Photo: Tom Gilliam
Photo: Tom Gilliam

It’s one of the biggest food festival weekends of the year — and this time, the rain can’t stop the feast

We have your weather forecast and road map to hitting all of the big festivals this weekend.

Flashback to this time last year. Excitement was building for one of the most epic weekends of the year when it comes to amazing, authentic festival food and fun for a great cause.

But Mother Nature ultimately had other plans for Dayton. The remnants of Tropical Storm Gordon brought 3 to 7 inches of rainfall from Friday to Sunday, forcing the cancellation of the Beavercreek Popcorn Festival, among many other events.

>> PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Popcorn Festival cancels, and others offer to-go service

Two festivals famous for authentic ethnic eats handmade by volunteers had to get creative to dish out copious amounts of food by turning their festivals into drive-throughs and even offering bulk food to freeze and bake later.

Organizers of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church’s Dayton Greek Festival and Sons of Italy John Pirelli Lodge’s Italian Fall Festa worked curbside pick-up services in response to the weather.

>> PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Greek Festival offers food, treats in bulk to take and bake at home

Beyond the mass quantities of surplus food, these festivals that give back to the community by supporting other local charities faced a softer year in profits as a result of the weather.

>> Weekend rains rough on local charities that rely on festival revenue

THE GOOD NEWS

This year, Mother Nature has different plans.

The forecast is calling for festival fun all weekend.

Temperatures should be in the 70s with partly cloudy skies, and the chances for rain are pretty minimal.

“This weekend will be an autumn preview, as daytime temperatures will be in the mid 70s with lower to tolerable humidity and overnight lows are comfortable, in the mid 50s. It will be dry as skies will be partly to mostly sunny for the weekend,” said Dontae Jones, Storm Center 7 meteorologist.

>> Get the latest weather forecast from Storm Center 7

This means you have the chance to make up for last year and show these hometown festivals some extra love. 

📍CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE: HOW TO DO ALL OF THE FESTIVALS THIS WEEKEND

Here’s your roadmap to making the most of a busy festival weekend and supporting all of the festivals.

Grab your stretchiest pair of stretchy pants and get ready to grub. 

Here is how to do the Beavercreek Popcorn Festival, the Dayton Greek Festival, the Italian Fall Festa, the Egyptian Festival and the Springboro and Vandalia Oktoberfests this weekend.

Friday

The 60th annual Greek Festival took place over the weekend from Friday, Sept 7 to Sunday, Sept 9 at The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, 500 Belmonte Park North in Dayton. This year's event had amazing food, devoted volunteers and the support and attendance of the community, despite it raining throughout the weekend. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
Photo: Tom Gilliam

LUNCH

🥙Dayton Greek Festival

The 61st Dayton Greek Festival opens at 11 a.m. Friday, Sept. 6, at the church at 500 Belmonte Park N., Dayton. 

Once again, festival volunteers are offering pre-ordered  grub you can pick up from the front of the festival during lunchtime Friday. 

The menu items and pick-up times (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.) can be selected via the Dayton Greek Festival website. Click here to place an order using a credit card.

Carryout orders must be placed by 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 6. When you arrive, look for the sign that says “Carry Out Pick-Up,” then pull up and park and someone will assist you.

>> Festival offering drive-up gyros, pies and other reasons to say ‘OPA!’

OR

🍝Italian Fall Festa

You could carb load at lunch instead! Organizers of the John Pirelli Lodge Order Sons of Italy’s Italian Fall Festa offer a pre-festival Friday lunch pick-up from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at that festival’s site, 2625 County Line Road in Kettering. 

Call (937) 258-3600 to order ahead between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Cash payment is due when food is picked up for individuals or groups. No credit cards.

The lunch menu includes a pasta dinner with meatballs and side salad ($9), pepperoni or cheese pizza ($13), meatball sandwich ($5), and Italian beef sandwich ($7).

>> What to eat at the Italian Fall Festa

The annual Italian Fall Festa featured delicious food, craft beer, wine and bocce ball all weekend, from Friday, Sept 7 to Sunday, Sept 9, at Bella Villa Hall, 2625 County Line Road in Kettering. TOM GIlLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
Photo: Contributing Writer

DINNER

If you’re looking for a big, hearty dinner, you have options depending on which route you went for lunch:

🥙Dayton Greek Festival 

The Greek Festival is offering two full dinner options in its indoor food hall:

• Greek Lamb Shank Dinner: Delicious roasted lamb shank served with rice pilaf, green beans, Greek salad and bread. 

• Pork Souvlaki Dinner: Marinated pork with Greek seasonings, grilled and served with bread, rice pilaf, green beans and Greek salad.

Smaller bites will also be available in the main outside food tent.

🍝Italian Fall Festa (Kettering)

The Italian Fall Festa has a themed dinner each night of the three-day festival. Friday night, Baked Pasta is on the menu in the Lodge.

Smaller bites will also be available outside on the festival grounds.

🍇Taste of Egypt (Miamisburg)

Swing by the annual Egyptian Festival between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. at St. Mina and St. Abanoub Church, 1531 King Richard Parkway, Miamisburg.

Come hungry.

Delights include Chicken and lamb kabob, dolma (stuffed grape leaves) and macaroni pasta with bechamel sauce.  

>> RELATED: 5 must-try foods at the Egyptian Festival

Wrap things up by 7 at the Egyptian Festival and head to nearby Springboro for some beer.

The annual Italian Fall Festa featured delicious food, craft beer, wine and bocce ball all weekend, from Friday, Sept 7 to Sunday, Sept 9, at Bella Villa Hall, 2625 County Line Road in Kettering. TOM GIlLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
Photo: Tom Gilliam

🍻DRINKS

If you need to unwind Friday night with an adult beverage, you have options.

🍝Italian Fall Festa (Kettering)

Our No. 1 recommendation is to head to Italian Fall Festa for Friday dinner and stick around for a limited special brew from Warped Wing. The Limone Lager will be available exclusively at the festival while supplies last. Friday night is the safest bet to get some because once the lemon-flavored brew is gone, it’s gone.

One of the nation’s youngest Oktoberfest celebrations is becoming one of the best and fastest growing in the Dayton area. Did we spot you at the 5th annual Oktoberfest Springboro? PHOTO BY TOM GILLIAM
Photo: Tom Gilliam

🍺 Springboro Oktoberfest

If you’re looking for a more robust beer selection, head to Oktoberfest Springboro! There will be an exclusive selection of domestic and German-inspired beers, more than 40 varieties to be exact. The fest runs from 6 p.m. to midnight Friday.

Oktoberfest Springboro's organizers have worked diligently to focus primarily on offering brews made from authentic German recipes, including well-knowns like Paulaner and Ayinger while reaching further back to bring you offerings from the likes of Brauhaus Riegele and others. This event has continued to involve local breweries as well.

>> Why you should add Oktoberfest Springboro to your bucket list

Saturday

The Beavercreek Popcorn Festival, now in its 29th year, takes place the weekend after Labor Day on Sept. 12 and 13.  (Source: Provided by the Beavercreek Popcorn Festival)

MORNING

🍿Beavercreek Popcorn Festival

Spend the morning at the Beavercreek Popcorn Festival

The Popcorn 5K and Fitness Walk are at 8:30 a.m. Bonus is that kids age 10 and under can run an obstacle course for free.

The festival opens at 10 a.m. with a full day of fun starting at 10:30 a.m.

>> Eats and treats at the Beavercreek Popcorn Festival

Food options range from BBQ, potatoes and fish and chicken to all sorts of flavored popcorn.  

One of the nation’s youngest Oktoberfest celebrations is becoming one of the fastest growing in the Dayton area. PHOTO BY TOM GILLIAM
Photo: Tom Gilliam/Tom Gilliam

AFTERNOON

🍺🐕Springboro Oktoberfest

The highlight of Springboro Oktoberfest, if you ask us, comes at noon with the Wiener Dog Race. This is can’t-miss fun whether you have a dog that’s racing or you just want to soak up the cuteness. Stick around and enjoy lots of beer, German eats and treats.

It wouldn’t be a bad thing if you decided to stay all day and all night.

Festival goers join the Evzonakia dancers at the Greek Festival 2009 on Saturday, Sept. 12, at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, 500 Belmonte Park North in Dayton. The festival continues Sunday from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Photo: Chris Stewart/Chris Stewart

EVENING

🥙Dayton Greek Festival

Come late/afternoon evening, it will be time to head back to the Greek Festival to get your opa on and dance. 

>> Why you HAVE to see this beautiful Dayton church on the inside (and this weekend is your chance)

Saganaki — a Greek version of fried cheese — will once again be up for grabs at the Greek Festival. If you need to cool off, grab an Ouzo Slushie.

Other beloved treats include baklava and Loukoumades (honey puffs).

>> Ouzo making a comeback at Greek Festival  

The annual Italian Fall Festa featured delicious food, craft beer, wine and bocce ball all weekend, from Friday, Sept 7 to Sunday, Sept 9, at Bella Villa Hall, 2625 County Line Road in Kettering. TOM GIlLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
Photo: Tom Gilliam

🍝Italian Fall Festa (Kettering)

Or you can head over to the Italian Festa to say “ciao” to all your friends and play some bocce ball. Saturday night is traditionally hopping at Italian Festa, and there will be a special stuffed shells dinner.

The sausage, onion and pepper sandwiches are always crowd favorites, as are the pastries made with love. 

>> Reasons you shouldn’t miss the Italian Fall Festa this weekend

Austin Landing celebrated Independence day with double the First Friday fun with a First Friday and a First Saturday July 5-6, 2019. We stopped by on Friday for a concert with The Menus, fireworks, food trucks and more. Did we spot you there? BRIAN SWARTZ/CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
Photo: BRIAN SWARTZ

🍺Vandalia Oktoberfest

If you’d rather have homemade potato salad, cabbage rolls and giant brats instead, then plan to have dinner at the Sister Cities of Vandalia’s Oktoberfest Saturday night. 

The zany jam band The Menus will perform at the event and they promise to bring the fun.

Sunday

9 Sept 07 Photo by Ron Alvey. Veniti Tsikas, a Dayton resident, delivers a tray full of loucoumathes. They are like donuts that are dipped in honey. A small basket of the treats sell for $2 at the 49th Annual Greek Festival. The three day festival, ending Suday, took place at the Greek Orthodox Church, located at 500 Belmonte Park North, which is next to the Dayton Art Institute. The festival had lots of Greek dancing, food, desserts and there was a childrens area.
Photo: Ron Alvey

Time to take it easy. You've almost made it. Have a more low-key Sunday.

🥙Dayton Greek Festival

Stop by the Greek Festival to shop in the Grecian Boutique, or for last-minute pastries and all the spanakopita and pastitsio you can carry. Say it with us, "baklava."

>> What to eat at the Dayton Greek Festival

Italian Fall Festa includes a spaghetti eating contest.
Photo: Italian Fall Festa

🍝Italian Fall Festa (Kettering)

The Italian Fall Festa will feature a spaghetti and meatballs special dinner. Get there by 3 p.m. to catch the spaghetti eating contest for children and adults. The Meatball Madness Run is at 10 a.m. if you want to burn some calories before the feast.

The 21st annual Egyptian Festival gave Dayton a glimpse of Egypt's rich culture through the Khan El Khalili Bazaar with dozens of exhibits, entertainment, music and food. The event ran from Sept. 7-9 at the St. Mina and St. Abanoub Coptic Orthodox Church in Miamisburg. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
Photo: Tom Gilliam

🍇Taste of Egypt (Miamisburg)

Sunday’s the perfect day for a chill afternoon at this festival. Shop at the Egyptian bazaar, take a tour of the church and feast on stuffed grape leaves, chicken and lamb kabobs and more.

The Beavercreek Popcorn Festival, now in its 29th year, takes place the weekend after Labor Day on Sept. 12 and 13.  (Source: Provided by the Beavercreek Popcorn Festival)

🍿Beavercreek Popcorn Festival

Or you can head straight for the Beavercreek Popcorn Festival. The family-oriented festival features 200 booths of crafts and all of the festival food you are going to miss come November.

Choose your own adventure! 

Here are the basics for each of these events. Map out your own plan to hit them all or some of them here.

🍿  Beavercreek Popcorn Festival

Where: Dayton-Xenia Road between North Fairfield Road and Meadow Bridge Drive

When: Saturday, Sept. 7, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 8, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Cost: Free

Info: WebsiteFacebook 

🥙 Dayton Greek Festival 

Where: The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, 500 Belmonte Park N., Dayton 

When: Sept. 6-8; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday 

Cost: Free admission from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 8; Admission for the remainder of the weekend is $2 per adult. Free admission for active military, veterans and children 12 and younger. Admission is good for the entire weekend. Ask for a re-entry ticket if you plan to return anytime during festival weekend. Shuttle available from Grandview Hospital employee parking lot on Shaw Avenue.

Info: Website | (937) 224-0601

🍝 Italian Fall Festa

Where: Bella Villa Hall, 2625 County Line Road, Kettering

When: Sept. 6 to 8.;  Friday 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (lunch) and 6 to 11 p.m.; Saturday noon to 11 p.m.; Sunday noon to 8 p.m.

Cost: Free admission and free parking. Shuttle available from the nearby Reynolds & Reynolds parking lot

Info: Website Facebook  

🍇 Taste of Egypt 

WHEN: Sept. 6- 8; 4 to 9 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday 

WHERE: St. Mina and St. Abanoub Coptic Orthodox Church, 1531 King Richard Pkwy., Miamisburg

COST: Free admission and parking 

INFO: (937) 866-0622 | WebsiteFacebook

🍺 Sister Cities of Vandalia’s Oktoberfest 

WHEN: Sept. 6-7. 6 p.m. to midnight on Friday and noon to midnight on Saturday

WHERE: Vandalia Sports Complex, 1111 Stonequarry Road

COST: Admission is $5 each day.

MORE INFO: WebsiteFacebook

🍺Springboro Oktoberfest

WHERE: Springboro United Church of Christ, 5 W. Mill St.

WHEN: Sept. 6-7. Friday 6 p.m. to midnight and Saturday  11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

ADMISSION: $3 (kids 12 and under are free)

MORE INFO: WebsiteFacebook

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