Downtown’s next free First Friday art hop will be held from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, July 6. RiverScape MetroPark and the Oregon District will play host to two special First Friday events: the First Friday @ 5 concert series and the Call of the Tropics Festival.
RiverScape MetroPark hosts the second concert in the First Friday @ 5 concert series, with Hey There Morgan performing from 5 to 7:30 p.m. The park’s concession stand will be open and beer will be sold from 5 to 7 p.m. MetroParks employees will demonstrate various kayaking skills on the river and free kayak rentals will be available, courtesy of Cox Media Group Ohio, and free bike rentals will be available as well, courtesy of AAA. The First Friday @ 5 concert series is sponsored by Five Rivers MetroParks, Clear Channel Radio, Bud Light Lime and the Downtown Dayton Partnership.
Call of the Tropics, a festival celebrating Tiki culture presented by the Fraternal Order of Moai’s Kon-Tiki chapter, will host a block party in the Oregon District from 5 to 10 p.m. Live surf and rockabilly bands will perform, including the Nick Kizirnis Band, Crazy Joe and the Mad River Outlaws, Team Void, and Cherry Lee and the Daddy Katz. The festival also will include Tiki carvers, street performers, hot rod displays and vendors. An exhibition of Tiki art will be displayed at Color of Energy gallery.
For parents who would like to enjoy First Friday without kids in tow, Mini University, located adjacent to Miami Valley Hospital at 28 Hill St., will offer discounted prices during First Friday. Childcare is offered from 6 to 11 p.m., and a light meal will be provided, along with plenty of fun entertainment. Reservations are required and will be accepted through June 29. Call 224-3916.
July’s First Friday offers plenty of new exhibitions and gallery openings to check out. H. David Clay Studio, 33 S. St. Clair St, and the CADC, 35 S. St. Clair St., will feature a variety of works by multiple artists. Color of Energy, 16 Brown St., will host the opening reception for the Call of the Tropics art exhibition, featuring locally and nationally known Tiki artists and carvers. From 5 to 8p.m., the Dayton Society of Painters and Sculptors, 48 High St., will exhibit an eclectic show of artwork from more than 80 DSPS members. Acoustic guitarists Charlie Emmerich and Jonathan Besecker will perform from 6 to 7 p.m. Blue Sky Project, will host two new art shows. Abstract work by Katherine Mann will be exhibited at 8 N. Main St., with performance art by Mann and choreographer Rodney Veal. The 33 N. Main St. space will show “At Table,” a collection of photographs by Glenna Jennings.
The Dayton Visual Arts Center, 118 N. Jefferson St., will feature karaoke and cornhole games during the exhibition of “Drawing Marathon,” a collection of work by various artists from 5 to 8 p.m. The opening of “Contemplations – Post-Modern Landscapes,” by Wisconsin mixed-media artist Jay Batista, will be held at Gallery 510 Fine Art, 510 E. Fifth St. A meet and greet with the artist will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Work by students from St. Anthony’s School will be exhibited at K12 Gallery for Young People and a display of mixed-media art will be show in the gallery’s TEJAS space at 510 E. Third St.
If you’re in the mood for even more music after the First Friday @ 5 concert, you’re in luck. Many downtown venues will be hosting live bands during First Friday. Blind Bob’s, 430 E. Fifth St., will have live music beginning at 9 p.m., featuring Brian Wilkinson, the Dirty Socialites, Brandon Hawk and Jamy Holiday. Canal Street Tavern, 308 E. First St., will host the The Rolling Stones vs. Beatles English Invasion Tribute, featuring Miss Lissa and Company, Ambiant Drive, Citizens Unrest and others. Doors open at 8 p.m. and the concert begins at 9 p.m., with a $5 cover. “Feel Good Fridays” take place at De’Lish Café, 139 N. Main St., with top-shelf drink specials from 6 to 8 p.m., as well as live jazz by the Wade Baker Quartet from 9 p.m. to midnight. $5 cover.
Garden Station, 509 E. Fourth St., will feature local artists performing protest-themed music for Protest in the Park from 7 to 10 p.m. Jay’s Seafood, 225 E. Sixth St., will host music by Puzzle of Light at 9 p.m., and Omega Music, 318 E. Fifth St., will have live music beginning at 7 p.m. Bring your receipt from Basho Apparel to Omega and receive 15 percent off your purchase. Trolley Stop, 530 E. Fifth St., also will have live music beginning at 9:30 p.m. Remixx Lounge, 146 E. Third St., will have two-for-one martini specials during performances by Donnell Woods, Yvette “Diva” Williams and DJ Night at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Click here to purchase tickets.
Work up an appetite
Get your night started by grabbing a bite to eat at a downtown restaurant. Franco’s Ristorante Italiano, 824 E. Fifth St., Smokin’ Bar-B-Que, 200 E. Fifth St., and Uno Chicago Grill, 126 N. Main St., will offer 10 percent off food during First Friday. Thai 9, 11 Brown St., Coco’s Bistro, 515 Wayne Ave., feature 15 percent off food. Sa-Bai, 200 S. Jefferson St., also has 15 percent off food as well as a $5 Long Island Iced Tea. Dublin Pub, 300 Wayne Ave., will have no cover and 20 percent off food.
Lucky’s Taproom and Eatery, 520 E. Fifth St., will have dinner specials, along with the special tapping of a firkin of craft beer. Mr. Hyman’s Fine Dining, 40 N. Main St. Lobby, features a $10 all-you-can-eat buffet and live jazz. Olive, an urban dive, 416 E. Third St., will serve Jeni’s Ice Cream and broadcast Rev. Cool’s “Around the Fringe” show on 91.3 WYSO-FM. Oregon Express, 336 E. Fifth St., will have a happy-hour band and half-price pizza from 4 to 8 p.m., with additional live music at 9:30 p.m. Deaf Monty’s Wine, 22 Brown St., features 6-ounce glasses of red or white wine for $5. The Vault, 20 N. Jefferson St., will have an extended happy hour until 10 p.m., with a live band and free food.
Entertainment for the whole family
From climbing to comedy, downtown has plenty of entertainment options on First Friday. The Ghosts, Cemeteries and Murders Walk of Downtown Dayton will begin at 7 p.m. at Courthouse Square. All walks are $10 per person, and advance reservations are required. Contact tour guide Leon Bey at 274-4749 or email email@example.com. The monthly Courteous Mass Ride will meet at 5:15 p.m. for a ride through the city at Don Crawford Plaza in front of Fifth Third Field, 220 N. Patterson Blvd.
Urban Krag, 125 Clay St., will have its climbing gym open until 11 p.m. The Yellow Cab Building, 400 E. Fourth St., will host a Hip Hop Art and Dance Show, featuring students of the Funk Lab and an exhibition of art inspired by hip hop culture from 5 to 11 p.m. The all-ages event will feature a tagging wall to learn and practice graffiti skills, and refreshments will be provided. Victoria Theatre, 138 N. Main St., will show the 1962 film “The Birdman of Alcatraz,” part of the theater’s Cool Films Series at 7:30 p.m. Free popcorn and soda served starting at 6:30 p.m. Tickets cost $5 and can be bought at the door. Wiley’s Comedy Niteclub, 101 Pine St., will host the second of the four-night Wiley’s Comedy Contest, showcasing up-and-coming comedians at 8 p.m.; tickets cost $3. The Neon, 130 E. Fifth St., will have films running during First Friday. Call 222-SHOW (7469) for films and show times.
Downtown summer sales
Retail shops will be featuring sales and specials throughout First Friday. Amore! Designer Consignment Boutique, 16 Brown St., will debut new summer apparel. Basho Apparel, 521 E. Fifth St., will feature 15 percent off to anyone who brings in their receipt from Omega Music. Beaute Box, 116 W. Fifth St., will feature free makeup lessons for visitors. Clash Consignments, 113 E. Third St., will have a sale on select items and live music. Feathers Vintage Clothing, 440 E. Fifth St., and Jimmy Modern, 605 E. Fifth St. will both be broadcasting Rev. Cool’s “Around the Fringe” show on 91.3 WYSO-FM. Hangar18, 114 N. St. Clair St., will feature 15 percent off all items. Peace on Fifth, 519 E. Fifth St., will have a fair-trade food tasting. ReCreate, 438 E. Fifth St., will have a sale on select items, including new and used instruments, other music-related items, and original artwork.
First Friday is presented by the Downtown Dayton Partnership with support from the Oregon District Business Association, the Ohio Arts Council and WYSO-FM 91.3. The Downtown Dayton Partnership’s website has a complete list of downtown’s arts and cultural amenities, as well as a dining guide, parking map and much more.