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
Photo: Tom Gilliam
Photo: Tom Gilliam

20 things to add to your July calendar

One of our favorite holidays happens in July, but there’s no reason we can’t celebrate all 31 days of the month. 

Here are some of the best things happening in July around Dayton:


Victoria Theatre Association's Cool Films Series presents a screening of the 2004 comedy "Napoleon Dynamite" and a conversation with the film's stars Jon Heder, Efren Ramirez and Jon Gries (pictured) at the Schuster Center in Dayton on Friday, July 12. CONTRIBUTED


Each summer, Victoria Theatre Association hosts its popular Cool Films Series, which programs classic and contemporary movies at Victoria Theatre. This season features a twist with two screenings paired with personal appearances at the Schuster Center, Second and Main streets, Dayton. The Cool Films Series 2019 begins with “Napoleon Dynamite” and a conversation with the film’s stars Jon Heder, Efren Ramirez and Jon Gries at 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 12. Cost: $40 or $150 for VIP tickets, which includes a meet and greet with the film’s stars. Call 937-228-3630 or visit

>> Cool Film Series to have a ‘dynamite’ beginning


July is just around the corner and for Dayton Playhouse that means it’s time once again for FutureFest. The 29th annual festival of new plays, at Dayton Playhouse, 1301 E. Siebenthaler Ave., Dayton, Friday through Sunday, July 19 through 21, features six productions. This year’s finalists are “The Princess at Midnight,” “Drone,” “Which Way the Wind Blows,” “On the Horizon,” “Fall with Me” and “Men Overboard.” Show times are 8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m., 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Sunday. $20 per show. Call 937-424-8477 or visit

3) GLOW  

“Glow,” the 28th annual DP&L Foundation Open Members’ Show, is next up at The Contemporary (formerly Dayton Visual Arts Center), 118 N. Jefferson St., Dayton. The new exhibition features paintings, photographs, sculpture and other media. Jurors for the show include Mary Gray and Joel Whitaker. The Contemporary hosts A Gallery Talk from 6 to 8 p.m. August 2. “Glow” is on display through Wednesday, Aug. 10. Visit

>> Contemporary Dayton exhibition winners on view: ‘A microcosm of Dayton arts all in one gallery’


With its annual Old Case Files, Dayton History gets an opportunity to revisit a dramatic and controversial local murder. The historical courtroom drama series presents a re-enactment of a trial at the Old Court House, 7 N. Main St., Dayton, Friday through Sunday, July 26 through 28. Old Case Files is presented at 7:30p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 3 p.m. Sunday. The courtroom drama is also offered Aug. 2 through 4 and Aug. 9 through 11. Cost: $12 Dayton History members, $15 nonmembers. Call 937-293-2841 or visit

The Victoria Theatre Association’s Cool Film Series includes Strangers on a Train (1951) at 5 p.m. Sunday, July 14 at the Victoria Theatre. CONTRIBUTED
Photo: Contributing Writer


The Cool Films Series 2019 presents an Alfred Hitchcock Marathon at Victoria Theatre, 138 N. Main St., Dayton, on Sunday, July 14. “Suspicion” opens the day at 11 a.m., followed by “Dial M for Murder” at 2 p.m., “Strangers on a Train” at 5 p.m. and “North by Northwest” at 8 p.m. Cost: $39 passbooks includes 10 film passes and 10 passes for free popcorn and soda. The passes can be used in any combination across the series. Single tickets are $7. Call 937-228-3630 or visit

The Fraze Pavilion was the hottest place to be this weekend as the Seventh Annual Kickin' Chicken Wing Fest celebrated some of the best in chicken wings in the Miami Valley. While festival-goers tasted various chicken wings, live music entertained on the Fraze stage. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
Photo: Tom Gilliam


Miami Valley Restaurant Association is once again partnering with Fraze Pavilion for the popular Kickin’ Chicken Wing Fest. The event, at Lincoln Park Civic Commons, 695 Lincoln Park Blvd., Kettering, at 3 p.m. Saturday, July 13, features local food purveyors and live music from the Magnums, Rock This Way and Southbound. Cost: Free. Pets and coolers are not permitted. Call 937-296-3300 or visit

>> Eat some of Dayton’s tastiest wings in one spot

Hugh Jackman stars in “The Greatest Showman.” Contributed by Niko Tavernise/Twentieth Century Fox
Photo: Tribune News Service


In its second year of operation, the staff at Levitt Pavilion, South Main streets, between Fourth and Fifth streets, Dayton, is still looking for unique ways to engage the public. In addition to presenting a wide variety of musical styles over the summer, the outdoor venue is hosting its first Family Movie Night Sing-Along on Sunday, July 21. The featured film is the 2017 big screen musical, “The Greatest Showman,” starring Hugh Jackman. The screening begins at dusk. Cost: Free. Visit


The Ohio Balloon Challenge attracts thousands of visitors to Middletown each summer. The Middletown Visitors Bureau hopes to strengthen that event and other events after it completes its reorganization. NICK GRAHAM/STAFFSean Askren's hot air balloon "Bohica" and Doug Grimes' "The Gator" balloon were inflated during a media preview Thursday, July 20 for The Ohio Challenge Hot Air Balloon Festival at Smith Park in Middletown. The event runs Friday through Sunday. For more information visit NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
Photo: Nicholas S. Graham


Hot air balloon competition, live music, carnival, car show, skydiving demonstrations, balloon glow, fireworks and more. July 19-20, 4 to 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Smith Park, Middletown Regional Airport, Middletown Regional Airport, Middletown. Cost: Various parking and activity pricing; see website for full details. For more information, visit or

Wapakoneta and Auglaize County are marking the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon. The Summer Moon Festival, ten days of celebration, will be held July 12 – 21. LISA POWELL / STAFF
Photo: Staff Writer


Celebrate the anniversary of Apollo 11, the first manned lunar landing; enjoy inflatable activities, science demonstrations, face painting, aeronautics activities, mini golf, a kids trivia competition, the Lima Area Concert Band, animals from the Toledo Zoo, and the Run to the Moon races ( July 19-21, Events start at 7 a.m. Saturday and Sunday at Armstrong Air & Space Museum, 500 Apollo Drive, Wapakoneta. Free. For more information, call 419-738-8811 or visit

>> Events commemorate 50 years since the Apollo 11 moon landing

>> WORTH THE DRIVE: Museum celebrates Neil Armstrong’s most famous trip

Born Phoebe Anne Mosey Aug. 13, 1860 Annie Oakley, as she was later known, learned to shoot at the age of 8. In the fall of 1875, she was invited to take part in a shooting contest in Cincinnati against Frank Butler, a professional vaudeville stage shooter. When she won, Butler convinced Phoebe to travel with him across the country, demonstrating her skills. In June of 1876, they were married and they traveled across the country together. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL ANNIE OAKLEY CENTER AT THE GARST MUSEUM


July 26-28, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at Darke County Fairgrounds, 800 Sweitzer St., Greenville. Featuring shooting contests, a car show, fast draw competitions, melodramas, historical tours, a pilgrimage to Annie’s grave, special displays at Garst Museum, a Saturday parade, antique market and concessions. Free. For more information, call 937-548-5044 or visit

>> The perfect time (and place) to learn about the life of famous sharpshooter Annie Oakley



Country Concert at Hickory Hills Lake always books some of the biggest names in the genre. This year is no exception but the organizer’s thought outside the box with headliners Kid Rock and Chris Stapleton. The 39th annual festival at Hickory Hills Lakes, 7103 State Route 66, Ft. Loramie, on Thursday through Saturday, July 11-13, also features more traditional country offerings such as Thomas Rhett, Kip More and Gary Allan. Gates open at 3 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and noon Saturday. Cost: $115 Thursday, $121 Friday and $136 Saturday. Three-day passes start at $262. Special packages available. Call 937-295-3000 or visit

>> IT’S COUNTRY CONCERT WEEK: Everything you need to know about 3-day mega music fest

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
Photo: Tom Gilliam


Dayton Celtic Festival, one of the summer’s most anticipated downtown music festivals, returns to RiverScape MetroPark, 237 E. Monument St., Dayton, Friday through Sunday, July 26 through 28. This year’s headliners include Gaelic Storm, Scythian, Rory Makem and Socks in the Frying Pan. Festival hours are 5:30 to 11 p.m. Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Cost: Free. Visit


There have been a number of changes to the City of Dayton’s summer music festivals, including the addition of a new funk music event in August and the series’ move to Levitt Pavilion, South Main streets, between Fourth and Fifth streets, Dayton. Next on the schedule is the Dayton Blues Festival at 1 p.m. Sunday, July 14. The lineup was not announced at press time. No tents, umbrellas, coolers or pets allowed. Cost: Free. Call 937-333-8400. 



After 10 years together, Sugarland went on hiatus in 2012. Jennifer Nettles took maternity leave and she and bandmate Kristian Bush each released solo records. The country act returned in 2017 without missing beat. Sugarland, on the road supporting its 2018 album, “Bigger,” performs at Rose Music Center, 6800 Executive Blvd., Huber Heights, at 8 p.m. Friday, July 19. Doors open at 7 p.m. $23.50-$118. Limited tickets remain. Call 937-228-2323 or visit


With nine albums to her credit, Sarah McLachlan has built up large catalog of hits and deep cuts. These and other songs are getting the orchestral treatment during the singer’s summer tour. McLachlan, whose ninth studio album, “Wonderland,” was released in 2016, performs at Rose Music Center, 6800 Executive Blvd., Huber Heights, at 8 p.m. Tuesday, July 30. Doors open at 7 p.m. Cost: $23.50-$83. Call 937-228-2323 or visit

Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi of the Tedeschi Trucks Band kick off their U.S. tour June 28, 2019, in Jacksonville, Florida, Trucks' hometown.


Each summer, Tedeschi Trucks Band heads out on an annual tour and invites some of his musical friends along for the ride. When Wheels of Soul 2019 pulls into Rose Music Center, 6800 Executive Blvd., Huber Heights, at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 20, the husband-and-wife-led group will be joined by special guests Blackberry Smoke and Shovels & Rope. Doors open at 6 p.m. Cost: $51-$148. Call 937-228-2323 or visit

Photo: KAP-Tech


Unlike many members of successful funk acts, Charlie Wilson made the transition from group member to solo artist. The R&B singer continues to record and tour and has worked with contemporary artist like Kanye West and Bruno Mars. Wilson, who was nominated for a 2018 Grammy Award for Best Traditional R&B Performance, performs at Fraze Pavilion, 695 Lincoln Park Blvd., Kettering, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 20. Cost: $49 lawn & terrace, $69 side orchestra, $79 plaza & center orchestra. All tickets increase $5 on day of the show. Call 937-296-3300 or visit


For the past several years, the Gem City has been a regular tour stop for Socks in the Frying Pan. The group is returning to the area for Dayton Celtic Festival at RiverScape MetroPark Friday through Sunday, July 26 through 28. Socks in the Frying Pan is coming to town a little earlier this summer for a concert at Levitt Pavilion, South Main streets, between Fourth and Fifth streets, Dayton, at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 25. Cost: Free. Visit

Cassadee Pope will headline a show at Terminal West.


Cassadee Pope started her career as the lead singer of pop-punk act Hey Monday. However, she transitioned to country and went on to win the third season of “The Voice” in 2012. Pope, who released her second solo album, “Stages,” in February performs at Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway, 777 Hollywood Blvd., Dayton, at 9 p.m. Saturday, July 20. Doors open at 6 p.m. and opening acts start at 6:30 p.m. You must be 21 to attend. Cost: $10. Call 844-225-7057 or visit

Amos Lee and Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers will perform at the Rose Music Center at the Heights on July 16, 2019. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO


It seems like package tours are bigger than ever this concert season and Rose Music Center, 6800 Executive Blvd., Huber Heights is hosting its fair share before the weather turns. Next up at the outdoor amphitheater is a co-headlining bill at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 16 featuring Amos Lee and Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Cost: $23.50-$60. Call 937-228-2323 or visit