15 great things to do in Dayton this weekend



A gleefully groovy world premiere musical, exciting festivals and diverse concerts are among events to keep on your radar this weekend.

1. ‘This Is Tom Jones!’

When: Through Sept. 24; 2 p.m. Sept. 17, 23 and 24; 7 p.m. Sept. 20; and 8 p.m. Sept. 14, 15, 16, 21, 22 and 23

Where: Loft Theatre, 126 N. Main St., Dayton

Details: The Human Race Theatre Company presents a delightful world premiere of Mark Brown and Paul Mirkovich’s funny, naughty and incredibly tuneful new musical. Based on the classic 1749 novel by Henry Fielding, which was adapted into an Academy Award-winning film in 1963, “This Is Tom Jones!” is a bawdy romp about love, class, hypocrisy, forgiveness and empowerment set in 1750s London yet infused with a 1960s vibe (the hummable score is a toe-tapping throwback to the Beatles and Herman’s Hermits among others). Director Emily N. Wells’ wonderfully physical and versatile ensemble includes charismatic heartthrob Kyle Mangold in the title role, lovely Melinda Porto as Sophie Western (bringing fire to her big number ”Digging A Hole In the Ground”), kooky Eb Madson as vindictive Blifil, and hilarious duo Sara Mackie (leading the pop elegance of “London Town” in a nifty wardrobe sequence reminiscent of “The Lady’s Paying” from “Sunset Boulevard”) and Kelly Mengelkoch interpreting multiple roles with comedic chameleon finesse. The energetic cast includes Jamie Cordes, Edwin Large, Patrick Earl Phillips and Aleah Vassell who shine throughout and particularly fuel the joy of “Fox Hunting,” among the clever, playful routines choreographed by Debbie Blunden-Diggs. Also notable: Tamara L. Honesty’s colorful, “Laugh-In”-inspired set; Janet G. Powell’s attractive period costumes strikingly capturing the dual 18th and 20th century aesthetic; and music director Steve Goers’ excellent onstage band. ‘This Is Tom Jones’ is a work-in-progress (the show could benefit from sharper lyrics and a tighter structure especially in Act 1), but it’s also a wildly entertaining, pleasantly surprising and musically inviting experience not to be missed.

Cost: $20-$53

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

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

2. Hispanic Heritage Festival

When: Saturday, Sept. 16 from 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

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

Details: This annual festival celebrates Hispanic cultural heritage with music, food, a parade, cultural displays and more.

Cost: Free

More info: More info: http://www.pacodayton.org/index.html

3. ‘The Producers’

When: Sept. 15-16; 8 p.m. Friday; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday

Where: Victoria Theatre, 138 N. Main St., Dayton

Details: TheatreLab Dayton opens its 2023-2024 season with Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan’s funny, naughty and irreverent Tony Award-winning musical comedy about shady Broadway producers. Songs include “Keep it Gay” and “Springtime for Hitler.”

Cost: $18.50-$58.50

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



4. Justin Moore

When: Saturday, Sept. 16 at 8 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Where: Rose Music Center, 6800 Executive Blvd., Huber Heights

Details: It’s been 14 years since country singer Justin Moore scored his first No. 1 single with “Small Town USA.” The Arkansas native has placed nine other songs at the top of the country charts, including “With A Woman Like You” from his seventh studio album, “Stray Dog” (2023). Moore will be joined by special guest Harper Grace for Hometown Heroes, a military appreciation night from the Big Hoopla. (Don Thrasher)

Cost: $33.50 to $69.50

More info: 513-232-6220 or www.rosemusiccenter.com

5. Dayton Seafood Fest

When: Friday Sept. 15 from 5-9 p.m.

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

Details: This event will feature more than a dozen vendors offering seafood and dishes made with crab, shrimp, lobster and more. Participating vendors include Naughty Lobster, Cray Cray Cajun, Cousin Maine Lobster, Thai1On, The Lumpia Queen, Home Cooked Vibes, Crusin’ Cusine, Pizza Bandit, M & S Grub hub, Ma Dukes Street Food, Back Yard Smoke and Grill, Spin City Cotton Candy, Fifty5 Rivers, and Zs Lemonade.

Cost: Free

More info: www.yellowcabfoodtrucks.com

6. Concours d’Elegance

When: Sunday, Sept. 17 from 10:30 a.m.- 4 p.m.

Where: Carillon Historical Park, 1000 Carillon Blvd., Dayton

Details: More than 150 of the finest classic and antique automobiles and motorcycles in the country will be on view. Enjoy food, live music and historical demonstrations.

Cost: $20 in advance. $25 at the door. $10 for children ages 3-17. Free for Dayton History members and children 2 and under.

More info: www.daytonconcours.com



7. Elsten Torres

When: Friday, Sept. 15 at 7 p.m.

Where: Levitt Pavilion, 134 S. Main St., Dayton

Details: Dayton Metro Library co-presents the World Music Series concert with Elsten Torres. The New York-based native of Cuba, a two-time Grammy Award nominee, is one of the pioneers of Latin alternative rock. Torres’ 12th studio album, “Nocturno,” was released in May 2022. Gospel soul act the Sensational Barnes Brothers closes out the concert season at Levitt Pavilion on Saturday, Sept. 16. (Don Thrasher)

Cost: Free

More info: www.levittdayton.org

8. EcoFest

When: Saturday, Sept. 16 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Where: Fraze Pavilion, 695 Lincoln Park Blvd., Kettering

Details: This fun and family-oriented educational event focuses on helping the planet. The event will have beekeepers and a honey station as well as children’s activities. There is also an opportunity for patrons to drive an electric car.

Cost: Free

More info: 937-296-3302 or www.fraze.com



9. Dayton Music Club

When: Sunday, Sept. 17 at 3 p.m.

Where: Epiphany Lutheran Church, 6430 Far Hills Ave., Centerville

Details: Dayton Music Club, the local 501 c3 non-profit organization, presents its first recital of its historic 135th season. Soprano Magdalena Kirsch will perform with pianist John Benjamin, while Kristen Kosey presents solo piano and violinists Rachel Cox and Marna Street will duet. (Don Thrasher)

Cost: Free; donations are accepted for the DMC Youth Scholarship Fund

More info: daytonmusicclub.org

10. Polish Fall Festival

When: Sunday, Sept. 17 from 1-7 p.m.

Where: Polish Picnic Grounds, 3690 Needmore Road, Dayton

Details: Randy Krajewski and his polka band from Toledo are featured guests.

Cost: $5 per carload

More info: 937-222-8092

11. Autumn Fest

When: Saturday, Sept. 16 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Where: Learning Tree Farm, 3376 S. Union Road, Dayton

Details: Autumn Fest will include a day full of fall fun including pony rides, hayrides, animal interactions, crafts, history/nature games and activities, food trucks, and vendors.

Cost: $10 per person. Free for those 2 years old and under.

More info: 937-866-8650 or www.learningtreefarm.org

12. Rubber Duck Regatta

When: Saturday, Sept. 16

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

Details: The United Rehabilitation Services’ Rubber Duck Regatta returns once more. The ducks will be dropped into the river at 4:30 p.m. Ducks can be adopted for $5 or a Quack Pack (six ducks for $25).

Cost: Free, but you must purchase ducks to participate.

More info: 937-233-1230 or www.daytonducks.com

13. Taste of the Oregon District

When: Saturday, September 16 from 12-6 p.m.

Where: Oregon District in downtown Dayton

Details: Enjoy snack portions from the eclectic kitchens of the Oregon District as well as live music, sidewalk sales and more.

Cost: Free

More info: Facebook

14. Dayton Vegan Food and Drink Festival

When: Sunday, Sept. 17 from noon-6 p.m.

Where: Courthouse Square, Third and Main streets, Dayton

Details: This event is focused on highlighting whole foods plant-based and vegan food and drink (non-alcoholic) businesses along with vegan-friendly companies.

Cost: Free

More info: www.mcohio.org

15. Air Force Marathon

When: Saturday, Sept. 16 at 7:30 a.m.

Where: National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, 1100 Spaatz St., Dayton

Details: Race weekend features five event distances; a marathon, half marathon, 10K, 5K, and Tailwind Trot 1K Kids’ Run as well as a three-person marathon relay and two Fly! Fight! Win!

Cost: $25-$250

More info: https://www.usafmarathon.com

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