8 fun things to do: Fireworks this weekend, Country Concert next week

You’ll find fireworks and music at every turn

1) Country Concert at Hickory Hills

Live music is making a big comeback this summer and nothing is more emblematic of that than the return of Country Concert at Hickory Hills Lake. The massive annual event, celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2021, takes place again at Hickory Hills Lake, 7103 Ohio 55, Fort Loramie, Thursday through Saturday, July 8 through 10.

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This year’s headliners Jason Aldean, Alan Jackson and Luke Combs will perform alongside more than two dozen other acts. Music begins daily at 5 p.m. Cost: Single-day tickets are $129 for Thursday and Friday, $147 Saturday. Two-day passes for Friday and Saturday are $249 and three-day festival passes are $283. Call 937-295-3000 or visit www.countryconcert.com.



2) Dragons at home

The Dayton Dragons are off to a solid start this season. At press time, the team was eight games above .500 for the first time since 2017. The Dragons hope to keep the winning play going during three July homestands at Day Air Ballpark, 220 N. Patterson Blvd., Dayton. The team faces the West Michigan Whitecaps Tuesday through Sunday, July 6 through 11, followed by games against the Great Lakes Loons July 13 through 18 and the Lake County Captains July 27 through Aug. 1. 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.

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3) FutureFest 2021

FutureFest will be all streaming productions this summer, but that doesn’t make the annual festival of new plays any less notable. When Dayton Playhouse presents its annual event July 6 through 25, the virtual showcase will feature the work of six finalist playwrights. The 2021 lineup is “All the Oxytocin in Your Fingertips” by Cary Simowitz, Shanti Reinhardt’s “Otis,” “Shylock the First” by Andrew R. Heinze, Mike Bencivenga’s “Talk of the Town,” “Tall Woman with Red Fan” by Michael Sloane and William Cameron’s “Truth Be Told.” Cost: $15 per show or $60 for a festival pass. Call 937-424-8477 or visit www.wordpress.thedaytonplayhouse.com.



4) Making Movies

“La Marcha” is the current single from Making Movies, a deliciously eclectic band from Kansas City, Mo. The group, which mixes Afro-Latin rhythms with indie rock and psychedelia, recently completed its fourth full-length album, the follow-up to 2019′s “Ameri’kana.” The 2021 Eichelberger Concert Season presents Making Movies at Levitt Pavilion, 134 S. Main St., Dayton, at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 8. That night, the band members will be joined on stage by several local student performers they worked with over Zoom last year. Cost: Free. Visit www.levittdayton.org.

5) Lights In Flight

Like most public events, there were no massive Independence Day celebrations in the area last year. After a year off, the City of Dayton is once again commemorating the Fourth of July holiday with the triumphant return of its Lights In Flight Fireworks Festival. The annual downtown holiday party, at RiverScape MetroPark, 237 E. Monument Ave., Dayton, on Saturday, July 3 begins earlier than normal with a noon start time. Lights In Flight features food, entertainment, family activities and an evening-capping fireworks display at 10 p.m. Cost: Free. Call 937-333-8400 or visit www.downtowndayton.org.

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6) Americana Festival

While the Arts & Crafts Street Fair and Children’s Area were canceled this year, the Centerville and Washington Township Americana Festival is on for 2021. The 48th annual event begins with fireworks at Centerville High School Stadium, 500 E. Franklin St., Centerville, on Sunday, July 4. Gates open at 6 p.m. The band Stranger performs at 8:30 p.m., followed by fireworks at 10 p.m. The festivities continue in downtown Centerville on Monday, July 5, with vendors and food purveyors. The 5K Run/Walk is 7:30 a.m. Monday and the parade begins at 10 a.m. Cost: Free. Call 937-433-5898 or visit www.americanafestival.org.

Credit: E.L. Hubbard

Credit: E.L. Hubbard

7) Go Fourth

Delco Park, 1700 Delco Park Drive, Kettering, is again the site of the Go Fourth! celebration. The annual Independence Day party, at 6 p.m. Sunday, July 4, features fireworks, food trucks, live music and the Fun Kids’ Zone. Local band Southbound performs from 6:30-7:30 p.m. followed by Rockland Road from 8:20-9:55 p.m. The fireworks show begins at 10 p.m. Cost: Free. Call 937-296-2454 or visit www.playkettering.org.

8) ’90s R&B night

Take a trip into the musical past with “Love U: a 90s R&B,” a DJ dance night at Yellow Cab Tavern, 700 E. Fourth St., Dayton, on Saturday, July 3. The setlist will include songs by Usher, Destiny’s Child, TLC and other acts from the decade that brought us fanny packs, Napster, “Friends” and Michael Jordan’s championship wins. Cover charge and music start at 8 p.m. Cost: $5 in advance, $7 at the door. Call 937-424-3870 or visit yellowcabtavern.com.

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

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