Holly Days returns to Dayton Arcade following 30-year absence

A tradition that has been gone for nearly 30 years is back as the Dayton Arcade will celebrate the return of Holly Days.

Rows of Artisan vendors and soon to be live performances. It’s really a flashback of what used to be at the Dayton Arcade.

Lisa Hanson, President and CEO of Culture Works said, “It went dormant and now the giant has awoken.”

>> Holly Days returning to Dayton after nearly 30 years

The last time Holly Days was at the Dayton Arcade was in 1993.

“It used to be a tradition around the holiday time when the Arcade was alive and thriving,” Hanson said.

She said the Arcade has a long history of being a marketplace.

“Local Artisans and food vendors would come, and the community would gather, and we are thrilled to be able to bring that back,” Hanson said.

Bill Perry, Development Manager for Culture Works, said, “Its really great to able to shop local. Some of them are artistic, some are food-driven.”

Holly Days will feature more than 30 local vendors. More than half of them are women-owned businesses.

Heather “Heady” Riegle, owner of Heady Riegle Studio Limited, said, “I wasn’t around the Dayton area when this was in its heyday, but seeing all the work that they’ve been putting into it over the last few years, I’m really excited.”

>> Dayton Arcade, local art on display at Art in the City

Heady, one of the vendors at Holly Days, said her business took a hit during the pandemic.

“It’s been really hard since the pandemic hit. Been at the Second Street Market since 2014. That market closed for 16 months,” Riegle said.

Holly Days is the first free open-to-the-public event at the Dayton Arcade since it’s relaunching.

“It’s got that vibe that it did 100 years ago when it was a market, and to be able to bring back some of that history in 2021 is amazing. But, also to give it that modern twist that shows we are a community all about innovation and how we’ve grown and how we’ve changed, especially in the face of what’s been a very rough 18 months,” Perry said.

Holly Days can be checked out Wednesday and Thursday from 3-8 p.m. It’s free for everyone.

Comments on this article