The 2019 Troy Strawberry Festival took place June 1-2, 2019, in downtown Troy around the Public Square and along the Great Miami River levee. Festival-goers enjoyed strawberry treats, festival eats and shopped and hundreds of booths. Did we spot you there? DAVID MOODIE/CONTRIBUTED

Mark your calendars: 20 events we’re looking forward to in 2020

Now that you have officially settled into a new decade of life (you made it!), perhaps it’s time to look ahead and admire all that this year has to offer. From stunning theater performances to decades-old festivals making a reappearance, these are all of the Miami Valley events that we’re adding to our 2020 calendars. We’ll see you there!

RENT 20th Anniversary Tour at the Schuster Center 

When it first premiered on Broadway in 1996, Jonathan Larson’s RENT was instantly iconic for its open and honest narrative of love in all forms. Decades later, the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning musical is back and headed to The Schuster Center. 

>> Here’s how you can score a front-row ticket to ‘Rent’ at the Schuster Center

Due to the mature themes presented in the musical, children under the age of six will not be admitted. Tickets start at $26 and can be purchased at victoriatheatre.com

The Victoria Theatre Association’s Premier Health Broadway Series presents the 20th anniversary tour of Jonathan Larson’s 1996 Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning rock musical “Rent” Jan. 21-26 at the Schuster Center. CONTRIBUTED/AMY BOYLE
Photo: Contributing Writer

WANT TO GO?

What: RENT 20th Anniversary Tour at the Schuster Center

Where: The Schuster Center, 1 W. Second St., Dayton

When: Jan. 21-26. Showtimes: 

Tuesday-Thursday: 7:30 p.m. 

Friday: 8 p.m. 

Saturday: 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. 

Sunday: 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. 

Cost: Tickets start at $26

More info: WebsiteFacebook  

Dayton Strong Bar Crawl and Scavenger Hunt

Once again, Daytonians are coming together to stand united against tragedy. The Dayton Strong Bar Crawl and Scavenger Hunt will take place on Saturday, Feb. 22, in the Oregon District. 

You may register as an individual or small group for the event. The event’s organizer, Gem City Social Sports, will be placing individuals and small groups onto larger teams. While moving from bar to bar as you would in a typical bar crawl, attendees will also be completing tasks as a part of the scavenger hunt. Team scores will be tracked live so that you’ll always be able to see where your team resides in the standings. 

The Trolley Stop, Oregon Express Bar and Restaurant, Tumbleweed Connection, Warped Wing and Troll Pub Dayton are all participating in this bar crawl and scavenger hunt. More locations may be announced at a future date. Prizes will be handed out to each member of the winning team.

Tickets are $25 and include a three-hour bar crawl, scavenger hunt and bar specials at participating bars. You can register online by visiting gemcitysocialsports.com.

Gem City Social Sports’ next Dayton Strong Bar Crawl and Scavenger Hunt is set for 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. this Saturday, Nov. 2., 2019.
Photo: Gem City Social Sports

WANT TO GO?

What: Dayton Strong Bar Crawl and Scavenger Hunt

Where: Dayton’s Oregon District

When: Saturday, Feb. 22 from 2-6 p.m.

Cost: $25

More info: WebsiteFacebook 

>> Throw it back to the ’90s for an R&B dance party this weekend

Dayton History Fight Night 2020

Once upon a time, the historic Memorial Hall in Dayton, built in 1910, hosted boxing legends like Joe Louis and Jack Dempsey. To honor this important landmark and celebrate the beginning of a new decade, Dayton History is hosting Dayton History Fight Night on Saturday, Feb. 29.

After training at the Brown Institute of Martial Arts, boxers will face off in front of over 2,000 spectators dressed in their best Flapper Era attire. 

In fact, nearly everything about this event will celebrate the 1920s, from the addition of music from Dave Greer’s Classic Jazz Stompers to the Fight Night Speakeasy After Party taking place in Memorial Hall’s lower level. The after party will feature live music and a full-service bar. 

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Purchase your tickets now by visiting shop.daytonhistory.org

Dayton History Fight Night returns to historic Memorial Hall on Saturday, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m. CONTRIBUTED
Photo: Dayton History

WANT TO GO?

What: Dayton History Fight Night 2020

Where: Dayton Memorial Hall, 125 E. First St., Dayton

When: Saturday, Feb. 29 from 6:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.

Cost: $15 in advance and $20 at the door

More info: WebsiteFacebook 

St. Patrick’s Day at the Dublin Pub

Even if you’re not Irish, celebrating St. Patrick’s Day at the Dublin Pub is a must for every Daytonian. Come for the Guinness and hearty selection of food and stay for the long roster of activities, like live Celtic and rock music, Celtic dancers and general Irish-themed revelry.

Typically, the event takes place over the weekend leading up to the big day. No further details about this year’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration have been announced. 

The Dublin Pub, located at 300 Wayne Ave. in Dayton’s Oregon District, has one of the biggest St. Patrick’s Day events in the state of Ohio. The event spans two days and includes live music and entertainment, as well as traditional Irish food and beers. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
Photo: Tom Gilliam

WANT TO GO?

What: St. Patrick’s Day at the Dublin Pub

Where: The Dublin Pub, 300 Wayne Ave., Dayton

When: March 14 and 15, though these dates have not been solidified. 

Cost: Admission prices have yet to be released.

More info: WebsiteFacebook 

The Price is Right Live at the Schuster Center

The Price is Right is coming to Dayton! The Price is Right Live will take place at the Schuster Center on Sunday, March 15. Just like the original show, The Price is Right Live features games, prizes and quite a bit of price estimation. Contestants can look forward to competing in a number of classic favorites, like Plinko, The Big Wheel, the Showcase and more. 

Only a select number of tickets are still available for purchase. Currently, tickets are running for $36.50 and can be purchased at my.ticketcenterstage.com. To register for a chance to be a contestant on the show, visit the registration area at or near the venue box office three hours prior to show time.

>> ‘The Price is Right Live’ stage show is headed to Dayton and Cincinnati

The Price Is Right Live stage production from a recent stop in Texas. CONTRIBUTED

WANT TO GO?

What: The Price is Right Live

Where: The Schuster Center, 1 W. Second St., Dayton

When: Sunday, March 15 at 6 p.m.

Cost: $36.50 per ticket

More info: Website

CATS at the Schuster Center

Just in the past few months, CATS has seen a resurgence in popularity throughout the world, mostly thanks to the film adaptation of the popular musical. If you’re a fan of dancing and singing cats, be sure to pick up your ticket to CATS at the Schuster Center, running from May 26-31. 

This particular show features the same beloved musical score with new choreography created by Andy Blankenbuehler of Hamilton. 

Tickets start at $26 and tickets will go on sale at a later date.

WANT TO GO?

What: CATS 

Where: The Schuster Center, 1 W. Second St., Dayton

When: May 26-31. Showtimes:

Tuesday through Thursday: 7:30 p.m. 

Friday: 8 p.m. 

Saturday: 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. 

Sunday: 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Cost: Tickets start at $26

More info: Website

Free summer concert series at the Levitt Pavilion

Though the Levitt Pavilion has yet to release its roster of free concert offerings throughout the summer of 2020, it’s still safe to assume that you’ll have plenty of reasons to pay a visit to the popular downtown concert venue. Last year, for example, musical acts like The Breeders, MojoFlo and The Repeating Arms appeared on the Levitt Pavilion stage, free of charge. Typically, the concert season runs from May through the end of August.

The schedule of free concerts offered at the Levitt Pavilion will be released to the public in April. To stay up to date on all announcements at the Levitt Pavilion, sign up for their newsletter here

International rock sensations, The Breeders, played a free concert in their hometown at the Levitt Pavilion Dayton on Friday, Sept. 20 as part of the 2019 Eichelberger Concert Season. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
Photo: Staff Writer

The Troy Strawberry Festival

For 43 years, the Strawberry Festival in Troy has drawn impressive crowds — and for good reason. The festival’s offering of strawberry-inspired treats (including the famous strawberry donuts) and local goods has made it one of the most popular festivals in the Miami Valley. 

The theme for this year’s festival has yet to be announced. The festival will take place on June 6-7.

The 2019 Troy Strawberry Festival took place June 1-2, 2019, in downtown Troy around the Public Square and along the Great Miami River levee. Festival-goers enjoyed strawberry treats, festival eats and shopped and hundreds of booths. Did we spot you there? DAVID MOODIE/CONTRIBUTED

WANT TO GO?

What: Troy Strawberry Festival

Where: Downtown Troy and the Great Miami River levee in Troy

When: June 6-7. Complete schedule to be announced at a later date.

Cost: Free

More info: WebsiteFacebook 

The Dayton Art Institute Art Ball

Dayton’s oldest black-tie event also happens to be its most glamorous event, drawing a sold-out crowd each year. Art Ball directly benefits the Dayton Art Institute. 

This year, the event will take place on Saturday, June 13 . Art Ball begins at 7 p.m. with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, followed by a seated dinner in the museum’s galleries. For a higher cost, guests can attend the VIP Cocktail Hour with high-end wines and hors d’oeuvres. After dinner, guests can look forward to live music, dancing, open bars, specialty martinis, cigars, liqueurs and more.

Only 600 tickets are handed out for $100 each to participate in the Grand Draw Raffle that features 50 luxurious prize packages. 

The theme for this year has yet to be announced. More details will be announced as the event nears. 

Dayton Art Institute Art Ball 2019 took place on Saturday, June 8, 2019. (Photos by E.L. Hubbard, contributing photographer)
Photo: E.L. Hubbard

WANT TO GO?

What: The Dayton Art Institute Art Ball

Where: The Dayton Art Institute, 456 Belmonte Park North, Dayton

When: Saturday, June 13, beginning at 7 p.m.

Cost: Prices announced at a later date

More info: Website

Country Concert ‘20

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Country Concert in Fort Loramie, an event that serves as the largest celebration of country music in the region. Mark your calendars now: Country Concert ‘20 will take place over the weekend of July 9-11. This year, the festival’s headliners include Alan Jackson, Luke Combs, Jason Aldean, Justin Moore, Old Dominion and more. 

Ticket prices for the Country Concert are as follows:

General admission:

3 DAY (THU, FRI, SAT) — $219 ($73 PER DAY) 

2 DAY (FRI, SAT) — $209 

THURSDAY — $95 

FRIDAY — $104 

SATURDAY — $109 

General admission with gold circle access:

3 DAY (THU, FRI, SAT) — $244 

2 DAY (FRI, SAT) — $234 

THURSDAY — $110 

FRIDAY — $119 

SATURDAY — $124 

Reserved seats:

3 DAY (THU, FRI, SAT) — $277 

THURSDAY — $109 

FRIDAY — $127 

SATURDAY — $131 

Club reserved seats, includes VIP area access:

3 DAY (THU, FRI, SAT) — $479 

Platinum seats: 

3 DAY (THU, FRI, SAT) — $289 

THURSDAY — $141 

FRIDAY — $155 

SATURDAY — $165 

Platinum plus seats: 

3 DAY (THU, FRI, SAT) — $448 

VIP plus seats, includes VIP area access:

3 DAY (THU, FRI, SAT) — $448 

THURSDAY — $214 

FRIDAY — $229 

SATURDAY — $239 

Stage front seats: 

3 DAY (THU, FRI, SAT) — $599 

3 DAY with MEALS — $679 

THURSDAY — $235 

FRIDAY — $259 

SATURDAY — $279

Purchase your tickets now by visiting countryconcert.com

WANT TO GO?

What: Country Concert ‘20

Where: 7103 OH-66, Fort Loramie

When: July 9-11

More info: WebsiteFacebook 

Dayton Celtic Festival

The Dayton Celtic Festival proves to be one of the most popular attractions in the city, attracting thousands to its live music, traditional Scottish and Irish cuisine, beer and liquor and the Celtic Breakfast. In addition to these Dayton Celtic Festival staples, there will also be a Sunday Mass, children’s events and more. 

This year’s celebration will take place over the weekend of July 24-26. No details about this year’s event have been announced yet. 

The Dayton Celtic Festival took over downtown at Riverscape MetroPark and the surrounding areas from Friday, July 26 to Sunday July, 28. The free festival featured workshops, vendors, food, beer, children’s activities and Irish music. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
Photo: Tom Gilliam

WANT TO GO?

What: Dayton Celtic Festival

Where: RiverScape MetroPark, 111 E. Monument Ave., Dayton

When: July 24-26

Cost: Free

More info: WebsiteFacebook 

Tipp City Mum Festival

Every year, at the end of September, Tipp City celebrates the beginning of chrysanthemum season (A.K.A. mum season) with a festival and parade. Over the course of one weekend (this year, that weekend will be Sept. 25-27), thousands will stream in to admire the beautiful mum flowers and vast collection of vendors selling delicious festival food and unique merchandise. 

The theme has yet to be announced for this year’s festival. 

Photo: Tom Gilliam

WANT TO GO?

What: Tipp City Mum Festival

Where: The corner of Third Street and Tipp-Elizabeth Road in Tipp City

When: Sept. 25-27

Cost: Free

More info: WebsiteFacebook 

The Ohio Renaissance Festival

The Ohio Renaissance Festival aims to transport its attendees back to another time in history. While you’re there, be sure to take in the jousting, say hello to Queen Elizabeth, enjoy the live music and sink your teeth into a delicious bread bowl. 

The festival will kick off Labor Day weekend on Saturday, Sep. 5 at 10542 East State Route 73 in Waynesville — about a 40-minute drive from Dayton. The festivities (and themed weekends) will take place every weekend until the end of October. 

One of the most cherished traditions of The Ohio Renaissance Festival is the two-pound turkey legs. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
Photo: Staff Writer

WANT TO GO?

What: The Ohio Renaissance Festival

Where: 10542 E. State Route 73, Waynesville

When: Opening day is Saturday, Sept. 5. The festival takes place over every weekend until Nov. 1.

Cost: 

Discount online tickets: 

Adult (ages 13+) – $19, a savings of $4 if you order before Saturday mornings at 9 a.m. 

Child (ages 5-12) – $7.50, a savings of $2.

Season Pass – $65 

Front gate ticket booth pricing: 

Adult (ages 13+) – $23 

Children (ages 5-12) – $9.50 

Seniors (ages 65+) – $21 a savings of $2 (available at the ticket booth only) 

Military/Police/Fire/EMT – $21 a savings of $2 (available at the ticket booth only) 

$3 parking fee taken at entrance to parking lot. Cash only.

Purchase your tickets at renfestival.com

More info: WebsiteFacebook 

Italian Fall Festa

The 43rd Annual Fall Festa, a celebration of the changing of the seasons (and, of course, a celebration of Italian food), is set to take place over the weekend of Sept. 11-13 at Bella Villa Hall in Kettering. Attendees can look forward to indulging in Italian cuisine like baked pasta, stuffed shells and spaghetti and meatballs. Along with the famous Italian cuisine, the Italian Fall Festa has a spaghetti eating contest, live music and other fun activities. 

There will be a free shuttle service from the Reynolds & Reynolds parking lot.

More details about the event will be announced at a later date. 

MANGIARE! The 42nd annual Italian Fall Festa dished out a three-day Italian feast Sept. 6-8, 2019, at the Sons of Italy lodge in Kettering. Did we spot you there? TOM GILLIAM/CONTRIBUTED
Photo: Tom Gilliam

WANT TO GO?

What: The Italian Fall Festa

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

When: Sept. 11-13

Cost: Free 

More info: WebsiteFacebook 

Dayton Greek Festival

Opa! The 62nd annual Greek Festival, taking place over the weekend of Sept. 11-13, brings a number of delicious cuisines, delightful live performances and other activities to the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Dayton. Aside from entertaining thousands of attendees, the elements that make this festival so unforgettable are also meant to give everyone a glimpse into Greek traditions. 

While you’re there, be sure to indulge in plenty of Greek pastries, shop the Grecian Boutique in the Memorial Center and dance the night away with hundreds of others.

More details about the festival will be announced as the event nears. 

The Dayton Greek Festival celebrated 61 years this weekend with its annual three-day celebration Sept. 6-8, 2019, at The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, 500 Belmonte Park North in Dayton. Did we spot you there? TOM GILLIAM/CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS
Photo: Tom Gilliam

WANT TO GO?

What: Dayton Greek Festival

Where: Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, 500 Belmonte Park North (near the Dayton Art Institute in Dayton)

When: Sept. 11-13

Cost: After 5 p.m. Friday and throughout the weekend, admission is $2 per person. Children 12 and younger and active and retired military are free. 

More info: WebsiteFacebook 

KISS and David Lee Roth concert at the Nutter Center

Don’t miss your chance to rock out to rock legends KISS and David Lee Roth (formerly of Van Halen) at the Wright State Nutter Center on Monday, Sept. 14 at 7:30 p.m. 

For decades, Dayton has been an incredibly welcoming place for the band. In fact, Paul Stanley, the rhythm guitarist and co-lead vocalist for KISS, previously told us that it was here, at a sold-out show at Hara Arena on Jan., 31, 1976, when he finally felt like the band had found mainstream success.

Tickets for the show start at $56, though prices will continue to fluctuate as the show date nears. Purchase your tickets now at ticketmaster.com

KISS will return to the Nutter Center near Dayton for its farewell tour on Sept. 14, 2020. JEN ROSENSTEIN/CONTRIBUTED
Photo: Jen Rosenstein

WANT TO GO?

What: KISS and David Lee Roth concert

Where: Wright State Nutter Center, 3640 Colonel Glenn Highway, Fairborn

When: Monday, Sept. 14, at 7:30 p.m.

Cost: Tickets start at $56 per ticket 

More info: Website

The Dayton Art Institute’s Oktoberfest

Known as the premiere Oktoberfest celebration in the city of Dayton, The Dayton Art Institute’s Oktoberfest draws crowds of thousands each year. This year, the event will take place from Thursday, Sept. 24 to Sunday, Sept. 27. Though it might seem a bit unconventional for an art museum to host an Oktoberfest celebration, it has been a successful event in the 50 years that it has been a mainstay in the community. 

Visitors can expect traditional German fare like brats, homemade noodles and beer, a FamilyFest tent with family-friendly activities, live music and plenty of other reasons to make the trek to the Dayton Art Institute during the weekend of Sept. 24-27. 

Tickets are not currently on sale for the event. 

The 49th annual Oktoberfest took place at the Dayton Art Institute at 456 Belmonte Park N. on Friday Sept. 27 through Sunday Sept. 29. The 3-day event, voted best festival in Dayton.com’s Best of 2018 contest, includes artisan booths, plenty of food, kid-friendly activities, music on two stages and lots and lots of international, domestic and craft beer and wine. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
Photo: Tom Gilliam

WANT TO GO?

What: The Dayton Art Institute’s Oktoberfest

Where: The Dayton Art Institute, 456 Belmonte Park North, Dayton

When: Sept. 24-27

Cost: Ticket prices have not been released yet

More info: WebsiteFacebook 

Ohio Sauerkraut Festival

Attracting over 350,000 people annually, the Ohio Sauerkraut Festival in Waynesville has been an incredibly popular and unique institution in the state of Ohio for over five decades. Roughly speaking, the festival, typically taking place in the middle of October, combines 60 sauerkraut-related food items with 460 craftspeople from over 20 states. 

Especially for those who love a good dose of sauerkraut every now and again, this festival will be too tempting to ignore. Attendees can expect to see sauerkraut mixed in with many of their favorite foods — including pizza, mashed potatoes, doughnuts, fudge and much more. 

This year, the festival will be held on Oct. 10-11. No further details have been announced about this year’s Ohio Sauerkraut Festival. 

The 50th annual Ohio Sauerkraut Festival took place in downtown Waynesville over the weekend on Saturday, Oct. 12 and Sunday, Oct. 13. The festival combines 60 sauerkraut-related food items with 460 craftspeople from 25 states and attracts over 350,000 people annually. DAVID MOODIE / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

WANT TO GO?

What: Ohio Sauerkraut Festival

Where: 10B N. Main St., Waynesville

When: Oct. 10-11

Cost: Free

More info: WebsiteFacebook 

Hauntfest on Fifth

If you’ve never attended Dayton’s biggest Halloween celebration, you’re truly missing out. For over three decades, Daytonians have donned their scariest attire to enjoy a night full of tricks and treats at the Hauntfest on Fifth. Though no details about this year’s event have been announced, you can likely expect live music, food and beer trucks, street performers, and, of course, the famous costume contest with prizes. 

The event takes place in the Oregon District, typically on the Saturday night before Halloween. The proceeds from the event directly help the business district. 

You must be 18 to enter and 21 to drink.

Rain didn’t stop the party at the Oregon District’s annual Halloween party Hauntfest on Fifth on Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019. Did we spot you there? E.L. HUBBARD/CONTRIBUTED
Photo: E.L. HUBBARD

WANT TO GO?

What: Hauntfest on Fifth 

Where: The Oregon District, East Fifth Street in Dayton

When: Saturday, Oct. 24 (time has not been announced)

Cost: Ticket prices have not been released yet

More info: Website

Scene75 Grand Reopening after tornado damage

In 2019, the Memorial Day tornadoes destroyed or damaged hundreds of homes and businesses. Unfortunately, one of the region’s most popular entertainment centers, Scene75, was severely damaged by one of 15 devastating tornadoes that tore through the Miami Valley. The building suffered extensive damage on the exterior and interior, with large portions of the roof missing and walls crumbled to the ground. 

Despite this major setback, the team at Scene75 has been busy rebuilding the damaged structure. In early December, the facade of the building received a bright and colorful new paint job. Renovations to its interior are still in the works. 

Though no formal date has been set yet for Scene75’s Grand Reopening, the team hopes to have renovations complete by the end of 2020, with some new features in store. 

X