Almost 20 years is a long time to go without a giant block party.
For the neighborhood of Belmont, the once annual Belmont Days hasn’t happened since 2000, and two local groups have decided it is time to get the party started again.
The Belmont Business Association (BBA) and The Belmont Eastmont Hearthstone Community Council (BEHCC) have been working together to bring Belmont Days back on Saturday, June 29, from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
“I moved to Belmont when I was 2. Our house used to be on the garden tour and it [Belmont Days] was such a neat thing, and I so appreciate that they are trying to get things going again. It’s hard work,” said Judy Orick, president of the Belmont Business Association.
Orick owns A-1 Trophy Co. & Screenprinting on Watervliet Avenue. Her husband, Abner Orick, used to be on the Dayton City Commission and ran the business with Judy until his death in October 2018.
“Judy has been awesome. Always giving back to the community. She deserves recognition. And she wants to pass this on and we’d like to try,” said Reggie Swickard, vice president of the BEHCC.
The old Belmont Days used to have a picnic, parade and garden tour. It also lasted three days. This year’s event will be just one day so the groups can gauge the community response.
“We had a couple floats and then it just grew and grew. And there’s no reason it can’t get big again. I think people still like a neighborhood community. Belmont is a stable neighborhood. Lots of people are still moving in,” Judy said.
Besides people moving into homes, the groups credit the area’s revitalization to new businesses opening shop along Watervliet Avenue.
Press Coffee Bar opened up a second location along the strip, and the Belmont Gym opened three years ago.
“Things are happening. We have a new ice cream shop. There was a cruise-in at Taco Bell. The neighborhood has new life. We went to Angie’s [Firehouse Tavern] and the bar side was hopping with music, and the restaurant side was hopping with families. That’s what’s so special about the neighborhood,” said Kym Mehaffie, who is owner of the Belmont Gym and the secretary for the BBA.
This month’s event will start with an obstacle course at the Belmont Gym. Local businesses will be setting up tables and selling goods and foods. Outside vendors will also be welcomed and music will fill the streets.
Watervliet Avenue will be blocked off between Fauver and Mundale avenues. People are invited to walk around and check out the new businesses and local restaurants.
“We want to get people out of the house. Get people reacquainted with Belmont and show people what is down here,” said Kim Petro, member of the BEHCC.
There will also be a 50/50 raffle benefitting, Brigid’s Path, a young boy with cancer and victims of the Memorial Day tornadoes. The groups also wanted to stress that any help with the event is wanted.
“We need help. We need people to volunteer. Take on a job and do it and make it better. If we want it to grow, we will need people,” Swickard said.
To help, call Brian Petro, treasurer of the BEHCC, at 937-829-4134, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Facebook page. Hundreds of people have responded to the Facebook event saying they are going to the event or are interested in it.
“Most people know about and are excited about starting Belmont Days back up again,” Mehaffie said.