Wright Dunbar Day celebration planned this holiday weekend

The first annual Wright Dunbar Day is planned for Sunday, July 5, from 1- 6 p.m. The family friendly block party will be held in the Wright Dunbar neighborhood, between West 2nd Street and West 3rd Street and just off North Williams Street in Dayton.

Although this event is happening over Independence Day weekend, it’s actually a celebration of Dayton poet Paul Laurence Dunbar’s birthday, which is on June 27.

“I want to celebrate the history of Wright Dunbar,” organizer Tae Winston told us. “I have so much love for the neighborhood. I also wanted to do something to shine a light on Erica Hubler, because she is the person who believed in me.”

Hubler, the Director of Real Estate and Property Management at Wright Dunbar, Inc. through CityWide Development, helped Winston get her two retail stores opened and served as a champion for her ideas.

>> Why this Daytonian of the Week is walking the Walk 

Winston opened The Entrepreneurs Marketplace at 13 N. Williams St. on Dec. 30, 2019 and the Entrepreneurs Shoppe at 1109 W. 3rd St. on May 30, 2020.

The Entrepreneurs Marketplace is a permanent place for pop-up shops. Small businesses are able to sell their goods Thursday through Saturday from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. and Sunday from noon - 5 p.m. Shoppers will find food, skincare and healthcare items from vendors such as Love Sweetums, Juice and Jammers, and LA Remedies. At this location, the vendors have to be there at their pop-up to sell their items.

Over at The Entrepreneurs Shop, small businesses set up their goods to be sold at the store, but do not need to be there to sell the items themselves. It's a great opportunity for people who have products to sell, but also have to work a regular job. There you'll find local fashion, boutiques, visual art, and other retail items.

Winston never intended to be an entrepreneur herself. She was a case worker at Eastway Behaviorial Healthcare, but found herself needing a more flexible lifestyle in order to care for her son, who has autism. She started  hosting pop-up shop and food truck events, saved money, built up a reputation for herself, and slowly eased away from her full-time position.

Winston was inspired to help others in her situation, which is how she came up with the idea for the Entrepreneurs Marketplace and Shop. “I know what it feels like have a job and also have a passion for something else,” Winston explained.

Organizing the first Wright Dunbar Day has been another of Winton’s passions. The idea is to host a fun, family event with food trucks, vendors, and great music in the beautiful Wright Dunbar area.

Daj'za Demmings, from the Dayton Young Black Professionals (DYBP) explained that it was important to give the west side of Dayton a festival, something fun to look forward to. Wright Dunbar Day is also a great opportunity to support black owned businesses. DYBP will be on site with voter registration forms and census information.

Organizers are hoping the event will add more vibrancy to the neighborhood and help people get familiar with the area. While they hope lots of people come out to enjoy the day, they are mindful of COVID-19, and are requiring all attendees to wear masks and follow safety guidelines. They’ve also spaced out tables to practice social distancing.


Sunday July 5, 2020 from 1 PM – 6 PM

*Masks are required. Please bring your own, but if you don’t have one, some will be available at the event.

32 vendors and 7 food trucks

There will be hand sanitizing stations and porta potties.

DJ Conviction will performing live throughout the event.

IRA Drill Team will perform at 3 p.m. Premium Blend will perform at 5 p.m.

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