On Urban Nights, downtown will be teeming with activity and people ready to enjoy the dining, nightlife, art, music, shopping and housing that can be found only in Dayton. The next free Urban Nights will be held 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, May 11, in downtown, the Oregon Arts District and Wright-Dunbar Business Village.
Click here for a complete performance schedule, map of participating venues, and list of all participating locations’ events and specials.
The Green Street Project, designed to celebrate all things green and promote environmental sustainability, will include interactive and art-making activities for the whole family, exhibits on green technology, games, and more on Main Street, which will be closed between Second and Third streets. The Green Street Project is presented by the Downtown Dayton Partnership, Montgomery County Solid Waste District and PNC Bank. Activities include:
• The Dayton Regional Green 3 Initiative will host fun and educational activities and booths to promote greener and more sustainable practices in the Dayton region.
• The Montgomery County Solid Waste District’s two mascots, Curby the Cardinal and Lucky the Ladybug, will be on hand, as well as its Extreme Recycling trailer.
• The Dayton Art Institute will lead a community art mural-making project using recyclable materials.
• Zoot Theatre Company will demonstrate its larger puppets and visitors will have an opportunity to create masks out of reused and found materials.
• Visitors can ride a segway, courtesy of Dayton Segway Tours; chalk the street; have their picture taken in an open-air photo booth, courtesy of Lift-Off Entertainment; and check out an eco-friendly bus from Greater Dayton RTA and the eco-friendly Buick LaCrosse eAssist, courtesy of Bob Ross Buick.
• The Victoria Theatre Association will provide activities inspired by the Broadway musical Wicked.
Urban Nights visitors can get around the event by participating in Urban Bikes @ Urban Nights, a community ride through downtown that starts at 6 p.m. at Don Crawford Plaza in front of Fifth Third Field. The best way to see as much as possible during Urban Nights is to walk, and many of the destinations are just a short distance from each other. Greater Dayton RTA also will provide free event trolleys to help visitors get around.
As visitors make their way through the Urban Nights action, those locals who are professional and amateur photographers and videographers are encouraged to capture some shots or footage to submit in the 2012 Downtown in Focus photo contest and a new video contest, Downtown on Film. This year’s photo contest will include a category highlighting downtown festivals and events, and the theme for the video contest will be “Summer in the City.” Details for both contests will be announced in early summer, with deadlines in August and winners announced at the Sept. 14 Urban Nights.
Live Entertainment on Six Stages
Roaming performers will entertain visitors throughout downtown and the Oregon Arts District, and stages will be set up throughout the Urban Nights area. A performance schedule follows:
Main Stage: Courthouse Square, sponsored by DP&L
5 to 5:50 p.m. Al Holbrook Band
5:50 to 6:10 p.m. Circle Nerdz (breakdance crew)
6:10 to 7 p.m. Wheels
7 to 7:20 p.m. The Dropbacks (juggling duo)
7:20 to 8:10 p.m. Hey There Morgan
8:10 to 8:30 p.m. Soul Fire Tribe (fire dancers)
8:30 to 10 p.m. TOUCH
Spotlight on Sinclair: Second and Jefferson streets by the Kettering Tower
5:30 to 5:50 p.m. Sinclair Chamber Choir
6 to 6:20 p.m. Sinclair Opera & Musical Theater Ensemble
6:30 to 6:50 p.m. Sinclair “Classical Café”
7 to 7:30 p.m. Sinclair Men’s & Women’s Ensembles
7:30 to 8 p.m. Sinclair Chorale
8 to 8:30 p.m. Sinclair Chamber Choir
8:30 to 9 p.m. Sinclair Gospel Ensemble
9 to 9:30 p.m. Sinclair Men’s Ensemble
9:30 to 10 p.m. Sinclair Gospel Ensemble
Community Stage: Corner of Third and Jefferson streets
Special thanks to Harvey Lehrner, owner of Don’s Pawn Shop, for use of the parking lot.
5 to 7 p.m. Performances by people from the community
7 to 10 p.m. Open call karaoke
MetroParks Pavilion at RiverScape MetroPark: Monument Avenue and Patterson Boulevard
5 to 5:30 p.m. Funklab
5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Okay Lindon
6:30 to 7 p.m. Party Pleasers (DJ)
7 to 8 p.m. Son del Caribe
8 to 8:30 p.m. Party Pleasers (DJ)
8:30 to 10 p.m. Mojo Flo
Live on Five: In the historic Oregon Arts District next to the Trolley Stop
6 to 6:45 p.m. David Burris
7 to 7:45 p.m. White Rabbit Band
8 to 8:45 p.m. Nasty Bingo
9 to 9:45 p.m. Ape the Ghost
Wright Dunbar Entertainment: Third and Williams streets
The Plaza Stage:
5:30 to 9 p.m. Tribute bands featuring the music of Jimi Hendrix, Santana and Bob Marley
6 p.m. Cyrstal Echols and line dancing
7:30 p.m. Big Gil and his Funky All Stars featuring Valeria
Grillin’ & Chillin’ Tent:
5 to 10 p.m. Master G spinning music for the dance tent
Gospel Karaoke Cafe:
5 to 8 p.m. Open mic with music by DJ Jerry Sanders
Art and More for Everyone
In addition to the Green Street Project, several Urban Nights venues will host activities fun for the young and young at heart. Visitors can get their hands dirty at K12 Gallery for Young People/TEJAS,510 E. Third St., by working on the community art project the Xenia Avenue Mosaic Mural. Participants will have their name added to a plaque dedicated to the volunteers who helped with the project.
Garden Station on the corner of Fourth and Wayne will host a Rock Band challenge and an urban putt-putt golf course made of pallets and old tires. The CADC, formerly the Cannery Art and Design Center, will celebrate its grand re-opening in its new location at 35 S. St. Clair St. with art, games and more. My Father’s House Childcare and Learning Center,35 S. Jefferson St., will host entertainment by a clown and offer balloon animals for children and free snow cones. The Dayton Metro Library,215 E. Third St., will offer arts and entertainment for adults and children. At the Dayton Art Institute, 456 Belmonte Park North, visitors can enjoy free parking and family activities.
Tour some of downtown’s historical places during Urban Nights, including The Dayton Woman’s Club,225 N. Ludlow St., a landmark Victorian home circa 1848, and the 107-year-old First Lutheran Church,138 W. First St. Of course, lots of history can be found in the Wright-Dunbar Business Village. Hop on the Wright Flyer trolley and celebrate Dayton’s rich cultural legacy at multiple locations in this historic area along West Third Street between Broadway and Williams streets. Visit the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park and the Wright Bros. Bicycle Shop; visit business open houses; and experience art, poetry, food and live entertainment.
Visitors also can tour Activated Spaces’ Street Level Art Competition. Check out local artists’ displays of works focused on the theme “Naturally Dayton” in windows throughout downtown. Vote for your favorite artist by scanning the QR code in the respective storefront window. The Urban Nights People’s Choice winner will receive gallery space for an exhibition of his or her work at a local gallery or restaurant. Artwork can be viewed at:
• 100 E. Third St.: Bethany Ramsey, Robin Dakin and Amanda Sue Allen
• Talbott Tower, 131 N. Ludlow St.: Philipe Payne, Talia Shade and Spire Arts/Montgomery County Board of Developmental Disabilities Services
• Main Street Garage, corner of Main and First streets: Mikee Huber and John Murphy
• The Biltmore, 210 N. Main St.: Dayton Creative Syndicate
While you’re touring about, check out some of downtown’s living options. The following housing units will be open:
• The Cannery Lofts,500 E. Third St.
• First Place,330 W. First St.
• The Landing,115 W. Monument Ave.
• Litehouse Living at Canal Block,135 N. Patterson Blvd.
• Patterson Square Townhomes,237 E. First St.
• St. Clair Lofts,35 S. St. Clair St.
Grown-Ups’ Night Out
For those families who’d rather drop off the kids before exploring Urban Nights, Mini University at Miami Valley Hospital, 28 Hill St., and Montgomery County’s Mini University, 40 Vista View Dr., will offer discounted childcare. Care will be offered from 6 to 11 p.m., which includes dinner, for $30 per child or $50 for two children. All teachers have been fingerprinted and have completed background checks. Children must be pre-registered; call and reserve a spot at 224-3916.
And for those who’d like to get an early start on Urban Nights ― or stay late ― several venues will host events that fit the bill. The Crowne Plaza Hotel’s Stars Lounge will host “Start and Finish,” a dinner event to bookend Urban Nights, in the rooftop restaurant and lounge. From 4 to 6 p.m., enjoy a happy hour buffet of hors d’oeuvres, free to all bar guests. Join the “10 O’Clock Cast Party” from 10 p.m. to midnight for half-priced light dinners, including burgers, sandwiches and wings. In addition, the bars, restaurants and nightclubs in the Oregon Arts District and throughout downtown will keep the Urban Nights party going past 10 p.m. Click here for a complete list of downtown’s nightlife hotspots.
A weekend-long event also will open during Urban Nights and continue after the event ends. The Dayton Circus Creative Collective will host its seventh annual multimedia arts event, Sideshow 7, at the Yellow Cab building, 700 E. Fourth St. This two-day multimedia arts and music extravaganza includes an event after-party until 1 a.m.
Shop for a variety of one-of-a-kind items, such as original artwork; used and vintage clothing, furniture, records and books; gift items and much more. More than 20 stores downtown will offer sales and special events. Be sure to visit the new Pop-Up Shops:
• American π, 37 S. St. Clair St.: This gift and accessories boutique carries items made in the United States, including handbags, greeting cards, candles and food items.
• Arin 27 S. St. Clair St.: Shop owner and jewelry designer Brooke Medlin collaborates with Dayton’s creatives to showcase beautifully designed goods for self and home, along with Medlin’s line of jewelry. Visitors will be able to watch the creation process in action at Arin’s on-site studio.
• Vintage Barbershop 110 W. Fifth St.: This old-school, classic barbershop offers haircuts, hot steam towel shaves, facials and more.
Of course, all this running is bound to make a person hungry ― and thirsty. More than 30 downtown restaurants, taverns, coffee shops and nightclubs will get into the Urban Nights spirit by offering themed drinks and menu items, special discounts, hosting arts events, and more. For example, look for volunteers from the City of Dayton’s Sister Cities outside Boulevard Haus, 329 E. Fifth St.; check out brewing demos at Press, 257 Wayne Ave.; try one of the more than 60 bourbons and view an exhibit of sculptures by artist Ron Hundt at The Century Bar,10 S. Jefferson St.; try a pint from a firkin of craft beer at Lucky’s Taproom & Eatery,520 E. Fifth St.; and enjoy music by Puzzle of Light at Jay’s Seafood, 225 E. Sixth St.
Urban Nights is presented by the Downtown Dayton Partnership, Montgomery County and the City of Dayton, with additional support from PNC Bank, Montgomery County Solid Waste District, DP&L, Greater Dayton RTA, Bud Light Lime, the Downtown Priority Board, Sinclair Community College, Mix 107.7-FM and the Ohio Arts Council.
Follow Urban Nights on Facebook at www.facebook.com/UrbanNightsDayton for regular updates and more information or call 937-224-1518.