August is a big month. A brand new music facility with free concerts, signature festivals, big summer concerts. Here is what you need to know to plan the rest of your summer.
>> FOOD plus FUN: 10 events you don’t want to miss this month
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This month, local music fans will celebrate the official opening of Levitt Pavilion, a new downtown outdoor music venue located on South Main Street, between Fourth and Fifth streets in Dayton. The season began with a concert from Latin pop singer Gina Chavez on Thursday, Aug. 9.
The venue will present free concerts Thursdays through Sundays into early October. Other notable concerts include Paul Thorn and the Blind Boys of Alabama on Saturday, Aug. 11, Devon Gilfillian on Saturday, Sept. 15 and Derik Nelson & Family on Sunday, Oct. 7.
Show times are 7 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, and 3 p.m. Sundays. Cost: Free. Visit www.levittdayton.org.
Everything is better with bacon and this event aims to prove it. The event commemorating pork’s best side is back with more food and dishes that will make you want to kick off the front door. Baconlicous delights at last years Bacon Fest included bacon funnel cakes, bacon tacos, candied bacon and bacon wrapped chicken wings. Restaurants confirmed so far include: Amber Rose Restaurant and Catering, Archer’s Tavern, Basil’s On Market, The Dock Food & Spirits, Enon, elé Cake Co., Bistro& Wine Bar, El Meson, Marion’s Piazza, 1776 Grill and Sweet-Umms Chocolatier. Fraze Pavilion, 695 Lincoln Park Blvd., Kettering. www.fraze.com
AFRICAN AMERICAN CULTURAL FEST
Dayton African American Cultural Festival returns to Dayton on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 18 and 19, for events at two locations. The 10th annual celebration is held at Island MetroPark, 101 Helena St., Dayton, from noon to 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18. The second part of the festival is the Gospel Explosion at Courthouse Square, Third and Main streets, Dayton, from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 19. Call 937-475-2707 or visit www.daacf.com.
Alefest, the long-running craft beer tasting, is celebrating a major milestone this year. The organizers are celebrating the 20th year of the event, which has been held at several different venues over the past two decades. Alefest is presented at Dayton Convention Center, 22 E. Fifth St., Dayton, from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25. More than 250 beers will be available to sample. Live music presented by the Fries. Cost: $40 general admission, $60 VIP, which includes early entry at 3 p.m. Visit www.alefest.com.
Fine wine and cool jazz will be featured at the free Fraze festival. Grab a snack, grab some vino and enjoy the weekend. Fraze Pavilion, 695 Lincoln Park Blvd., Kettering. www.fraze.com.
ART ON THE COMMONS
Art on the Commons has become an annual staple at Lincoln Park Civic Commons, 695 Lincoln Park Blvd., Kettering. The 30th annual juried display and sale of fine arts and crafts is presented by Rosewood Arts Centre and the Kettering Arts Council. Art on the Commons returns to Lincoln Park Civic Commons at 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 12. Cost: Free. Call 937-296-3300 or visit www.fraze.com.
Like a Dayton Dragon’s home stand, the Great American Beer Tasting is becoming a favorite summer outing for Daytoniains. Heidelberg Distributing presents the 11th annual event at Fifth Third Field, 220 N. Patterson Blvd., Dayton, from 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11. Cost: $30 in advance, $40 day of the event. Entry includes 20 samples from more than 100 options, souvenir sampling glass and raffle ticket. $5 designated driver tickets. 937-228-2287 or www.daytondragons.com.
Dayton German Club presents the 35th annual Germanfest Picnic at RiverScape MetroPark, 237 E. Monument Ave., Dayton, Friday through Sunday, Aug. 10-12. The cultural event features German food and beer on tap, live music on two stages, a kids area, 5K and 10K races, genealogy assistance and Markt Platz featuring handcrafts and German items. Germanfest hours are 5 to 11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. The 5K and 10K run begins at 9 a.m. Saturday. The picnic features a Polka Mass at 10 a.m. Sunday. Cost: Free. Call 937-429-9251 or visit www.germanfestdayton.com.
GREATER DAYTON LEBANESE FESTIVAL
Dive into kibbee, kafta, baklawa, shawarma and other handmade Lebanese foods at this beloved festival. There will be dance, cultural displays and amusement park rides. There will be a Catholic Mass at 10 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 26. 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, Aug. 24; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25; 11 to 6 p.m. Sunday Aug. 26. St. Ignatius Maronite Catholic Church, 5915 Springboro Pike, West Carrollton. Admission is free.
THE LITTLE FOXES
Dayton Theatre Guild launches its 2018-2019 season with “The Little Foxes.” The play by Lillian Hellman opens at The Caryl D. Philips TheatreScape, 430 Wayne Ave., Dayton, on Friday, Aug. 17. Show times are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 3 p.m. Sunday opening weekend, and 8 p.m. Friday, 5 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday the following weekends. “The Little Foxes” is presented weekends through Sunday, Sept. 2. Cost: $20 adults, $18 seniors and $13 students. Call 937-278-5993 or visit www.daytontheatreguild.org.
Each summer, the Kettering-Moraine-Oakwood Chamber of Commerce hosts The Taste to showcase area restaurants. The 32nd annual food festival returns to Lincoln Park Civic Commons, 695 Lincoln Park Blvd., Kettering, from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 30. Cost: $25 in advance, $30 day of event. $10 all children younger than 10 at the door. Call 937-296-3300 or visit www.fraze.com.
HWD, which stands for Height, Width, Depth, is the 12th annual juried sculpture exhibition opening at Rosewood Arts Centre, 2655 Olson Dr., Kettering, on Monday, Aug. 27. The show, which is on display through Oct. 5, features three-dimensional work by sculptors in any medium from Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and West Virginia. An artists’ reception will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 30. Call 937-296-0294 or visit www.playkettering.org.
DRIVING MISS DAISY
“Driving Miss Daisy” opens at La Comedia Dinner Theatre, 765 W. Central Ave., Springboro, on Thursday, Aug. 23. The play is presented through Aug. 23-Sept. 23. Show times are 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Sunday, 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. Doors open two hours before show time. The buffet opens an hour and 15 minutes before show time. Cost: $61-$75 adults, $30 children 11 and younger. Call 937-746-4554 or visit www.lacomedia.com.
KIDZ BOP LIVE
Many of the events at Rose Music Center, 6800 Executive Blvd., Huber Heights, are geared toward an adult audience. That’s definitely not the case when the outdoor venue hosts the family show, Kidz Bop Live 2018 at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 17. This show is a live spinoff of the popular series of pop music compilations for children featuring re-recorded versions of songs by artists such as Bruno Mars and Britney Spears. Doors open at 6 p.m. $23.50-$52. Call 937-228-2323 or visit www.ticketmaster.com.
Vince Gill has won an astounding 20 Grammy Awards as a country singer but he recently expanded his creative resume by becoming a performing member of chart-topping rockers the Eagles. However, this summer Gill is on tour focusing on the songs that made him famous, including a return to the area for a concert at Fraze Pavilion, 695 Lincoln Park Blvd., Kettering, at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 13. Cost: $37.50 lawn & terrace, $55 orchestra, $60 plaza rows DD-JJ, $75 plaza rows AA-CC in advance. All ticket prices increase $5 day of show. Call 937-296-3300 or visit www.fraze.com.
David Byrne made his name as the frontman for the genre-pushing new wave act Talking Heads but if that’s all you know about his career you’re missing out. He has carved out a unique solo career as artist and continues to follow his own creative muse. Byrne, currently out on The American Utopia Tour with Benjamin Clementine, makes a stop at Rose Music Center, 6800 Executive Blvd., Huber Heights, at 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11. Doors open at 7 p.m. Cost: $39-$93. Call 937-228-2323 or visit www.ticketmaster.com.
EARTH, WIND & FIRE
Earth, Wind & Fire was always a unique group, able to balance pop ballads and world beat rhythms with stone cold funk. That recipe took the group to the top of the charts with hits such as “Shining Star,” “September” and “Boogie Wonderland.” More than 40 years after their debut, the group continues to make new music. The band’s most recent album, “Holiday,” was released in 2014. Earth, Wind & Fire performs at Fraze Pavilion, 695 Lincoln Park Blvd., Kettering, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 23. Cost: $46 lawn & terrace, $66 side orchestra in advance. All ticket prices increase $5 day of show. Call 937-296-3300 or visit www.fraze.com.
BILLY BOB THORNTON
Billy Bob Thornton is best known for roles in films like “Sling Blade,” “Monster’s Ball” and “Friday Night Lights” but he is also something of a singer-songwriter. He has recorded a handful of albums, including “Private Radio” (2001) and “Beautiful Door” (2007). Thornton is currently on the road with his band the Box Masters, including a performance at JD Legends, 65 Millard Dr., Franklin, at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11. Cost: $20-$24, $75-$115. Call 937-746-4950 or visit www.jdlegends.com.
Get a taste of modern New Orleans when the Voodoo Threauxdown pulls into Rose Music Center, 6800 Executive Blvd., Huber Heights, at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 24. The multi-band concert features headliners Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue with Galactic, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, New Breed Brass Band and others. Doors open at 6 p.m. Cost: $23.50-$73. Call 937-228-2323 or visit www.ticketmaster.com.
ROOTS & BOOTS
Another popular package show this summer is Roots & Boots Tour: The Electric ’90s Throwdown. The tour, which features Sammy Kershaw, Aaron Tippin and Collin Raye, pulls into Fraze Pavilion, 695 Lincoln Park Blvd., Kettering, at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 10. Cost: $35 lawn & terrace, $45 orchestra in advance. All ticket prices increase $5 day of show. Call 937-296-3300 or visit www.fraze.com.
Dee Snider officially ended Twisted Sister for a second time in 2016 but the outspoken singer hasn’t given up on music. Snider, currently out for a solo tour, performs with special guests Warrant, Dokken and Downtread at Rose Music Center, 6800 Executive Blvd., Huber Heights, at 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25. Doors open at 6 p.m. Cost: $63 general admission pit, $23.50-$57 reserved pavilion seating. Call 937-228-2323 or visit www.ticketmaster.com.
Aaron Lewis is the rare artist that has found a way to expand his career from rock into country. While has an alliance with his original band, Staind, country music is increasingly a bigger and bigger part of his life. Lewis, who released the solo album, “Sinner,” in 2016, performs in concert at JD Legends, 65 Millard Dr., Franklin, at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25. Cost: $32.50, VIP $125. Call 937-746-4950 or visit www.jdlegends.com.
AUGUST MUSIC FESTIVALS
Bellwether Music Festival at Renaissance Park, 10542 E. Ohio 73, Waynesville, on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 10 and 11, is a new festival but it comes with quite a pedigree. Organizer Bill Donabedian is the man behind Cincinnati festivals Bunbury and Midpoint so he knows how to host quality events. Bellwether is no exception with top names such as MGMT, the Flaming Lips, Echo & the Bunny Men and Local Natives. Cost: $55 per day general admission, $95 for two-day general admission pass. VIP, camping, glamping and RV packages are available. The festival is rain or shine. Visit www.bellwetherfest.com.
Tony Herdman has held his annual Hog Jam in multiple locations over the past dozen years. He decided to switch things up in a big way this year, moving the 13th annual music festival, on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 24 and 25, from the VFW Campgrounds in Franklin to downtown Dayton with shows at two locations. Music begins at 7 p.m. Friday with acoustic performances by Blue Moon Soup, Chris Bro, Alec Delphenic, Charlie Tipton and Sharon A. Lane at Hannah’s, 121 N. Ludlow, in Dayton. Hog Jam 2018 continues at the 804 Bldg., 804 E. Monument Ave., Dayton, at 11 a.m. Saturday, with performances by Subterranean, Cheezcake, Jonny Dread & the Mystics, the Nerak Roth Patterson Band and others. Cost: $10 per venue. Visit www.facebook.com/hogjammusicfestival.
Arts & crafts, food vendors, live music, kids’ activity area, a Friday cruise-in and more will on be on tap at the annual Clifton Gorge Music & Arts Festival. The event, near the Old Clifton Union School at North and Clay streets, Clifton, is presented on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 24 and 25. Festival hours are 4 to 11 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday. Musical acts were not announced at press time. Cost: Free. Call 937-342-2175 or visit www.villageofclifton.com.