Fun in the sun: A guide to your favorite Miami Valley summer festivals

Centerville’s Americana Festival parade makes its way down West Franklin Street. The festival, which was expected to draw over 75,000 people, featured the parade with over 120 units, a 5K run, a street fair and fireworks. LISA POWELL / STAFF
Caption
Centerville’s Americana Festival parade makes its way down West Franklin Street. The festival, which was expected to draw over 75,000 people, featured the parade with over 120 units, a 5K run, a street fair and fireworks. LISA POWELL / STAFF

Just in time for summer, COVID-19 restrictions have been loosened across the country, giving many festivalgoers hope that their favorite large gatherings will be back on this year.

In the past few decades, the Miami Valley has been a haven for fun summer festivals, including the Troy Strawberry Festival, Dayton Celtic Festival and Centerville’s Americana Festival. Though some of the area’s summer festivals have been canceled, many are still being held at full capacity or with some COVID-restrictions.

So, to ensure that you have the chance to attend your favorite festivals this summer, we have put together a guide detailing which summer festivals are not taking place this year, and, more important, which summer festivals are taking place.

For those who wish to add their festivals to this list, please e-mail Ashley Moor at ashley.moor@coxinc.com.

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🔆Dayton Pride Parade & Festival

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual Dayton Pride Parade, hosted by the Greater Dayton LGBT Center, was reinvented as a reverse parade where the spectators drove down E. Second St. in downtown Dayton between Patterson Blvd. and Main St. to view static displays set up by the performers, sponsors and non-profits. Originally scheduled for June 6, 2020, the reverse parade was held on Saturday morning, August 22, 2020. Did we spot you there? TOM GILLIAM/CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
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Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual Dayton Pride Parade, hosted by the Greater Dayton LGBT Center, was reinvented as a reverse parade where the spectators drove down E. Second St. in downtown Dayton between Patterson Blvd. and Main St. to view static displays set up by the performers, sponsors and non-profits. Originally scheduled for June 6, 2020, the reverse parade was held on Saturday morning, August 22, 2020. Did we spot you there? TOM GILLIAM/CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Typically taking place over the first weekend of June, the Dayton Pride Parade & Festival is part of a nationwide celebration commemorating the 1969 Stonewall Riots and LGBTQ pride. The event features a parade and festival.

Status: It’s on! The Greater Dayton LGBT Center will host an in-person pride celebration on Friday, June 4 and Saturday, June 5 with a performance by the Rubi Girls, Reverse Parade and plenty of vendors in downtown Dayton. For information about the Dayton Pride Parade & Festival can be found by visiting its website.

🔆Troy Strawberry Festival

The annual Troy Strawberry Festival draws huge crowds to downtown Troy and the Great Miami River levee each June. Contributed photo. CONTRIBUTED
Caption
The annual Troy Strawberry Festival draws huge crowds to downtown Troy and the Great Miami River levee each June. Contributed photo. CONTRIBUTED

Attendees of the Troy Strawberry Festival look forward to the plethora of strawberry donuts, live entertainment, local vendors and more at this annual event.

Status: Canceled. The 2021 Troy Strawberry Festival, originally scheduled to take place over the first weekend of June, was canceled due to coronavirus concerns. However, the city of Troy is planning to host a much smaller version of the event, called the Strawberry Jam, in downtown Troy. The event will include live music on Prouty Stage and a small collection of food vendors on Friday, June 4 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday, June 5 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

🔆St. Christopher Festival

For over 60 years, the St. Christopher Parish in Vandalia has hosted the St. Christopher Festival, an event featuring carnival rides, food, family-friendly activities, gambling and more.

Status: Postponed. The event is set to be held June 10-12, 2022.

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🔆Jewish Cultural Festival

A new drive-thru event, the Taste of the Jewish Cultural Festival Purim Edition was held on Friday, April 16, 2021 at Temple Israel, located at 130 Riverside Dr. in downtown Dayton. This was the first of three drive-thru events held in lieu of the annual Jewish Cultural Festival, which was canceled for the second straight year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Did we spot you there? TOM GILLIAM/CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
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A new drive-thru event, the Taste of the Jewish Cultural Festival Purim Edition was held on Friday, April 16, 2021 at Temple Israel, located at 130 Riverside Dr. in downtown Dayton. This was the first of three drive-thru events held in lieu of the annual Jewish Cultural Festival, which was canceled for the second straight year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Did we spot you there? TOM GILLIAM/CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Each summer, Temple Israel in Dayton has celebrated Jewish art, food and rituals with the Jewish Cultural Festival.

Status: It’s on! This year, Temple Israel is hosting the Taste of the Jewish Cultural Festival as a series of three drive-thru events from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. April 16, May 14 and June 11. Each drive-thru event will be centered around one specific holiday or aspect of Judaism, which will be represented in food, education, interactive crafts, projects, live entertainment and merchandise. More information about the festival can be found by visiting its website.

🔆Lebanon Country Music Festival

Kentucky-based country/gospel band Pistol Holler performs at last year’s Lebanon Music Festival. The group will return this weekend for the festival’s second year. CONTRIBUTED
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Kentucky-based country/gospel band Pistol Holler performs at last year’s Lebanon Music Festival. The group will return this weekend for the festival’s second year. CONTRIBUTED

This popular country music festival on Main Street in Lebanon features performances by country musicians, family-friendly activities and the chance to shop at the unique retailers in the area.

Status: It’s on! This year, the festival will be held Friday, June 11 and Saturday, June 12 and is set to feature musical acts like 9Eight Central and Jessie Lyn & the TNT Band. More information about the event can be found by visiting its Facebook page.

🔆St. Helen Spring Festival

The St. Helen Spring Festival in Riverside celebrated its 66th year June 7-9, 2019. And this year, the festival was even more special in that it will be giving back some of the proceeds that support the church to help with tornado relief efforts. The festival is famous for its big cash raffle prizes, music, rides, craft beer and delicious food including cabbage rolls and barbecue. Did we spot you there? DAVID MOODIE/CONTRIBUTED
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The St. Helen Spring Festival in Riverside celebrated its 66th year June 7-9, 2019. And this year, the festival was even more special in that it will be giving back some of the proceeds that support the church to help with tornado relief efforts. The festival is famous for its big cash raffle prizes, music, rides, craft beer and delicious food including cabbage rolls and barbecue. Did we spot you there? DAVID MOODIE/CONTRIBUTED

Credit: DAVID MOODIE/CONTRIBUTED

Credit: DAVID MOODIE/CONTRIBUTED

This carnival-style festival, hosted by the St. Helen Parish in Riverside, has ushered in a season of fun summer activities for years with its carnival rides, food and family-friendly activities.

Status: Canceled. “It has become abundantly clear that due to the size of our festival and the number of people it attracts, there is no viable solution to ensure the health and safety of our community patrons and volunteers,” organizers said in a statement released on the festival’s website. The event was originally scheduled June 11-13. Currently, the St. Helen Parish is planning to host a drive-thru version of the event with food and a raffle.

🔆Banana Split Festival

ajc.com

Credit: Tom Gilliam

The city of Wilmington celebrates the banana split with a festival during the second weekend of June with old-fashioned games, rides, a classic car cruise-in, unique food booths, and, of course, a make-your-own banana split booth.

Status: Postponed. Organizers have made tentative plans to host the festival in 2022.

🔆Celtic Fest Ohio

Authentic Irish music, dance and food were featured at the Celtic Fest Ohio in Waynesville this past weekend, June 16-17, 2018. Patrons enjoyed historic and heritage-filled events from viking encampment reenactments to beloved musicians to Guinness (lots of Guinness) to food trucks.
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Authentic Irish music, dance and food were featured at the Celtic Fest Ohio in Waynesville this past weekend, June 16-17, 2018. Patrons enjoyed historic and heritage-filled events from viking encampment reenactments to beloved musicians to Guinness (lots of Guinness) to food trucks.

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

This popular festival takes place on the Ohio Renaissance Fairgrounds in Waynesville and features live bands, Scottish and Irish dancers, plenty of delicious food and other interesting entertainment.

Status: It’s on! The Celtic Fest Ohio will be held Saturday, June 19 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. at the Ohio Renaissance Fairgrounds in Waynesville. Attendees will have the opportunity to browse aisles of unique shopping, food and live entertainment. More information about the event can be found by visiting its website.

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🔆Waynesville Street Faire

The city of Waynesville hosts its annual Waynesville Street Faire, which includes plenty of unique shopping opportunities, a free book swap, cruise-in and other community-wide activities, each summer.

Status: It’s on! The Waynesville Street Faire will be held on Main Street in Waynesville on Saturday, June 19, Saturday, July 17, Saturday, Aug. 14 and Saturday, Sept. 11. More information about the event can be found by visiting its Facebook page.

🔆Yellow Springs June Street Fair

There’s always plenty of fun stuff to see at Yellow Springs Street Fair. CONTRIBUTED
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There’s always plenty of fun stuff to see at Yellow Springs Street Fair. CONTRIBUTED

The Yellow Springs June Street Fair showcases the best of the city with local food, vendors and entertainment in downtown Yellow Springs.

Status: Canceled. However, the city hopes to host the October installment of their street fair.

🔆Dayton Jazz Festival

The Dayton Funk Festival, a free event that followed in the tradition of Dayton’s  jazz, blues, and reggae festivals, took place from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 11, at Levitt Pavilion in downtown Dayton. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
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The Dayton Funk Festival, a free event that followed in the tradition of Dayton’s jazz, blues, and reggae festivals, took place from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 11, at Levitt Pavilion in downtown Dayton. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

For the past few years, the city of Dayton has hosted the Dayton Jazz Festival, an event in which jazz musicians come together to perform in downtown Dayton.

Status: The Downtown Dayton Partnership has estimated this event will take place sometime in June.

🔆Lights in Flight Festival and Fireworks Show

The city of Dayton’s fireworks show and annual celebration of the Declaration of Independence typically attracts more than 50,000 visitors to downtown Dayton each year.

Status: It’s on! This Fourth of July celebration will be held from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, July 3. The fireworks show will light up the sky at Riverscape MetroPark at 10 p.m. More information about the fireworks show and festival can be found by visiting the Downtown Dayton Partnership’s website.

🔆Americana Festival

Americana Festival officials are preparing for the event this year that was cancelled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. FILE
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Americana Festival officials are preparing for the event this year that was cancelled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. FILE

Credit: FILE

Credit: FILE

The city of Centerville celebrates the Fourth of July with a fireworks display, 5K run, parade, street fair, auto show, family-friendly activities, food and more on South Main Street in Centerville.

Status: It’s on! Centerville’s Americana Festival will be held on Monday, July 5. Find more information about the Americana Festival by paying a visit to its website.

🔆Dayton Celtic Festival

Dayton Celtic Fest was held on July 27-29, 2018 in downtown Dayton. Celtic music and dance, beer and food are the stars of one of Dayton's signature festivals of summer. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
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Dayton Celtic Fest was held on July 27-29, 2018 in downtown Dayton. Celtic music and dance, beer and food are the stars of one of Dayton's signature festivals of summer. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

This popular celebration of Celtic heritage usually features live music, delicious food and family-friendly activities at RiverScape MetroPark in downtown Dayton.

Status: Canceled. Organizers blamed late-lifting COVID-19 restrictions and issues abroad in an announcement posted May 26 on the festival’s website. “We find that due to the late lifting of restrictions we are unable to present the same caliber event we have proudly produced these past two decades,” the United Irish of Dayton Inc. posted online. “We are unable to secure any international artists due to the ongoing worldwide pandemic, unable to provide imported beers at sufficient quantity, unable to present a full cultural area, unable to provide whiskey tastings and unable to create the required new festival layout needed due to significant construction taking place at our festival site.”

The festival is set to return July 29-July 31, 2022. Meanwhile, organizers said they will host smaller events at various locations in downtown Dayton. The smaller events will be called the Dayton Celtic “Knot” Festival, with more details to be announced later.

🔆Dayton Blues Festival

August 4. The festival will showcase eight blues bands, a Classic Car Show, the Red Hot Blues Run and more. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
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August 4. The festival will showcase eight blues bands, a Classic Car Show, the Red Hot Blues Run and more. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Credit: HANDOUT

Credit: HANDOUT

The Dayton Blues Festival features performances by several blues musicians as a part of Levitt Pavilion’s Downtown Summer Music Series.

Status: Levitt Pavilion has yet to set a date for this festival, which is set to take place sometime in July.

🔆Germanfest Picnic

Prost! The 37th Annual Germanfest Picnic Lite was held at the Dayton Liederkranz-Turner German Club in Dayton's St. Anne's Hill Historic District from Friday, August 14th through Sunday, August 16, 2020. Even though the full festival couldn't be held at RiverScape MetroPark due to the COVID-19 pandemic, German food and beer were enjoyed by guests in two tents with socially distanced tables. The festival's signature food, beer and merchandise were available via a new online ordering option with the choice of carryout or curbside pickup which received an overwhelming response from the community. Did we spot you at the Kranz? TOM GILLIAM/CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
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Prost! The 37th Annual Germanfest Picnic Lite was held at the Dayton Liederkranz-Turner German Club in Dayton's St. Anne's Hill Historic District from Friday, August 14th through Sunday, August 16, 2020. Even though the full festival couldn't be held at RiverScape MetroPark due to the COVID-19 pandemic, German food and beer were enjoyed by guests in two tents with socially distanced tables. The festival's signature food, beer and merchandise were available via a new online ordering option with the choice of carryout or curbside pickup which received an overwhelming response from the community. Did we spot you at the Kranz? TOM GILLIAM/CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Those who have an appreciation for German cuisine and culture have shown up to this annual festival by the thousands in past years. The annual event, hosted by the Dayton Liederkranz Turner German Club, features German food, beer and live entertainment.

Status: It’s on! Last year, the Dayton Liederkranz Turner German Club hosted a more COVID-friendly version of the event, and this year, the club plans on going full steam ahead with an in-person celebration of German culture from Friday, August 13 to Sunday, August 15 at Historic St. Anne’s Hill. More information about the event can be found by visiting the Dayton Liederkranz Turner German Club’s website.

🔆St. Brigid Parish Festival

This popular carnival-style festival is organized by the St. Brigid Parish in Xenia each summer. The event features carnival rides, food and other family-friendly entertainment.

Status: It’s on! The St. Brigid Parish Festival will be held on Aug. 13, 14 and 15 at St. Brigid Parish in Xenia. More information about the St. Brigid Parish Festival can be found by visiting its website.

🔆Potatoes N’ Such: Dayton Potato Festival

This brand new festival is a celebration of the ever-versatile potato.

Status: It’s on! The event is currently set to take place on Saturday, Aug. 14 from noon to 8 p.m. at Courthouse Square in downtown Dayton. More details will be announced on the event’s Facebook page.

🔆Dayton Porchfest

The 3rd annual Dayton Porchfest celebrated Dayton’s rich and diverse music scene, with more than 50 local musicians and bands covering funk, blues, indie rock, jazz, classical, country,  and bluegrass. The free event, presented by The Collaboratory, took place in the family-friend environment of St. Anne's Hill historic neighborhood. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
Caption
The 3rd annual Dayton Porchfest celebrated Dayton’s rich and diverse music scene, with more than 50 local musicians and bands covering funk, blues, indie rock, jazz, classical, country, and bluegrass. The free event, presented by The Collaboratory, took place in the family-friend environment of St. Anne's Hill historic neighborhood. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

This festival features free concerts held on porches throughout the St. Anne’s Hill neighborhood in Dayton.

Status: It’s on! Dayton Porchfest will be held on Saturday, Aug. 21 from 1:30-7 p.m. in the St. Anne’s Hill neighborhood. More information about Dayton Porchfest can be found by visiting its website.

🔆ARTFest on Main

Over a hundred artists convene in Springboro for ARTFest on Main, a fine arts festival featuring artistic activities, live music, beer, wine, food and more.

Status: It’s on! ARTFest on Main will be held Saturday, Aug. 28 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Springboro Historic District. More information about ARTFest on Main can be found by visiting its Facebook page.

🔆Dayton Funk Festival

Dayton’s Funk Fest celebrates the city’s musical contributions to popular funk music with performances by funk musicians.

Status: The Levitt Pavilion has yet to set a date in August for the Dayton Funk Festival.

🔆AleFest Dayton

Dayton Beer Week culminated with the 20th annual AleFest on Saturday, Aug. 25, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Dayton Convention Center in downtown Dayton. 
More than 300 curated and hand-selected craft beers were featured at this year’s AleFest including 130 international options. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
Caption
Dayton Beer Week culminated with the 20th annual AleFest on Saturday, Aug. 25, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Dayton Convention Center in downtown Dayton. More than 300 curated and hand-selected craft beers were featured at this year’s AleFest including 130 international options. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

AleFest Dayton celebrates unique beers and food from the Miami Valley and beyond.

Status: An exact date has yet to be determined for August 2021.

🔆Dayton African American Cultural Festival

Scene from the annual Dayton African American Cultural Festival at Riverscape in downtown Dayton on Saturday, August 24, 2013. BARBARA J. PERENIC FILE PHOTO/STAFF
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Scene from the annual Dayton African American Cultural Festival at Riverscape in downtown Dayton on Saturday, August 24, 2013. BARBARA J. PERENIC FILE PHOTO/STAFF

Credit: Barbara J. Perenic

Credit: Barbara J. Perenic

The Dayton African American Cultural Festival promotes the art, education and health of African American people with hands-on activities, entertainment and health screenings.

Status: A date has yet to be set for the festival, which is set to take place in August.

🔆Dayton Greek Festival

The 62nd Annual Dayton Greek Festival became the Greek Fest Express, a drive-thru only event featuring the signature foods of the festival due to COVID-19 restrictions for large gatherings. Held from Friday, September 11th through Sunday, September 13th, 2020 at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Dayton's Grafton Hill neighborhood, the drive thru version of the festival was an overwhelming success. Here's a look at the drive-thru operation and gyro making process at the outdoor grilling area. TOM GILLIAM/CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
Caption
The 62nd Annual Dayton Greek Festival became the Greek Fest Express, a drive-thru only event featuring the signature foods of the festival due to COVID-19 restrictions for large gatherings. Held from Friday, September 11th through Sunday, September 13th, 2020 at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Dayton's Grafton Hill neighborhood, the drive thru version of the festival was an overwhelming success. Here's a look at the drive-thru operation and gyro making process at the outdoor grilling area. TOM GILLIAM/CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

As summer nears its end, the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church hosts its annual Dayton Greek Festival. The popular local event features Greek food, pastries, wine, dancing, church tours and a specialty boutique store.

Status: Yet to be determined by organizers of the Dayton Greek Festival. More information can be found by visiting the event’s website.

🔆Hispanic Heritage Festival

The Latin American and Caribbean UniDiversity Festival takes place Sept. 21 from 5:30 to 9 p.m. in the Oxford Uptown Parks. This festival, which kicks off Oxford’s observance of the month-long National Hispanic/Latino Heritage Month, will include Caribbean, Colombian, Mexican, Panamanian from food trucks, as well as local chefs. FILE PHOTO
Caption
The Latin American and Caribbean UniDiversity Festival takes place Sept. 21 from 5:30 to 9 p.m. in the Oxford Uptown Parks. This festival, which kicks off Oxford’s observance of the month-long National Hispanic/Latino Heritage Month, will include Caribbean, Colombian, Mexican, Panamanian from food trucks, as well as local chefs. FILE PHOTO

Latin music and food abound at this celebration of Hispanic heritage at RiverScape MetroPark in downtown Dayton.

Status: A date is still not set for the Hispanic Heritage Festival, which is tentatively set to take place in September.

🔆Dayton Art Institute’s Oktoberfest

The Dayton Art Institute has launched Virtual Oktoberfest 2020. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS /DAYTON ART INSTITUTE
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The Dayton Art Institute has launched Virtual Oktoberfest 2020. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS /DAYTON ART INSTITUTE

The Dayton Art Insitute celebrates its own version of Oktoberfest with German food, beer, live entertainment and merchandise. The Oktoberfest event is the Dayton Art Institute’s largest fundraiser of the year.

Status: A date has yet to be set for the Dayton Art Institute’s Oktoberfest event, which typically takes place in September.

🔆Ohio Renaissance Festival

Dirk and Guido, a.k.a. The Swordsmen, will instruct families on how to impale people like a proper gentleman at the 2017 Ohio Renaissance Festival, opening on Sept. 2. CONTRIBUTED
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Dirk and Guido, a.k.a. The Swordsmen, will instruct families on how to impale people like a proper gentleman at the 2017 Ohio Renaissance Festival, opening on Sept. 2. CONTRIBUTED

Each year, the Ohio Renaissance Fairgrounds is home to a large celebration of 16th-century England. The Ohio Renaissance Festival features a medieval marketplace, full-contact jousting, games, rides, entertainment and themed weekends.

Status: It’s on! The Ohio Renaissance Festival will be held at the Ohio Renaissance Fairgrounds in Waynesville from Sept. 4 through Oct. 31. For more information about the Ohio Renaissance Festival, pay a visit to its website.

🔆Kettering’s Holiday at Home Festival

Each year, this Labor Day celebration in Kettering features a parade, a 5K, an arts and craft show, an auto show, children’s activities, live music and more.

Status: It’s on! This year, Kettering’s Holiday at Home Festival will be held Sunday, Sept. 5 and Monday, Sept. 6 at the Kettering Government Center and Fraze Pavilion. More information about the Holiday at Home Festival can be found by visiting its website.

🔆A World A’Fair Dayton International Festival

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)
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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)

Credit: HANDOUT

Credit: HANDOUT

A World A’Fair is the largest international festival in Ohio, held at the Dayton Convention Center every May. Attendees of the event have a chance to experience the cultures of dozens of countries from around the world.

Status: Postponed. A new date for 2022 has yet to be announced.

🔆Hamvention 2021

Hamvention attendees come from all over the world for an event now in seventh decade in the Dayton area. CHRIS STEWART/FILE
Caption
Hamvention attendees come from all over the world for an event now in seventh decade in the Dayton area. CHRIS STEWART/FILE

The Dayton Hamvention is an amateur radio convention sponsored by the Dayton Amateur Radio Association.

Status: Canceled. Those who had purchased tickets to the event will be deferred to 2022.