Dayton Arcade opens to public during downtown festival this weekend

DAYTON, Ohio — The first chance for most of us to get a look at the brand-new Dayton Arcade comes this weekend as part of a huge downtown arts festival.

The HUB, a collaboration of UD and The Entrepreneur’s Center, has been open for a few months, but now more public space is being unveiled.

The decades of waiting are over, all of us, this weekend have a chance to see what the refurbished Arcade facility looks like.

Lisa Hanson, President and CEO of Culture Works, said, “No. We can’t let this go away. We need to be able to stand in this space.”

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It’s been a dream for 30 years for Dayton residents and community leaders. But, it often seemed like it wouldn’t ever happen; however, city leaders refused to demolish the nine building complex and then finally uncovered the right developer and chain of funding to transform a building often called the heartbeat of Dayton.

“It’s a testament to our resiliency. It’s Dayton Strong. We really are strong. Always a city of innovation, imagination, and strength,” Hanson said.

Hanson said she’s helping make the public viewing of the Arcade happen during a huge downtown cultural festival.

“We asked them to reserve a sport so we could move through comfortable but we’re not turning anyone away. We’ll have a standby line,” Hanson said.

The Art in the City Festival runs all day Saturday. The Arcade tours are from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. And, even if you don’t have a ticket, you can get in line on the Fourth Street side to experience a timed tour in groups of 50.

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Hanson said, “The public will get to see the parts still under construction. The North Arcade is the next part of the project.” She continued, “People are so excited that it’s here. They can come in and experience it in a new way.”

The festival has always been called the Dayton Arts Festival. However, this year, it’s being referred to as the Dayton Arcade Festival – all part of reintroducing this facility to the community.

The festival will bring more than 350 artists of all kinds from booths and performance spaces across downtown from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday.

Several roads will be closed from RiverScape to the Levitt Pavilion and food trucks will also be on hand.