MORE FESTIVAL FALLOUT: Dayton’s largest wine and food event cancels for 2020

Dayton History’s Fleurs de Fete was scheduled for May 17 in Carillon Park, but will now look toward 2021

Dayton’s oldest and largest wine-themed outdoor festival will not happen in 2020, Brady Kress, president and CEO of Dayton History, confirmed to this news organization this afternoon, April 17.

The Fleurs de Fete had been scheduled for May 17 at Carillon Park. It would have been the 29th year of the event, which draws hundreds of people to outdoor tents to sample from among 400-plus wines, dozens of beers, and specialty dishes served up by 20 Dayton-area restaurants and caterers.

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Dayton History officials shared a draft news release announcing the cancellation with event sponsors and organizers in an email earlier this week.


Dayton History based its decision on the most recent recommendations and directives from Gov. Mike DeWine, the Ohio Department of Public Health, and the Centers for Disease Control to limit public interactions and the spread of COVID-19 in the community, the draft announcement said.

“While we are disappointed not to be moving forward, it is in the best interest of our guests, vendors, volunteers and employees,” Dayton History officials said in the draft news release.

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“To everyone that has supported this event over the past 28 years, including the locally owned and operated restaurants that have partnered with us, we cannot thank you enough for contributing to the growth of the event. We look forward to coming back even stronger in 2021. The funds raised with this food and wine festival help Dayton History and Carillon Historical Park share the Dayton region's unique stories and preserve over 45 Historic buildings and 3 million community artifacts” the draft release said.

Fleurs de Fete was conceived by Heidelberg Distributing Co. CEO Vail Miller and Arrow Wine Owner Mike Frank. Today their sons Vail Miller Jr. and Mif Frank continue the community tradition in collaboration with Dayton History.

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The festival was held at Carillon Park for a few years following its inception, spent several years at Lincoln Park Civic Commons in Kettering, returned to Carillon Park from 2001-2014, briefly changed its name to  “Fleurs et Vin,” spent 2015 at Welcome Park near Welcome Stadium, then returned to its roots in 2016 with its original Fleurs de Fete name and its original venue at Carillon Park.

Proceeds from Fleurs de Fête benefit Dayton History in its mission, which the organization describes as “to inspire generations by connecting them with the people, places, and events that changed Dayton and the world.”

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