7 awesome things to do this weekend

In August 2020, due to the pandemic, the annual Dayton Pride Parade, hosted by the Greater Dayton LGBT Center, was reinvented as a reverse parade where the spectators drove down East Second Street in downtown Dayton to view static displays set up by performers, sponsors and nonprofits. This year's parade will be held from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturday. TOM GILLIAM/CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
In August 2020, due to the pandemic, the annual Dayton Pride Parade, hosted by the Greater Dayton LGBT Center, was reinvented as a reverse parade where the spectators drove down East Second Street in downtown Dayton to view static displays set up by performers, sponsors and nonprofits. This year's parade will be held from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturday. TOM GILLIAM/CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Pride events usher in a special month

With more than 60 percent of Ohioans vaccinated and the number of new coronavirus infections continuing to decrease, the Miami Valley is starting to come alive with in-person events and activities. Here is a look at some Sure Bets for the first full week of June.

1) Greater Dayton Pride

During the Stonewall Riots in 1969, it must have been hard to imagine a world where Pride Month would be a global celebration. Yet, that has happened with annual parades, parties, workshops and more honoring the struggle for equal opportunities for LGBTQ+ citizens of the world. Locally, that means the return of the Greater Dayton LGBT Center’s Pride Weekend on Friday and Saturday, June 4 and 5.

The festivities begin with Affair on the Square, the kickoff event at Courthouse Square, Main and Third streets, Dayton, from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday. The Rubi Girls headline the night, which also features performances by several bands. Pride Celebration continues Saturday with the Pride Parade followed by the Pride Festival at Courthouse Square.

The parade is from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. and the festival is from noon to 4 p.m. No Sunday activities are scheduled this year. Cost: Free. Visit www.daytonlgbtcenter.org.

2) First Friday and Sidewalk Sale Saturday

Pride’s Affair on the Square event is just one highlight of First Friday in downtown Dayton. This month’s First Friday celebration kicks off at 5 p.m., offering plenty of opportunities throughout the evening for shopping, dining, drinking and exploring the arts scene at various locations throughout downtown Dayton and the Oregon District.

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Then, on Saturday, more than 40 small businesses and locally-owned restaurants will participate in the Downtown Dayton Sidewalk Sale from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Visit the Downtown Dayton Partnership’s website at www.downtowndayton.org for more information on both these events.

James Rosenquist’s offset lithography “F-111” (pictured) and the screenprint “Target With Four Faces” by Jasper Johns are among the more than 80 pieces from the Dayton Art Institute’s permanent collection in “Changing Times: Art of the 1960s.” The exhibition is on display through September 12.
James Rosenquist’s offset lithography “F-111” (pictured) and the screenprint “Target With Four Faces” by Jasper Johns are among the more than 80 pieces from the Dayton Art Institute’s permanent collection in “Changing Times: Art of the 1960s.” The exhibition is on display through September 12.

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

3) Art of the 1960s

The fight for civil rights and women’s equality, division over the war in Vietnam, the rise in hippie culture and the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. are just some of the cultural matters that shaped the 1960s. These and other social and political aspects of the time are reflected in the artwork featured in the new exhibition, “Changing Times: Art of the 1960s.”

The show opened at Dayton Art Institute, 456 Belmonte Park N., Dayton, on May 22. It features more than 80 pieces from the museum’s permanent collection created during the turbulent decade by Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Aka Pereyma and other visual artists.

“Changing Times” is on display through Sept. 12. DAI’s current hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Cost: $15 adults, $10 seniors (60 and older), active military and groups of 10 or more, $5 students (18 and older with ID) and youth (ages 7-17). Free for DAI members. Call 937-223-4ART (4278) or visit www.daytonartinstitute.org.

4) Queen with strings

When the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra presented A Night of Symphonic Rock at the Schuster Center, Second and Main streets, Dayton, on Saturday, April 17, it was the first Rockin’ Orchestra performance since Wyclef Jean joined the DPO in February 2020.

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While the DPO, like many arts organizations, had an altered schedule for its Reimagined Season 2020–2021, they still managed to squeeze in a second Rockin’ Orchestra show. On Saturday, June 5, Virginia Beach-based Windborne Music returns to town for two shows with the orchestra.

“The Music of Queen” is presented at the Schuster Center at 6 and 8:30 p.m. Each show is 60 minutes. There is no intermission. Cost: $50 in-person, $25 live stream. Call 937-228-3630 or visit www.daytonlive.org.

5) Dayton Dragons

After imposing limited seating for the early part of the 2021 season, Day Air Ballpark, 220 N. Patterson Blvd., Dayton, is returning to full capacity for Dayton Dragons games beginning on Tuesday, June 8. That is the day the minor league baseball team begins a homestand against the Great Lakes Loons.

The series against the Loons continues at Day Air Ballpark through Sunday, June 13. Games begin at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 2:05 p.m. Sunday. Cost: $9 to $44 single-game tickets. Call 937-228-2287 or visit www.milb.com/dayton.

6) A little Strawberry Jam

The city of Troy isn’t hosting its massive Strawberry Festival this year due to coronavirus concerns. However, event organizers are hosting Strawberry Jam, a smaller version in downtown Troy on the same scheduled weekend, Friday and Saturday, June 4 and 5.

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The event will feature live music, children’s activities, food, beer and, of course, plenty of strawberry offerings. Festival hours are 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday. The full festival will return in 2021. Cost: Free. Visit www.troystrawberryfest.com.

7) Vince Morris & Friends

Columbus-native Vince Morris started his comedy career in Ohio before going on to spend time in Los Angeles. Returned to the Midwest in 2008 hasn’t hampered his career. The Dayton-based comic has appeared on BET’S “Comic View,” “The Late Late Show” on CBS and HBO’s “Def Comedy Jam.”

The Wright-Dunbar Village Neighborhood Association presents Vince Morris & Friends, an outdoor show in the amphitheater at Oak & Ivy Park, 700 Anderson-Goodrich Court, Dayton, at 7 p.m. Friday, June 4. Wyatt Luz, Keith Irvin and Lori Graves will also perform. Cost: Free but donations are encouraged. Visit www.facebook.com/wrightdunbarvillage.

Contact this contributing writer at 937-287-6139 or e-mail at donthrasher100@gmail.com.

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