40 events to keep you busy throughout September in Dayton

Your guide to concerts, festivals, theater and more across the region this month.

From a variety of fun community gatherings, including popular festivals, to diverse concerts and shows, you’re bound to find something to enjoy across the Dayton area in September.

Here’s a look at what’s in store.




1. Dayton Art Institute Oktoberfest

The 51st anniversary Oktoberfest is presented on the lawn of the Dayton Art Institute, 456 Belmonte Park North, Dayton, Friday through Sunday, Sept. 23 through 25. The Lederhosen Lunch kicks off the weekend from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday. Cost: Oktoberfest tickets in advance are $8 adults and $5 seniors (60 and older) and youth 7 to 18. $10 adults and $7 seniors and youth at the gate.

The festivities at the signature fall celebration continue at the Preview Party, a special ticketed event from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Cost: Preview party tickets in advance are $55 for DAI members and $75 nonmembers. All preview party tickets are $95 at the gate. Oktoberfest hours are noon to 11:30 p.m. Saturday and noon to 7 p.m. Sunday. More info: 937-223-5277 or www.daytonartinstitute.org.

2. Dayton Greek Festival

After being sidelined by the coronavirus pandemic for two years, the 64th Dayton Greek Festival returns to in-person attendance. The long-running event returns to Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, 500 Belmonte Park North, Dayton, Friday through Sunday, Sept. 9 through 11, with Greek food, beverages, live music, dancing and more. Festival hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. Cost: Free. More info: 937-224-0601 or www.daytongreekfestival.com.

3. Ohio Renaissance Festival

Summer is nearing an end, which means the Ohio Renaissance Festival is back. The 33rd season opens at Ohio Renaissance Fairgrounds, 10542 E. State Route 73, Waynesville, on Saturday, Sept. 3. Festival hours are 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Cost: General admission tickets are $28 adults (13 and older), $25 first responders and seniors (65 and older) and $10 children (5-12). Parking is $3. Ohio Renaissance Festival continues weekends through Sunday, Oct. 30. More info: 513-897-7000 or renfestival.com.

4. Dayton Reggae Festival

Jah Soul will open the afternoon of music when Dayton’s Department of Recreation presents the Dayton Reggae Festival at Levitt Pavilion, 134 S. Main St., Dayton, on Sunday, Sept. 4. Music is presented from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Luv Locz performs second, followed by Johnny Payne & the True Believers and Seefari. One Love Reggae Band closes out the festival. Cost: Free. More info: 937-333-8400 or www.downtowndayton.org.

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

5. Hispanic Heritage Festival

With the exception of recent pandemic-induced postponements, PACO, the Puerto Rican, American and Caribbean Organization, has closed out the summer each year with a massive party known as Hispanic Heritage Festival. The 21st anniversary event is presented at RiverScape MetroPark, 237 E. Monument Ave., Dayton, on Saturday, Sept. 17, and features food vendors, live music, dancing, dance lessons and the Hispanic Heritage Parade at noon. Cost: Free. Festival hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Performers include Renesito Avich, Madrazo de Tierra Caliente and Jhonny Velez in a tribute to Elvis Crespo. More info: www.pacodayton.org.

6. Beavercreek Popcorn Festival

Arts and crafts booths, live music, festival food and plenty of popcorn-related treats are just some of the attractions at Beavercreek Popcorn Festival on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 10 and 11. The annual street party returns to Dayton-Xenia Road, which will be blocked off between Fairfield and Meadow Bridge roads in Beavercreek. Special activities include a 5K run at 8:30 a.m. Saturday and a car show at noon Sunday. Performers include Ryan Roth & the Comeback Special, Doug Hart Band and Ludlow Creek on Saturday and the Hathaways, Rock It 88 and the Beavercreek High School Marching Band on Sunday. Festival hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Cost: Free. More info: 937-602-CORN or beavercreekpopcornfestival.org.

7. Polish Fall Festival

The Polish Club presents the Polish Fall Festival at the Polish Picnic Grounds, 3690 Needmore Road, Dayton, on Sunday, Sept. 18. The annual event has food, beverages and live music from Randy Krajewski and his polka band from Toledo. Gates open at 1 p.m. Music presented from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Cost: $5 per carload. Coolers are not permitted. More info: 937-222-8092.

8. Alter Fest

Alter High School’s annual, family-friendly festival offers fun rides, children’s entertainment, children’s games, food, music, a cornhole tournament, and more. Activities begin at 7 p.m. Friday, 12 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 2 through 4 at Alter High School, 940 E. David Rd., Kettering. Free entry; $25 unlimited ride wristbands. More info: alterhs.org

9. EcoFest 2022

EcoFest 2022 on Saturday, Sept. 17 is the final event for the season at Lincoln Park Civic Commons, 695 Lincoln Park Blvd., Kettering. The new family-friendly educational event runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and focuses on gardening, conservation, recycling and more. EcoFest also has a children’s area, beekeepers and a honey station and the tree huggers area. Cost: Free. More info: 937-296-3300 or www.fraze.com.

10. Fair at New Boston

Since 1982, the Fair at New Boston has been providing attendees with a glimpse of life as it was in 1798 through recreations and battles. The historical event returns to George Rogers Clark Park, 936 S. Tecumseh Rd., Springfield, on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 3 and 4. Festival hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Cost: Advance tickets $8.50 adults, $3 children 6-11. Gate prices $10 adults. $8 active military, veterans and first responders with ID, $5 children 6-11, free for ages 5 and younger. More info: 937-882-9216 or www.fairatnewboston.org.

11. Immortal Christian Rock Festival

Barren Cross, Sacred Warrior, Whitecross, Daniel Band Human code are among the acts on the bill for the Immortal Christian Rock Festival Friday through Sunday, Sept. 2 through 4. Pastor Bob Beeman will emcee the hard rock event at BMI Speedway, 791 E. Main St., Versailles. Chris Jericho will emcee on Saturday and also do a live podcast taping with Barren Cross at 3 p.m. Music begins at 6 p.m. Friday and 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Doors open at 4 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday and noon Sunday. Cost: $30 general admission per day. Premium section passes available for additional costs. Meet and Greet sessions are $25 per act. More info: 937-526-9547 or www.bmikarts.com.




12. Dayton Dragons

It was a tough first season for Dayton Dragons manager Bryan Lahair, the team’s 11th skipper. The Dragons are playing 500 ball as the 2022 home season comes to a close against the Cedar Rapids Kernels at Day Air Ballpark, 220 N. Patterson Blvd., Dayton, Friday through Sunday, Sept. 2 through 4. Games begin at 7:05 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 1:05 p.m. Sunday. Cost: $5-$20 single-game tickets. More info: 937-228-2287 or www.milb.com/dayton.



13. Concours d’Elegance

About 200 antique and classic automobiles, trucks and motorcycles will be parked on the lawn at Carillon Historical Park, 1000 Carillon Blvd., Dayton, for Concours d’Elegance on Sunday, Sept. 18. The high end show, from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., has a wide variety of makes and models from restored vehicles to classics preserved in original condition. Cost: $20 adults in advance, $25 at the door, $10 children (3-17), free for Dayton History members and children 3 and younger. The car-themed weekend begins with a preview party from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17. Cost: $85 members, $95 nonmembers. More info: 937-293-2841 or www.daytonhistory.org.

14. Rubber Duck Regatta

The United Rehabilitation Services’ 17th annual fundraiser, normally held at RiverScape MetroPark, will be held at the Dixie Twin Drive-in, 6201 N. Dixie Dr., Dayton, Friday, Sept. 30. Proceeds benefit URS, which provides services for local children and adults with disabilities. Cost: $5, free for children younger than 6. Duck adoption is $5 per rubber ducky or $25 for six ducks. Gates open at 7 p.m. Virtual duck drop at 8:30 p.m., followed by two family-friendly movies. More info: 937-235-DUCK (3825) or www.daytonducks.com.

15. Antique Fire Apparatus

Dayton History has once again partnered with the Miami Valley Antique Fire Apparatus Association for a truly unique event showcasing about 40 historic firefighting pieces, educational displays and more. The Antique Fire Apparatus Show returns to Carillon Historical Park, 1000 Carillon Blvd., Dayton, on Saturday, Sept. 3. Show hours are 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Cost: $12 adults, $10 seniors (60 and older), $8 children (3-17). More info: 937-293-2841 or www.daytonhistory.org.

16. The All White Experience

This African American-themed event, “designed to enhance the culture,” is an All White Day Party particularly requiring white attire. The event will be held Sunday, Sept. 4 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Carillon Historical Park, 1000 Carillon Blvd., Dayton. Cost: $25-$1,000. All table and VIP ticket purchases will grant access to food and a separate bar in the VIP area. More info: 937-266-5786 or 937-241-7001 or website.

17. Artini Dayton

Culture Works presents an evening of art-inspired cocktails in the Rotunda of the historic Dayton Arcade, 35 W. Fourth St., Dayton. Friday, Sept. 16 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Live music and catered food will also be a part of the evening. VIP admission begins at 5:30 p.m. General admission tickets are $50. VIP tickets are $75. More info: cultureworks.org/artini/

18. The Garden Club of Dayton

The Garden Club of Dayton says “Cheers to 100 Years” with a special flower show emphasizing floral design, horticulture, photography, education, and garden history and design. Thursday, Sept. 15 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Carillon Historical Park,1000 Carillon Blvd., Dayton. Free admission and parking. More info: 937-830-1065.



19. John E. Moore Sr. Memorial Golf Outing

African American Community Fund hosts second annual golf outing on Monday, Sept. 26 at Pipestone Golf Course, 3444 Benner Rd., Miamisburg. Check-in and registration will begin at 11:30 a.m. with a 1 p.m. start time. Online registration is required by Wednesday, Sept. 14. The cost is $125 per golfer or $500 per foursome. More info or to register: www.aacfdayton.org/golf-outing.

20. Summer Wine Down

Round Pond Estate, Far Niente and Stags Leap Winery are among the brands featured in Summer Wine Down. Miller Valentine and AES Ohio Foundation co-present this tasting event with chardonnays, cabernet sauvignons and more at the Schuster Center, Second and Main Streets, Dayton, at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 1. Cost: $65 general admission. The $90 VIP pass includes access to Napa Rock! A Cabernet tour of Napa Valley AVA’s from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. More info: 937-228-3630 or www.daytonlive.org.

21. Holiday at Home Parade

Kettering’s Holiday at Home Parade, flowing north on Far Hills Avenue starting at Stroop Road and ending just before Dorothy Lane, is a Labor Day tradition. The parade includes units from civic groups, high school music programs, service organizations, car clubs and more. Parade begins Monday, Sept. 5 at 9:55 a.m. and concludes at noon. More info: www.holidayathome.org.


22. DCDC’s Director’s Lunch

Dayton Contemporary Dance Company presents its new program, Director’s Lunch, which replaces the former Up Close & Personal Series. “DCDC: The House that Jeraldyne Built” is the topic of the first installment, at the Loft Theatre, 126 N. Main St., Dayton, on Thursday, Sept. 15. Cost: $26.50-$29.50. More info: 937-228-3630 or www.daytonlive.org.


23. “Monty Python’s Spamalot”

Dayton Playhouse opens its 2022-2023 season on Friday, Sept. 16 with “Spamalot,” the musical inspired by the comedy film, “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” Jenni Cypher directs. Dayton Playhouse is located at 1301 E. Siebenthaler Ave., Dayton. Show times are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays. “Spamalot” runs through Sunday, Sept. 25. Cost: $18-$20. More info: 937-424-8477 or www.daytonplayhouse.org.



24. “Grounded”

George Brant’s drama tells the story of a fighter pilot dealing with a different type of war after being reassigned as a remote drone operator. This production opens Human Race Theatre’s 36th season at the Loft Theatre, 126 N. Main St., Dayton, on Thursday, Sept. 8. Show times are 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday, 7 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday. $18-$53. “Grounded,” which runs through Sunday, Sept. 25, is recommended for ages 18 and older. More info: 937-228-3630 or www.daytonlive.org.

25. “The Mousetrap”

Wright State University Theatre opens a new season with “The Mousetrap” on Friday, Sept. 23. The Agatha Christie mystery is presented in WSU’s Festival Playhouse, Creative Arts Center, 3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy., Dayton. Show times are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, with an extra 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday, Oct. 1. Cost: $25 adults, $23 seniors 60 and older and $15 students. “The Mousetrap” is presented through Sunday, Oct. 2. More info: 937-775-2500 or https://liberal-arts.wright.edu/fine-and-performing-arts/box-office-and-current-season.

26. “Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?”

A coming-of-age musical set on the Southside of Chicago in the 1960s. This production opens at La Comedia Dinner Theatre, 765 W. Central Ave., Springboro, on Thursday, Sept. 15. Show times are between 12:30 p.m. and 12:45 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Sunday, and between 7:30 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. Doors open two hours before show time. The buffet opens at about 11:15 a.m. for matinees and 6:15 p.m. for evening performances. This production runs through Sunday, Oct. 30. Cost: $67-$78 adults, $37 children 11 and younger. More info 1-800-677-9505 or lacomedia.com.



27. “The Lifespan of a Fact”

What is truth? Are facts negotiable? Should ethics be curtailed for the sake of a juicier story? These questions and more fuel intriguing debate as journalistic integrity and creative essaying collide in Jeremy Kareken, David Murrell and Gordon Farrell’s 2018 one-act comedy “The Lifespan of a Fact.” Terrifically presented at the Dayton Theatre Guild under the direction of Tim Rezash, the breezy play, featuring excellently compartmentalized scenic design by Red Newman, centers on New York magazine intern Jim Fingal (Brandon Shockney in an outstanding Guild debut). The ambitious Jim, a Harvard-educated fact-checker, is determined to bring authenticity to the moving yet problematic work of celebrated Las Vegas-based author John D’Agata (a delightfully perturbed Jared Mola in a welcomed Guild return). As Jim and John spar over details large, small and miniscule, Jim’s editor Emily Penrose (a multi-layered Jennifer Lockwood) attempts to balance authority and diplomacy to ensure the final product is worthy of publication. The energetic and expressive Shockney, whose quick-witted comedic nuances recall Jesse Tyler Ferguson, marvelously interprets Jim’s unrelenting quest for accuracy, which goes too far and pushes the trio to the breaking point. Even so, Jim’s actions have merit, allowing this cautionary tale to sting with relevancy in light of today’s media and political climate. 8 p.m. Fridays, 5 p.m. Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays through Sept. 11 at the Dayton Theatre Guild, 430 Wayne Ave, Dayton. Tickets are $14-$21. More info: 937-278-5993 or daytontheatreguild.org. (Contributed by Russell Florence Jr.)



28. Ira Glass

WYSO-FM (91.3) presents An Evening with Ira Glass at the Schuster Center, Second and Main Streets, Dayton, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10. The pioneering broadcaster, whose groundbreaking NPR program, “This American Life,” has been a huge influence on generations of podcasters, presents the program, “Seven Things I’ve Learned.” Cost: $20. More info: 937-228-3630 or www.daytonlive.org.


29. Lewis Black

Lewis Black, a comedian who built his reputation on angry comedy rants, brings his Off the Rails Tour to the Victoria Theatre, 138 N. Main St., Dayton, at 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23. Cost: $28-$68. More info: 937-228-3630 or www.daytonlive.org.

30. Nurse Blake

Healthcare work is serious business, but Nurse Blake has found a way to transform his real experiences into a unique comedy program featuring skits, videos and interactive segments. The PTO Comedy Tour featuring Nurse Blake makes a stop at Victoria Theatre, 138 N. Main St., Dayton, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15. Cost: $34.50 to $59.50. This show is recommended for ages 18 and older. More info: 937-228-3630 or www.daytonlive.org.




31. Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra

The Dayton Philharmonic opens a new season at the Schuster Center, Second and Main Streets, Dayton, with Resphighi’s “Pines of Rome” at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Sept. 16 and 17. The Masterworks Series concert spotlights Brandon Patrick George, an alum of the Dayton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, who is featured on “Flute Concerto” by Christopher Rouse. Cost: $14 to $16. The DPO will also present Landslide: The Music of Fleetwood Mac, the first Rockin’ Orchestra Series concert of the 2022-2023 season, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24 featuring hits and deep cuts from classic rock act’s vast catalog. Cost: $27-$90. The new season continues with the SuperPops Series concert, “Havana Nights,” at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Sept. 30 and Oct. 1. Cost: $26 to $85. More info: 937-228-3630 or www.daytonlive.org.



32. Rose Music Center at The Heights

Summer is winding down but Rose Music Center, 6800 Executive Blvd., Huber Heights, still has more than a half-dozen shows booked before the venue closes for the season. Vocal group Il Divo and special guest vocalist Steve Labrie open up the month at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 1. Doors open at 6 p.m. Cost: $23.50 to $90. The Rose season continues with Oteil & Friends with Melvin Seals, Steve Kimock, Eric Krasno and Johnny Kimock on Thursday, Sept. 8, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons on Saturday, Sept. 10, Crowded House on Monday, Sept. 12, Boy George & Culture Club with special guests the English Beat on Thursday, Sept. 15 and Jon Pardi with special guests Lainey Wilson and Hailey Whitters on Saturday, Sept. 17. More info: 513-232-6220 or www.rosemusiccenter.com.

Credit: Rachel Murray

Credit: Rachel Murray

33. Levitt Pavilion

Speaking of local venues with a packed schedule, Levitt Pavilion, 134 S. Main St., Dayton, is closing out the summer with an eclectic array of shows. The 2022 Eichelberger Concert Season presents New York funk act Pimps of Joytime on Thursday, Sept. 1, followed by Zak Baalbaki & Band, one of America’s leading Arabic entertainers, on Friday, Sept. 2 and California-based Dayton-area native David Poe with Blake Morgan and Janita on Saturday, Sept. 3. Levitt Pavilion. Other notable Levitt shows include New York-based jazz group Burnt Sugar Arkestra on Friday, Sept. 9, Carlene Carter on Saturday, Sept. 10 and the Original Lakeside on Friday, Sept. 17. All concerts begin at 7 p.m. Cost: Free. More info: www.levittdayton.org.



34. Fraze Pavilion

The Australian Pink Floyd Show (APFS) is one of the first tribute acts to gain an international following. More than 30 years later, the international group remains as busy as ever. APFS brings its “All That’s To Come” world tour to Fraze Pavilion, 695 Lincoln Park Blvd., Kettering. 7:30 p.m, at Thursday, Sept. 1. This is the venue’s final concert of the 2022 concert season. Cost: $30 lawn & terrace, $55 side orchestra, $60 center orchestra and $65 plaza in advance. Ticket prices increase $5 the day of the show. More info: 937-296-3300 or www.fraze.com.

35. Arbogast Performing Arts Center

The Arbogast Center opens its 2022-2023 season Saturday, Sept. 27 with The Guess Who, whose rock and roll repertoire includes such hits as “American Woman” and “These Eyes.” Tickets start at $25. Show begins at 7 p.m. The Arbogast Center is located at 500 S. Dorset Rd., Troy. More info: https://www.arbogastpac.com/shows/the-guess-who

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO Ty Greenlees

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO Ty Greenlees

36. Jim McCutcheon

Jim McCutcheon is one of the area’s most enduring and endearing guitarists. He is not just a performer but also an educator to generations of area musicians. It’s fitting the Miami Valley Community Concert Association opens its 2022-2023 Heart & Soul season with An Evening with Jim McCutcheon at Centerville Performing Arts Center, Centerville High School, 500 E. Franklin St., Centerville, at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 7. Cost: Season tickets are $90 adults, $15 students. Tickets per concert are $35 adults, $5 students. More info: mvcconcert.org.

37. Ginuwine

Greene County Parks & Trails presents Ginuwine at Caesar Ford Park, 520 S. Stringtown Road, Xenia, on Saturday, Sept. 10. The concert, part of the Caesar Ford Summer Fest, features the R&B singer with Case and opener Jon B. Music at 8 p.m., doors at 6:30 p.m. Cost: $25 general admission, $40 stage front. This is the final concert in the four-show series. More info: gcparkstrails.com.



38. Dayton Music Club

Dayton Music Club’s 2022-2023 recital season begins at Christ United Methodist Church, 3440 Shroyer Road, Kettering, at 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 18. The program includes area musicians such as trumpeter Chris Braun, pianist Merri Kozlowski-Klode, the Syrodesy Flute Trio, and violinists Rachel Cox and Marna Street with pianist John Benjamin. Cost: Free. More info: 937-297-0463 or www.daytonmusicclub.org.

39. COCOA Music

COCOA Music, the Composers of Ohio Collaborative Organization for Acoustic Music, presents a concert at Dayton Society of Artists, 48 High St., Dayton, at 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 11. The local nonprofit organization is showcasing new chamber music pieces by COCOA president Moira Levant and area composers Christian Berg, Gwen Brubaker, Franklin Cox, Aster Kanke, Adam Rook and Madeline Smith. Cost: Free but donations are accepted. More info: leavantmusicstudio.com/cocoa-music.


40. Dayton Independent Film Festival

Regional filmmaking and stories from Midwestern filmmakers will be screened Sept. 23-25 at The Neon, 130 E. Fifth St., Dayton. The schedule for the third annual festival is available at neonmovies.com. General admission tickets are $7 for all screenings except the Sept. 25 screening (high school shorts) which is free. Tickets for the high school shorts will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. More info: neonmovies.com.

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

About the Author