10 events you should check out in Dayton this weekend

Thanksgiving has come and gone, ushering the official start to the Christmas season.

Sure, the local stores have been pushing yuletide shopping, but for many Daytonians it all really begins with the Dayton Holiday Festival. For others, it’s the opening of the Legendary Lights of Clifton. However, these signature attractions aren’t the only options this weekend. You can find live music, stand-up comedy, musical theater, ice skating and the first Dayton Soup Fest to lure you out of the house.

Read on for more info on these and other area events.

1. Dayton Holiday Festival

When: 4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 25

Where: Courthouse Square, Third and Main Streets, Dayton

Details: Dayton Holiday Festival, founded by Virginia Kettering in 1972, celebrates 50 years of holiday memories. The annual holiday season kickoff event at Courthouse Square features the Grande Illumination tree lighting, Dayton Children’s Parade Spectacular in Lights, street fair, horse-drawn wagon rides, live entertainment, Uno’s Pizza with Santa, and more. Friday also marks the opening of downtown holiday staples like Wintergarden Wonderland and Virginia Kettering’s Holiday Train Display.

Cost: Free

More info: 937-224-1518 or www.downtowndayton.org

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

2. Clifton Lights

When: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. daily, Friday, Nov. 25 through Saturday, Dec. 31

Where: Clifton Mill, 75 Water St., Clifton

Details: For more than two decades, people throughout the region have celebrated the Christmas season by visiting the massive holiday display with more than 4 million lights illuminating the mill, the gorge, the riverbanks, trees and bridges. In 2020, the Legendary Lights of Clifton received one of USA Today’s 10 Best Readers’ Choice Travel Awards. The Legendary Gates open nightly at 5 p.m.

Cost: $10, free for children 3 and younger

More info: 937-767-5501 or www.facebook.com/clifton.mill

Credit: JENNIFER TAYLOR

Credit: JENNIFER TAYLOR

3. “The Last Waltz”

When: 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 25; doors open at 7 p.m.

Where: Dayton Masonic Live, 525 W. Riverview Ave., Dayton

Details: “Such A Night: The Last Waltz Live” started out as a bucket list item for executive producer Jeff Opt in 2013 and has grown into an annual fundraiser for WYSO-FM (91.3) and Dayton Art Institute. More than 30 local musicians will take the stage to perform songs from Martin Scorsese’s concert film capturing the final performances by The Band.

Cost: $25 to $45 in advance

More info: daytonmasonic.live

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

4. MetroParks Ice Rink

When: Friday, Nov. 25 through Sunday, Feb. 26

Where: RiverScape MetroPark, 237 E. Monument Ave., Dayton

Details: Five Rivers MetroParks presents a new season of outdoor ice skating at RiverScape MetroPark. Ice rink hours are 2:30 to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 2:30 to 10 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Cost: $7 daily admission, $3 skate rental; skaters 3 and younger admitted free

More info: 937-224-1518 or www.downtowndayton.org

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

5. Sandi Patty

When: 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 26

Where: Arbogast Performing Arts Center, 500 S. Dorset Road, Troy

Details: Pioneering contemporary Christian music artist Sandi Patty, winner of 40 Dove Awards, presents a holiday show featuring her husband, Don, her son, Jonathan, and longtime friends Jay and Amy Rouse.

Cost: $20 to $65

More info: 937-418-8392 or www.arbogastpac.com

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

6. Soup Fest

When: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 26

Where: Yellow Cab Tavern, 700 E. Fourth St., Dayton

Details: The first Dayton Soup Fest is presented by the Pizza Bandit, KungFu BBQ and the Forking Pierogi. Other vendors serving soup and soup-themed dishes include Cruisin’ Cuisine, the Family Spoon and Hot Dish. Indoor seating available as well as patio seating with outdoor heaters and firepits.

Cost: Free

More info: 937-424-3870 or yellowcabtavern.com

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

7. Kyle Kemper

When: 8 p.m. Friday and 7:15 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 25 and 26

Where: Wiley’s Comedy Club, 101 Pine St., Dayton

Details: Kyle Kemper is still in his early 20s, but he’s already had plenty of stage time. The Dayton-based comedian was just 16 when he started performing. He is a past winner of Wiley’s Fireworks Competition and has appeared at the Super Dope Comedy Fest and Fuse Fest in Dayton, BrewHaHa in Cincinnati, and other regional stand-up events.

Cost: $15

More info: 937-224-5653 or www.wileyscomedy.com

8. “Legally Blonde - The Musical”

When: 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 25 through 27

Where: Schuster Center, Second and Main Streets, Dayton

Details: Based on the 2001 Reese Witherspoon film of the same name, Laurence O’Keefe, Nell Benjamin and Heather Hach’s cheerful 2007 musical comedy centers on Elle Woods, a bubbly sorority girl who takes Harvard Law School by storm.

Cost: $26-$109

More info: 937-228-3630 or visit daytonlive.org

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

9. Silent Disco Pajama Party

When: 8:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 25

Where: Yellow Cab Tavern, 700 E. Fourth St., Dayton

Details: Feeling too stuffed to slip into your dancing clothes after gorging on Thanksgiving lunch? Never fear, you can slip into some comfy clothes, put on the wireless headphones and burn some calories while boogieing the night away during the Pajama Party edition of Silent Disco. Three DJs will be onsite to spin a variety of tunes on separate channels.

Cost: $10 in advance, $15 day of event; cover starts at 8 p.m.

More info: 937-424-3870 or yellowcabtavern.com

10. Christkindl Market at Front Street

When: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 26

Where: Front Street, 1001 E. Second St., Dayton

Details: More than 250 artists and small business are participating in this event which features indoor studios, galleries and shops as well as a visit from Santa, Christmas caroling and an annual holiday light contest.

Cost: Free

More info: https://frontstreet.art/pages/christkindl-market-at-front-street-2022

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

About the Author