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Top 10 things to do in Dayton this week

Published: Friday, February 09, 2018 @ 6:00 AM

A bouldering competition at a past Adventure Summit. CONTRIBUTED
Contributing Writer
A bouldering competition at a past Adventure Summit. CONTRIBUTED(Contributing Writer)

There’s more to do beyond the Valentine’s Day early celebrations this weekend. Here’s some inspiration:

>> The best Valentine’s events around Dayton


Dale “Grey Beard” Sanders, Susan Marie Conrad and Jordan Romero are among the featured speakers at The Adventure Summit presented by Wagner Subaru. The event targeting the region’s outdoor enthusiasts returns to Wright State University, 3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy., Fairborn, on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 9 and 10.

The Adventure Summit features everything from skills events and demonstrations to live music, beer tastings and, of course, speakers. Romero, 21, presents “No Summit Out of Sight: The Youngest Person to Climb the Seven Summits,” Conrad presents “Inside: One Woman’s Journey Through the Inside Passage” and Sanders presents “Dale on the Trail: Hiking the Appalachian Trail at age 82.”

The Adventure Summit, which is a joint production of Five Rivers MetroParks and Wright State University, runs from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. Cost: Free. Visit

>> Get active, get inspired, get adventurous at Adventure Summit

This Daytonian tries paddle surfing for the first time during a past Adventure Summit. CONTRIBUTED(Contributing Writer)


Gospel Superfest is the brainchild of Dayton native Bobby Cartwright Jr., who launched the popular televised event nearly two decades ago. Previous sessions of the program — which airs in more than 100 markets, including WHIO TV in Dayton and WXIX TV in Cincinnati — have been taped in New York, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Chicago and Cincinnati. The 18th annual Gospel Superfest will be presented at the Schuster Center, Second and Main streets, Dayton, at 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10. The television taping will feature more than two dozen gospel recording artists. Cost: $41-$91. Call 937-228-3630 or visit


Generations of cinema fans discovered “The Sound of Music” from the popular 1965 film. However, the tale of the von Trapp family was already a smash on Broadway in 1959 and went on to win five Tony Awards. The play featured book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse with music and lyrics by Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein II. The Victoria Theatre Association’s Premier Health Broadway Series presents “The Sound of Music,” opening at the Schuster Center, Second and Main streets, Dayton, on Tuesday, Feb. 13. This new production runs through Sunday, Feb. 18. Show times are 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, with 2 p.m. matinees Saturday and Sunday. Cost: $25-$98. Call 937-228-3630 or visit

THE SOUND OF MUSIC: Feb. 13-18, 2017, Schuster Center: The beloved musical story of Maria and the von Trapp Family is back. Enjoy classic Rodgers and Hammerstein music including “My Favorite Things,” “Do-Re-Mi,” “Climb Ev’ry Mountain,” “Edelweiss,” and the title song "The Sound of Music." CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY JEREMY DANIEL AND MATTHEW MURPHY(Staff Writer)


More than 30 performers, from acrobats and contortionists to aerial artists, will be in town for Cirque D’Or. The high energy show at Victoria Theatre, 138 N. Main St., Dayton, at 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 11, also features music and colorful costumes. The current Cirque D’Or tour features a new cast. Cost: $35-$55. Call 937-228-3630 or visit

>> Cirque event brings high-flying fun to Dayton


As fans of his solo work and his music with the Buffalo Killers recognize, Andy Gabbard is a big fan of Neil Young. Now, he’s putting that devotion on full display with “Road Eyes: Tribute to Neil Young and Crazy Horse.” The recreation of the artist’s “Live Rust” period is presented at The Yellow Cab Bldg., 700 E. Fourth St., Dayton, at 9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10. Gabbard (vocals, guitar) will be joined on stage by David Fowler (bass) and his Buffalo Killers band mates Sven Kahns (guitar) and Joey Sebaali (drums). Cost: $7 in advance, $10 at the door. Visit


Primetime television programs don’t get the viewing numbers they did in the pre-Internet era, but repeat exposure on a hit program can still help jumpstart a career. Take the case of Preacher Lawson, who was a finalist on season 12 of “America’s Got Talent.” He didn’t win the top prize, but his quick wit and animated on-stage antics earned him new fans. Lawson parlayed that success into a steady stream of live bookings, including a show at the Funny Bone Comedy Club, 88 Plum St., The Greene, Beavercreek, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 15. Cost: $25-$57.80. Call 937-429-LAFF (5233) or visit

>> Don’t miss Paula Poundstone at the Victoria Theatre

Preacher Lawson, a finalist on season 12 of America s Got Talent, performs at the Funny Bone Comedy Club at The Greene in Beavercreek on Thursday, Feb. 15. CONTRIBUTED(Contributing Writer)


If you want to treat that special someone to a Valentine’s Day date, the Dayton Art Institute, 456 Belmonte Park North, Dayton, has just the event for you. “Love, Wine & Chocolate,” the latest installment of Vine and Canvas, is presented at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 14. The romantic evening pairs a variety of red wines with specialty chocolates presented by Francoise Labrique Walusis from Madam Delluc Artisan Chocolatier. Cost: $35 in advance for members, $45 nonmembers. All tickets are $50 on the night of the event. Call 937-223-5277 or visit


Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra’s Stained Glass Concerts are part of the Norma Ross Memorial Community Concerts. This outreach series takes maestro Neal Gittleman and the musicians outside of the familiar confines of the Schuster Center for performances in other venues. The next Stained Glass Concert is presented at Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, 2067 N. Gettysburg Ave., Dayton, at 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 11. The program will feature all four movements of Mozart’s “Symphony No. 35” and pieces by John Adams and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. Cost: Free. Visit


Neil Simon’s creative resume is loaded with stories exploring mature romantic relationships such as “The Goodbye Girl” and “California Suite.” The playwright continued down that path with “Last of the Red Hot Lovers.” The comedy follows the exploits of Barney, a nebbish who wants to step out on his long-suffering wife and join the sexual revolution. X*ACT is mounting a new production of “Last of the Red Hot Lovers” directed by Connie Strait, which is presented at Xenia Area Community Theater, 45 E. Second St., Xenia, Friday through Sunday, Feb. 9 through 18. The opening-night gala begins at 6:30 p.m. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Feb. 10, 16 and 17, and 3 p.m. Feb. 18. Cost: $17 general admission, $14 seniors and students. $20 opening night. Call 937-372-0516 or visit

>> Don’t miss this steamy theater production


Last season, Springfield Arts Council presented a sold out tribute to Roy Orbison and the Everly Brothers. The performers from that show are returning to town for “Waylon, Willie, Cash: Outlaws and Highwaymen.” The musical tribute to country outlaws Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash is presented at Kuss Auditorium, Clark State Performing Arts Center, 300 S. Fountain Ave., Springfield, at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10. Cost: $32-$52. Call 937-328-3874 or visit

Benjamin Hale as Johnny Cash and Nic Chamberlain as Willie Nelson bring the spirit of two music legends in Waylon, Willie, Cash: Outlaws and Highwaymen, coming to the Clark State Performing Arts Center on Feb. 10, 2018. CONTRIBUTED(Contributing Writer)

10 reasons to check out A World A’Fair

Published: Monday, May 11, 2015 @ 6:00 AM
Updated: Wednesday, May 16, 2018 @ 4:08 PM

Featured performers at this year's
Featured performers at this year's "A World A'Fair" will be the Tamburitzans, international folk dance performers. Submitted photo.(HANDOUT)

Back for its 45th year, the three-day festival of food, dancing and more culture runs May 18-20, and the weekend is packed full of entertainment and educational offerings that showcase the diverse backgrounds present in the Dayton metro area. If you’re still on the fence about clearing your weekend to go, maybe we can persuade you.

>>PHOTOS: A World A’Fair 

>>The largest international festival in Dayton and Ohio is back for a 45th year— and our bellies are ready

1.🌍It’s arguably the biggest entertainment bang for your buck. At less than $10 at the door for adults and even cheaper for seniors and children under 5 for three days of dancing, a variety of food offerings, and the most creative way to refresh your geography knowledge, we really shouldn’t have to twist your arm on this one.

A scene from 2013's A World A'fair. SCOTT STOLSENBERG/CONTRIBUTED(Scott Stolsenberg/Scott Stolsenberg)

>>The Greene announces new band pavilion 

2.🌍The cultural dances are a must-see. There’s so much you can learn about a new culture through traditional dances, and many local cultural groups put on inspiring displays of grace and strength. Cincinnati-based Lebanese troupe Alhambra brings traditional solo dancing — like belly-dancing — to the festival for the first time, and the world class Kenya Safari Acrobats return to astound you with gravity-defying moves. Check out the entertainment schedule here.

A record-breaking number of attendees were on hand to take in A World A'Fair, May 20-22, at the Dayton Convention Center. (TOM GILLIAM/CONTRIBUTED)(HANDOUT)

3.🌍Learn about a new culture. Are you an eighth Serbian? Maybe your in-laws are South African? A World A’Fair is the perfect event to connect (or reconnect) with a part of your heritage that might have been neglected. Many of the organizations involved have local groups that have great resources for learning languages, dances or just connecting with people.

>>He’s the guy behind the camera. Meet Daytonian of the Week Tom Gilliam.

4.🌍Travel in style with the Beer Passport. Available only on Friday evening, it’s the best way to get your fill of new international brews. Sample 2-ounce brews from 12 countries — from Mexico to Scotland to the Philippines — then vote for your favorite.

A record-breaking number of attendees were on hand to take in A World A'Fair, May 20-22, at the Dayton Convention Center. (TOM GILLIAM/CONTRIBUTED)(HANDOUT)

5.🌍Pet Adoption Fair. The Humane Society of Greater Dayton will be stationed in the lobby, with many of their fun, friendly and furry pets who are available for adoption. Stop by and visit, receive information about how you might adopt, volunteer, donate or otherwise help these wonderful animals in need of good homes.

6.🌍Encourage local youth to embrace their heritage. What’s more adorable than children proudly displaying their families’ culture? The Junior Ambassador pageant for children ages 7-11 takes place Friday night, and is sure to involve lots of cute smiles and tiny dancing feet.

>>NEW FESTIVAL: Adventures Fest to include music, beer, food and fun along the river

7.🌍Bring the whole family. Kids join in on the fun with the Passport program, where they receive a small booklet containing a page for each country/ethnic organization, with a photo from the organization and a question having to do with this year’s festival theme. Take your child to each country’s booth to learn the answer and have their passport stamped for a chance to win a prize. Look for the heart balloon at each booth to find the passport stamper. There’s also a children’s area with activities and games.

8.🌍So. Much. Amazing. Food. Czech pastries. Bratwurst. Baklava. Tiramisu. Tabouli. And of course, the fan favorite, Netherlands’ Appelflappen. Mouth watering yet? Here’s a list of the offerings.

9.🌍Take home souvenirs without leaving your town. Buy some authentic merchandise; tell your friends you actually bought it abroad. How could they ever doubt your claim to have visited Warsaw when they see your Boleslawiec Polish pottery?

10.🌍Preserve Dayton’s melting pot. Attend the festival, and support the preservation of cultures and heritages in the Dayton area. Dayton International Festival, Inc., a non-profit and the main organizer for A World A’Fair, supports a variety of local cultural organizations, which together boost Gem City’s cosmopolitan areas and events year-round.

Colorful costumes add to the excitement at A World A'Fair. Pictured is Troupe Roja. Submitted photo by Scott Stolsenberg.(HANDOUT)


WHAT: A World A’fair 

WHEN: 5 p.m.- 11 p.m. Friday, May 18;11 a.m.- 11 p.m. Saturday, May 19; 11 a.m.- 6 p.m., Sunday, May 20 

WHERE: Dayton Convention Center., 22 E. 5th St., Dayton 


5 reasons to attend the Buckeye BBQ Fest this weekend

Published: Saturday, May 19, 2018 @ 9:08 AM

The award-winning After Hours BBQ, famous for their fall off the bone baby back ribs, are making a return appearance to the Buckeye BBQ Fest. CONTRIBUTED
Contributing Writer
The award-winning After Hours BBQ, famous for their fall off the bone baby back ribs, are making a return appearance to the Buckeye BBQ Fest. CONTRIBUTED(Contributing Writer)

Until a few years ago, the Buckeye BBQ Fest was a competition between Kansas City BBQ culinary artists. That was until the event chairman, Art Mathews, discovered, “The public didn’t care; they just wanted to eat.”

So now, barbecue vendors from around the Midwest converge on Union Square each May to give the public what they want.

While there are several reasons to attend the Buckeye BBQ Fest, we’ll start with …

>> 7 festivals this weekend near Dayton

Kingsgate Logistics Buckeye BBQ Fest will be held on Friday, May 18, and Saturday, May 19, at The Square @ Union Centre in West Chester. CONTRIBUTED(Contributing Writer)


According to Mathews, barbecue vendors typically stick with a festival for a few years and then move on. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be several returning favorites in 2018, such as After Hours BBQ (pork, chicken brisket, and award-winning baby back ribs from Akron), John Johns BBQ (slow-smoked beef brisket, pulled pork, turkey and chicken from Cincinnati), and Pit to Plate (beef brisket, pulled pork and chicken, ribs, and turkey from Mt. Healthy).

Brand new vendors this year include JDZ Fried Ribs, Bob Cha BBQ (beef and pork BBQ and chicken dumplings from Liberty Twp.), and Kuya Ed’s Lechon Atbpa (Filipino-style pork and chicken BBQ from Findlay Market).

To accommodate those who aren’t huge BBQ fans, the fest will also feature several vendors selling hamburgers, hot dogs, metts, Tex Mex, mac and cheese, and sweets like kettle corn, doughnuts, and Kona Ice. Indeed, Mathews conceded that one of the most popular food items — the cherry cobbler from Miss Parolee’s Pies — is not only a non-BBQ item, but a dealbreaker for many returning patrons.

>> The biggest, best food truck events in Dayton in May

>> 20 things to do, see, eat in Cincinnati

The Rotary Club of West Chester/Liberty will host its annual Buckeye BBQ Fest on Friday, May 20 and Saturday, May 21 at The Square @ Union Centre in West Chester Twp.(Greg Lynch)


The fest will be loaded with 120 kegs of beer in 14 different styles. Joining popular and local mainstays like Bud Light, Michelob Ultra, and Yuengling is Hawaii’s Kona Longboard Island Lager, Elysian Brewing’s (Seattle) Space Dust IPA, Shock Top, and craft beer selections from both local (DogBerry, FigLeaf, Municipal Brew Works, MadTree) and national (Breckinridge, Goose Island) breweries.

The fest’s beer garden is an ideal spot to sit and take a small break, with its patio furniture and beer keg tables. Patrons can also select from a wide variety of bottled beer, canned beer and wine.

>> Beer garden added at Buckeye BBQ Fest


The car show is a major part of the Fest. The 35 to 40 cars on display are hand-picked and hail from different classes, primarily the 1960s/70s hot rod/muscle car era.

The highlights are Corvettes, Mustangs, Porsches and Camaros. There will also be a “supercar” class, which includes a vintage British MG, a 1980s Aston Martin, and a 2014 Corvette Stingray convertible.

Awards will be presented at 5:45 p.m. Saturday.

The award-winning blues guitarist, Noah Wotherspoon, will headline the Friday night music lineup at the Buckeye BBQ Fest. CONTRIBUTED(Contributing Writer)


Since the live entertainment at the fest is handled by the Cincy Blues Society, the lineup will consist of award-winning local and regional blues bands.

Noah Wotherspoon (Best Guitarist at the 2015 International Blues Challenge) will headline Friday night, and Johnny Fink and the Intrusion (winner of the 2016 Cincy Blues Challenge and the 2016 Dayton Blues Challenge) will headline Saturday.

The lineup also features popular regional veterans such as Ricky Nye and The SoulFixers and, last but not least, Middletown’s The Beaumonts, who will be giving their final performance at the Buckeye BBQ Fest after 30 years together.


Festival enthusiasts with small children will be relieved to learn they won’t have to sit this one out. The fest features several entertainment options for the kids, including two bouncy houses, a giant Jenga set, a Pop-A-Shot electronic basketball game and, new this year, a giant rock climbing wall.

There will also be a Jungle Island Petting Zoo, featuring exotic animals for the kids to get up close and personal with. They will include a mini-zebu cow, an alpaca, a mini-Shetland pony, a pygmy goat, a large tortoise, axis deer and kangaroos.


When: May 18-19, 5-11 p.m. Friday, noon-11 p.m. Saturday

Where: Square at Union Centre, 9285 Centre Point Drive, West Chester

Cost: No admission cost

More Info:

The largest international festival in Dayton and Ohio is back for a 45th year— and our bellies are ready

Published: Monday, May 14, 2018 @ 6:00 AM

A record-breaking number of attendees were on hand to take in A World A'Fair, May 20-22, at the Dayton Convention Center. (TOM GILLIAM/CONTRIBUTED)
A record-breaking number of attendees were on hand to take in A World A'Fair, May 20-22, at the Dayton Convention Center. (TOM GILLIAM/CONTRIBUTED)(HANDOUT)

It’s that time of year again that Dayton celebrates all the different heritages and cultures that have made our community what it is with the “largest international festival in Ohio.”

>>PHOTOS: Did we see you at last year’s A World A’Fair?

>>A World A’Fair: Dayton has been traveling the world without leaving town for 45 years

The 45th year for ‘A World A’Fair’, organized by the Dayton International Festival, Inc., is set to take place at the Dayton Convention Center on May 18th, 19th and 20th. With over “30,000 people attending in 2016, and almost as many in 2017,” according to, the festival is Dayton Convention Center’s largest event.

>>The BEST festivals we cannot wait for

Jino Manzo preparing Italian sausage and vegetables the 39th annual A World A'Fair held Saturday at the Dayton Convention Center Contributed Photo by Charles Caperton(Charles Caperton)

This year, a total of 34 countries and ethnicities are taking part, either by making authentic cultural cuisine, performing on stage or presenting their own heritage in a colorful and authentic way.

Along with the exciting sights and sounds that will be going on, it’s easy to imagine the mouthwatering aromas that will fill the Convention Center. The international foods at the festival is always one of the most anticipated aspects. Coming hungry is essential for this event. You’ll find foods from Czech pastries, to bratwurst, baklava, tiramisu and tabouli. 

>>NEW FESTIVAL: Adventures Fest to include music, beer, food and fun along the river

For a complete list of organizations and the foods they will be offering, visit


Friday night, there’s a special opportunity to travel the globe with just a beer glass in your hand. The Beer Passport is a Friday night only event, allowing you a 2 oz. sample at 12 different country’s booths— all for $12. Voting for the best beer takes place after participants completed their passports. Tickets are limited to 500 and can be purchased at the event.

A scene from 2013's A World A'fair. SCOTT STOLSENBERG/CONTRIBUTED(Scott Stolsenberg/Scott Stolsenberg)

A World A’Fair is easily the best way to stay in country while experiencing a brand new culture. You can fill your belly with amazing food, bring home “souvenirs” from places you’ve always longed to visit and have a day— or weekend— that you won’t forget. 

Advanced sale tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for ages 6 to 18 and are available until Thursday, May 17th. Tickets are also available at the door for $8 and $5 for ages 6 to 18.


WHAT: A World A’fair

WHEN: 5 p.m.- 11 a.m. Friday, May 18, 11 a.m.- 11 p.m. Saturday, May 19, 11 a.m.- 6 p.m., Sunday, May 20

WHERE: Dayton Convention Center., 22 E. 5th St., Dayton

More than 50 food trucks will serve their finest at HUGE rally and competition this weekend

Published: Monday, May 14, 2018 @ 6:00 AM
Updated: Friday, May 18, 2018 @ 11:46 AM

Food truck rally and competition

Your head might start spinning when you see the lineup for this year’s Miami County Gourmet Food Truck Rally. You will definitely start drooling!

>> The best festivals near Dayton this weekend

>> The best food truck events this month

>>Yellow Cab food truck events 2018

More than 50 trucks are participating in what is one of the tastiest days in the Miami Valley. Favorites like Susie's Big Dipper and Kenny’s Meat Wagon will be flocking to the Miami Country Fairgrounds to dish up their most delicious fare.

>> Zombie Dogz food truck rises from the dead to return to select festivals and special events -- including this one!

Here is a map shared on Facebook by organizers that might help you navigate the grounds:

From 2015: Despite overcast skies and occasional showers, thousands of people turned out to support over 40 vendors at the First Gourmet Food Truck Competition and Rally held at the Miami County Fairgrounds. JIM WITMER/STAFF/FILE(Contributing Writer)

>> You MUST taste this under-the-radar food truck’s crispy, delicious tots for yourself

You can have lunch or dinner or both at this event that helps support the Miami County Agricultural Society. There is free admission and free parking at this event, so there’s nothing keeping you from a belly full of the best Dayton’s food truck scene has to offer. There will be a beer and wine garden. There will also be arts and crafts, a car show and a kiddie tractor pull.

>>Lobster poutine fries? This and a few of our favorite dishes from food truck season

(Kenny's Meat Wagon)

>>3 of the best spring wines to try under $20

These crispy tater tots smothered in cheese, sour cream, chives and barbecue pulled pork are a must-eat food truck treasure from the Crazy Redhead Canteen. CONTRIBUTED

Here is the complete, updated list of participants in this year’s rally:

A Cut Above - Schnitzel & More 

Amaizing Grace Kettle Corn 

Beastro/TD Concession LLC 

California Tri Tip 

Castle Concessions 

Chicago Gyro & Dogs 

Christian Brothers Meat Company 

Claybourne Grill 

Coldstone Creamery - Troy 

Cookie Mayhem 

Crazy Redhead 

Cumberland Kettle Corn 


D Fish D Chicken 

Derfer's Concessions 

Ginniebug Creations 

HillBilly Lemonade Concessions 

Hot Diggity Doggers & More 

Hunger Paynes Food Truck 

Kenny's Meat Wagon 

Kona Ice of Troy 

Lilia's Outside Café 

Long's Concessions 

Marty's Waffles 

McNasty's Great Food Express 

Mike's Family Concessions 

Miller's Homemade Soft Pretzels 

Mo's Barbecue 

Mr. D's 

Nacho Pig 

Niko's Street Eats 

Patriot Grill, Ohio 

Philly Buster 

P-Nuts, Chicken & More 

Raging Bull Wood Fired Pizza 

Rhino's Frozen Yogurt & Soft Serve 

Shannon's Southern Style Sweet Tea 

Smokin Bee Bee Q 

Southern Sisters 

Storypoints Friendly Fork 

Susie's Big Dipper 

Sweet Concessions 

Sweet Tooth Twisted Ice Cream 

Sweets & Meats BBQ 

Thai 1 On 

This Little Swine of Mine 

Tin Roof Mobile Food 

TK's BBQ-N-Fixins, Inc. 

Tortilla Street Food 

Troy Post #43 Baseball 

Wild Fire Pizza 

Zerkle's Food & Concessions 

Zombie Dogz

>>Yeehaw! Did we snap your picture at the Dayton Barbecue Rodeo?


WHAT: Miami County Gourmet Food Truck Rally & Competition.

WHEN: 11 a.m.- 9 p.m. Saturday, May 19

WHERE: Miami County Fairgrounds, 650 N. County Rd., 25A, Troy


INFO: Facebook