greater Miami Valley. Visit www.mostmetro.com



There’s still time to check out “Acting Up: Kabuki in Japanese Prints,” which opened at Dayton Art Institute, 456 Belmonte Park North, Dayton, on July 26, 2017. This special exhibition, featuring prints from Dayton Art Institute’s collection, comes to a close on Sunday, Jan. 28. Museum hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Cost: Free for members, students and youth, $8 adult, $5 seniors, groups and active military. Call 937-223-4ART (4278) or visit www.daytonartinstitute.org



Just a few weeks after ringing in the New Year together, the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra is once again joining with Dayton Performing Arts Alliance partners Dayton Ballet and Dayton Opera for a diverse night of entertainment. “World of Wonder: Explore the Ballet, Opera and Orchestra,” a Family Series Program, is presented at the Schuster Center, Second and Main streets, Dayton, at 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 20. Cost: $14-$22. Call 937-228-3630 or visit www.ticketcenterstage.com

In the National Geographic Live Series program Mireya Mayor: Pink Boots and a Machete, at Victoria Theatre in Dayton, on Sunday and Monday, Jan. 28 and 29, the field biologist discusses her globetrotting adventures. CONTRIBUTED



Mireya Mayor had an unusual career path. She is a Fulbright scholar and former Miami Dolphins cheerleader who became a world-renowned field biologist. In “Mireya Mayor: Pink Boots and a Machete,” she discusses her globetrotting adventures. The National Geographic Live Series presents Mayor at Victoria Theatre, 138 N. Main St., Dayton, on Sunday and Monday, Jan. 28 and 29. Show times are 3 p.m. Sunday and 7 p.m. Monday. Cost: $27-$42. Call 937-228-3630 or visit www.ticketcenterstage.com

Inside Mick Montgomery’s old office at Canal Street Tavern, the music venue he ran from 1981 to 2013. Local music fans will be reminiscing about the now defunct club during Canal Street Stories at the Yellow Cab Bldg. in Dayton on Saturday, Jan. 6. CONTRIBUTED



Mick Montgomery, who ran Canal Street Tavern from 1981 to 2013, is writing a book about his experience running the now defunct music venue and he’s looking for input from folks who spent time in the bar. If you have a story to tell, or just want to hear others share their remembrances, come down to the Yellow Cab Bldg., 700 E. Fourth St., Dayton, at 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 6 for Canal Street Stories: A Celebration and Reunion for Mick Montgomery. Cost: Admission is free but Montgomery is accepting donations for his book. Visit www.yellowcabtavern.com



If you’re planning a wedding and don’t know where to begin, do yourself a favor and make plans to attend the Dayton Wedding Event & Expo. The show is at Dayton Convention Center, 22 E. Fifth St., Dayton, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 6 and 7. More than 100 wedding professionals will be set up that weekend, including photographers, DJs, caterers and florists. Cost: $8. Call 937-333-4072 or visit www.daytonconventioncenter.com

The AMA hosted a day of amateur arenacross competition at the Nutter Center in Fairborn Sunday, Jan. 22, 2012.(E.L. Hubbard)



Reigning two-time champion Gavin Faith is among the racers participating in the touring showcase Amsoil Arenacross Professionals. The high-octane motorcycle competition roars into the Nutter Center, 3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy., Fairborn, at 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 6. This is the first night of the 2018 season, which includes stops in 11 different states. Cost: Tickets start at $18. Call 937-775-4789 or visit www.nuttercenter.com



“Christopher Burk: Illuminating the Everyday” opens at the Springfield Museum of Art, 107 Cliff Park Road, Springfield, on Saturday, Jan. 20. The new exhibition features landscape paintings by the Columbus-based artist. Cost: $5 non-members, free for museum members and children under 17. “Christopher Burk: Illuminating the Everyday” is on display through July 1. Museum hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Call 937-325-4673 or visit www.springfieldart.net

The Cincinnati-Dayton RV Super Show will continue through Monday at Airport Expo Center in Vandalia. The show features the latest models of recreational vehicles as well as parts and accessories. The hours today are 10a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Monday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. LISA POWELL / STAFF



Recreational vehicles have come a long way since they were introduced in early part of the 20th century. Some of the models are utilitarian, while others are as opulent as a ritzy mansion. You can inspect the latest offerings at the Cincinnati-Dayton RV Super Show at the Dayton Convention Center, Dayton, Thursday through Sunday, Jan. 25-28. More than 150 makes and models will be on display from 1 to 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Cost: $10 adults, free children under 12. Visit www.daytonrvshow.com.

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7 ways to enjoy the weather in Dayton this weekend

Published: Friday, April 15, 2016 @ 12:06 PM
Updated: Friday, April 20, 2018 @ 11:42 AM

This weekend's weather calls for unseasonably warm weather which means people are going break free of winter in Dayton. Here's some stuff you'll see if you want to or not. Video by Amelia Robinson, Dayton.com.

After all these chilly days, we are chomping at the bit to get outside and enjoy some sun.

Here are a few ways to enjoy the nice weather this weekend, which, according to our weather partner WHIO.com, is supposed to be lovely: mostly sunny and in the low-to-mid 60s. Get the full weekend forecast from WHIO.com.

>> Top 10 things to do this week

(Richard Wilson)

1.) Go for a hike. There are some fantastic places to explore in the Dayton metro area. We're blessed to have a fantastic parks system that includes Huffman, Eastwood and Taylorsville MetroPark (among many others), as well as some great options in Yellow Springs, like John Bryan and Glen Helen. Make time for a weekend hike and you can round out your hike with some mouthwatering food truck grub at one of the many food truck events that are always happening in Dayton.

>> 6 of the best Dayton trails to hike in the spring

>> 5 must-do things in Yellow Springs

>>Your guide to food truck events in April

2.) Go for a driveRoll down the windows, turn up the music, and just go. Check out these 7 must-see sights within driving distance of Dayton, or explore a nearby town like Tipp City,  Troy or Fairborn. Not to mention, it’s the second weekend for Kings Island, and the weather is finally perfect for high adrenaline thrills. 

>>What’s new for Kings Island 2018?

>> 6 must-try zipline adventures close to home

Riders enjoy views of the Little Miami River on zip lines at Ozone Zipline Adventures at YMCA Camp Kern in Oregonia. Greg Lynch/ Staff(Greg Lynch)

3.) Get an ice cream coneThere are plenty of places in the area to get ice cream and other frozen treats, from the guilt-free vegan paleo Fronana in downtown Dayton to the well-known, well-loved local staple Graeter's. And who could forget Young's Jersey Dairy, or JD's Custard in Englewood? The options are endless...

>> 7 places to get frozen treats in & around Dayton

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7 reasons not to miss Dayton GeekFest

Published: Wednesday, April 26, 2017 @ 6:00 AM
Updated: Wednesday, April 18, 2018 @ 6:00 AM

GeekFest at the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery will take place Friday, April 28 from 6-11 p.m. There will be cosplay and a costume contest, a Star Wars Room, video games and board games, and much more. PHOTO / Larry Peck
Larry Peck
GeekFest at the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery will take place Friday, April 28 from 6-11 p.m. There will be cosplay and a costume contest, a Star Wars Room, video games and board games, and much more. PHOTO / Larry Peck(Larry Peck)

This Friday and Saturday, GeekFest will take over the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery

Like past years, GeekFest will be packed full of events, vendors, special guests, treats, costumes and more. But this year, organizers have turned GeekFest into a two-day event.

Boonshoft’s Jason Heaton gave us the scoop on the delightfully nerdy activities you can take participate on Friday night and Saturday (Family Day).

>> We tried 6 board games from Ohio designers -- here’s how they rate

The annual GeekFest will take place at Boonshoft Museum of Discovery Friday and Saturday. Cool events like Wizard School, gaming, special guests, vendors, and food trucks will be there for your geeky amusement. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Wizarding School

Fans of a certain bespectacled boy wizard won’t want to miss GeekFest’s Wizarding School events on Friday night. Heaton says the planetarium will be turned into a Great Hall. 

“We're going to have a chemistry experiment, which we call ‘potions,’” says Heaton. “We'll have astronomy class and at the same time we’ll play Quidditch on the dome of the planetarium. One person will be elected to stand in the middle and actually 'fly' around. That's something really unique.”

Wizard School will also include magic wand making for little kids and a special animal show.

>>  This Kettering bar has 300 board games, craft beers and no TVs 

The annual GeekFest will take place at Boonshoft Museum of Discovery Friday and Saturday. Cool events like Wizard School, gaming, special guests, vendors, and food trucks will be there for your geeky amusement. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Orc & Pie

Another fun activity taking place only on Friday night is GeekFest’s staple 5-minute D&D adventure, Orc & Pie. 

In this quick live action role-playing experience, participants will be transformed into heroes… heroes hungry for pie! Will they defeat the fearsome Orc and loot his confectionery treat? Find out at GeekFest. (Hint: the heroes win the pie).

>> This local comic shop just expanded to take over 3 storefronts

The annual GeekFest will take place at Boonshoft Museum of Discovery Friday and Saturday. Cool events like Wizard School, gaming, special guests, vendors, and food trucks will be there for your geeky amusement. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Special guests 

Both Friday and Saturday at GeekFest willf eature exciting guests.

Nate Lovett, a professional children’s book illustrator who’s done work for Nickelodeon’s Paw Patrol and more, will be giving “Let’s Draw” presentations both days.

>> Your guide to Dayton food truck events this spring

Cincinnati-based sci fi author Wendy Vogel, whose novel Horizon Alpha features dinosaurs on other planets, will be giving a presentation in Boonshoft’s planetarium on Saturday. “She added some science, so they're based on real planets,” explains Heaton. “Wendy’s not only going to talk about her book, but we’re also going to fly to those planets. I'm looking forward to showing off the science behind them.”

As in previous years, Ohio’s 501st Legion Star Wars cosplayers and the Real Ohio Ghostbusters will also be at GeekFest.

>> Here’s a first look at the new Asian restaurant opening at The Greene

The annual GeekFest will take place at Boonshoft Museum of Discovery Friday and Saturday. Cool events like Wizard School, gaming, special guests, vendors, and food trucks will be there for your geeky amusement. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO


Of course, all of your gaming urges can be satisfied at GeekFest. 

A full-on video game arcade, featuring cabinet games brought in by DK EffectGaming Adventures, and Doug’s Electronic Repair, will be in full effect Friday and Saturday.

If cardboard delights are more your speed, a room devoted entirely to tabletop games will be available, with games generously provided by GeekFest staff and the Wittenberg RPG Guild.

>> 7 bar and gaming arcades to visit in Dayton

GeekFest at the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery will take place Friday, April 20 through Saturday April 21. PHOTO / Larry Peck(Larry Peck)


“On Saturday, we're going to have geek Jeopardy like we've had in the past,” Jason Heaton tells Dayton.com. “We’re also going to try Harry Potter Jeopardy this year for the first time.” 

“Beat the Geek” trivia will be another opportunity to show off your nerd brain. 

The annual GeekFest will take place at Boonshoft Museum of Discovery Friday and Saturday. Cool events like Wizard School, gaming, special guests, vendors, and food trucks will be there for your geeky amusement. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Blast off into outer space 

Also going on in the planetarium is Boonshoft’s regular live show, The Sky Tonight, about the astronomical bodies visible from earth on a given evening. Heaton says there will be “a few other surprises in the planetarium, as well.”

“There's going to be a full-blown R2D2 replica a guy named Josh Montgomery built from scratch,” brags Heaton. “He's going to show it off and talk about it in the Planetarium early on Saturday morning.” 

The planets of Star Wars and Geek Jeopardy will be projected onto the 50-foot dome of the planetarium.(Provided by Boonshoft)


We’ve barely scratched the surface of all the exciting things going on at GeekFest this Friday and Saturday. There are also cool geeky vendors like Bell Book and Comic and No Limit Gaming, food trucks both days, and even costume contests. You will not want to miss GeekFest. It’s one of Dayton’s best events of the year!

Want to go?  

WHAT: Boonshoft GeekFest

WHEN: 6-10 p.m. Friday, April 20 and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, April 21

WHERE: Boonshoft Museum of Discovery, 2600 Deweese Pkwy, Dayton  

COST: Friday night, $20/person, tickets here. Saturday, free with regular museum admission

INFO: www.boonshoftmuseum.org or 937-275-7431 


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5 reasons to see ‘Phantom of the Opera’ on its final weekend

Published: Saturday, April 21, 2018 @ 9:53 AM


The music of the night returns with a stunning makeover as the national tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s global megahit “The Phantom of the Opera” continues through Sunday, April 22 courtesy of the Victoria Theatre Association’s Premier Health Broadway Series. 

Produced by legendary British powerhouse Cameron Mackintosh and based on the novel by Gaston Leroux, “Phantom” tells a romantic, mysterious and compelling account of the titular musician who takes young soprano Christine Daae under his wing in late 19th century Paris. Meanwhile, Christine is wooed by the dashing Raoul, infuriating the Phantom and fueling his vengeful takeover of the Paris Opera House.

Here are five reasons why you should see this thrilling spectacle on its final weekend. 

>> Phantom of the Opera is in Dayton — and you’ve never seen it like this before

“The Phantom of the Opera” comes to the Schuster Center April 11-22. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY MATTHEW MURPHY(Staff Writer)



Director Laurence Connor brings character-driven finesse and breezy fluidity to this reconceived production. He dials back the cinematic opulence of the original helmed by Harold Prince (which recently celebrated its 30th anniversary on Broadway) while adding new touches. In particular, “Prima Donna,” an ode to diva Carlotta (excellently conceited Trista Moldovan), is treated as a beautiful transition, guiding the audience directly into the operatic sequence “Poor Fool, He Makes Me Laugh.”

Connor also moves the vibrant “Masquerade” inside the Opera House, another effective departure from the original, and alters the Phantom’s suspenseful final seconds to magical degrees. “The original production was brilliant, but this production is truly spectacular,” said Eva Tavares, who portrays the haunted Christine. “I also feel ours is a grittier production. We want to make our characterizations as real as possible.” 



Despite the Phantom’s treachery and defiance in his obsessive pursuit of Christine, it is imperative to feel some sense of connection to his struggle nonetheless.

“I find the show to be based in a real place of empathy,” Tavares said. “It’s about loving someone and caring for someone even when they don’t love or care for themselves. Even when the people around Christine tell her the Phantom is vicious, she knows the real person inside. He was a tortured individual who was dealt a hard hand at a young age. Christine’s unabashed and unfiltered empathy really speaks to people. She displays a kindness we all need in our lives.” 

 >> World premiere of Pete Rose play coming soon to Dayton

Eva Tavares as Christine in "The Phantom of the Opera." CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY MATTHEW MURPHY


As Tavares navigates her role with lovely elegance, she provides a beautifully complex journey from giddy chorus girl (her star-is-born excitement throughout the gorgeous “Think of Me” is an early highpoint) to mature woman.

There is also a very telling moment in Act 1 when Christine grows suicidal, another savvy directorial choice from Connor.

The soaring ballad “All I Ask of You” literally becomes Raoul’s plea to bring Christine off the ledge. 



Standing 6-foot-7, Quentin Oliver Lee, an African-American, firmly leads the production in the vocally demanding titular role. His refreshing and imposing presence certainly gives the material a great deal of renewed subtext.

“Diversity in casting shouldn’t be an issue,” said Tavares, who is 5-foot-1. “The people who are right for a role should be cast. Quentin is an amazing actor who brings a lot to the role. We have a great dynamic as friends. I’m so glad and so grateful to be part of a company that sees the value in diversity in casting.” 

A 52-member cast will come to town for “The Phantom of the Opera” April 11-22. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY MATTHEW MURPHY(Staff Writer)



Even though this tour overall strays from the original’s iconic nature, you’ll still be dazzled by Maria Bjornson’s fabulous costumes, Scott Brown’s scenic design, Scott Ambler’s terrific choreography (notice the Paso Doble intensity within “The Point of No Return”), Nina Dunn’s video/projection design, and one grand chandelier that is a character all its own. 



What: “The Phantom of the Opera” 

Where: Schuster Center, Second and Main streets, Dayton 

When: Through April 22; 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday 

Cost: $25-$118 

Tickets/more info: Call Ticket Center Stage at (937) 228-3630 or visit ticketcenterstage.com 


Contact this contributing writer at rflorence2@gmail.com

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Nookie alert: They say Limp Bizkit is playing the Sunoco again, today ...

Published: Friday, April 20, 2018 @ 12:05 PM

The Limp Bizkit show at Sunoco was epic. Sad you missed it. Video by Amelia Robinson.

Tonight could be the night that chocolate starfish and hot dog flavored water flow at a Dayton gas station. 

>> Facebook event claims Limp Bizkit coming to Sunoco on Wayne Ave.

As the annual 4/20 rumor has it, the rap rock band Limp Bizkit will play the Wayne Avenue Sunoco tonight at 10 p.m.

Limp Bizkit is still not playing the Wayne Avenue Sunoco. Seriously, in what world could that ever happened?(Photos: GetAmpedMag.com and Mike Campbell, staff)

Nearly 10,000 people have indicated on the Facebook event page they will attend the show. Another 5,400 saythey are interested.  (Note: Organizers annually change the date from the original 2016 event post.) 

But guess what...

No nookie for you. 

But here’s a cookie. 

>> Organizers: Limp Bizkit concert coming to Wayne Ave. Sunoco 'for real' this time (April 19, 2017) 

It is 4/20... get it, 4/20. 

You know what the date means, right?


The show is a hoax that dates all the way back to 2016 when a group of wisenheimers created a Facebook event for an April 20th Limp Bizkit show at the gas station. 

>> NO LIMP JOKE: These wildly popular biscuits are actually coming to the Wayne Avenue Sunoco 

Both Limp Bizkit and Dayton police were whipped up in a frenzy and released statements denying the fake concert. 

>> Dayton police, Limp Bizkit tweet statements about Limp Bizkit at Sunoco

Dayton police, Limp Bizkit tweet statements about Limp Bizkit at Sunoco. (Screen grab courtesy of The News Wheel)

Back on April 20, 2016, a lot of people showed up at the gas station to see if anyone else showed up.

The whole thing got a ton of media attention around the country. 

It was something else. 

>> Crowd shows up at fake Limp Bizkit concert site

>> The best responses to Dayton's Limp Bizkit, Sunoco hoax

Dayton gains national attention for Limp Bizkit hoax

Since then, a few other pranksters have tried to create buzz around fake concerts at the Sunoco and other businesses. 

Did you hear the one about Dave Chappelle playing at the Legacy Pancake House last February? 

“Laugh, and then laugh some more over a plate of pancakes, local realtor ads on the placemats, and the comedy of Dave Chappelle for this once in a lifetime appearance at Dayton’s Legacy Pancake House. Sit back, order some grits and pancakes, and enjoy the comedic stylings of Dave Chappelle.” 

That didn’t happen either. But the Legacy does serve some delicious grub. 


>> RELATED: 9 of the best brunch spots in Dayton

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