LABOR DAY WEEKEND: How to have safe, socially distant fun this weekend

The events taking place (and the ones that are not) over the holiday weekend

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Labor Day weekend will look a bit different for Miami Valley residents this year.

So far, many of the festivals and events that have defined Labor Day celebrations (and marked the end of summer) in the Dayton area — such as Alterfest, Kettering’s Holiday at Home Festival as well as the Ohio Renaissance Festival — have been canceled.

While these big festivals are canceled, many other local celebrations are still set to take place across the region over Labor Day weekend. If you are staying home and want to go out, here are some ideas for holiday weekend fun.

Things to do over Labor Day weekend

Young’s Jersey Dairy Family Value Weekend

When: Friday, Sept. 4 through Monday, Sept. 7

Where: Young’s Jersey Dairy, 6880 Springfield-Xenia Road Yellow Springs

More info: Facebook

Over the course of the Labor Day weekend, Young’s Jersey Dairy north of Yellow Springs will be offering unlimited family fun with the purchase of a wristband.

It’s easy to spread out at this 60-acre farm.

With the wristband, guests will be able to visit Udders & Putters miniature golf, the batting cages, driving range, Moovers & Shakers ride, Cowvin’s Fast Slide, Cowvin’s Kiddie Corral and Cowvin’s Corny Maze Playland. Guests can also head out on a wagon ride on the farm.

Each wristband is $15 for ages 12 and older and $9 for ages 11 and under. Wristbands are valid for an entire day and can be purchased at Cowvin’s Corny Bin.

First Friday Chocolate Walk

When: Friday, Sept. 4 from 5-8 p.m.

Where: Downtown Troy

More info: Facebook

On Friday, Sept. 4, from 5-8 p.m., the city of Troy will be hosting its 4th Annual Chocolate Walk, offering sweet treats and chocolate-themed items from local businesses in the downtown area.

Tickets are $20 per person and will be available for purchase by calling Troy Main Street at 937-339-5455. Participants will pre-register on the website and then schedule a time to pick up their tickets. To keep occupancy at safe levels, the event will be limited to 200 tickets. Each participant will also be given a designated business from which to start the Chocolate Walk. Masks will be required for the event.

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Out on 5th

When: Sept. 4 beginning at 5 p.m. through Sunday evening, Sept. 6

Where: Fifth Street in Dayton’s Oregon District

More info: Facebook

It’s a big weekend for Dayton’s Oregon District. During weekends in September and October beginning this holiday weekend, Fifth Street will be transformed into a pedestrian promenade, featuring expanded outdoor dining areas, pop-up sidewalk sales, entertainment, and other special activities.

Fifth Street will be closed to vehicular traffic Friday through Sunday, starting at 5 p.m. Friday evenings through 7 a.m. Monday.

While you spend time in the Oregon District, check out the new Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA). This state-wide program allows patrons to purchase a designated cup from a participating business and consume an alcoholic beverage outside of that business but within the boundaries of the DORA. To see the map and learn more, visit

Where to park: Thousands of parking spaces are available all around the perimeter of the District, including more than 300 spaces of free on-street parking along Wayne Avenue, Bainbridge, Walnut, Fourth, and Jones streets as well as the Greater Dayton Premier Management parking lot on Wayne.

Downtown Dayton Sidewalk Sale

When: Friday, Sept. 4 from 5-8 p.m. and Saturday, Sept. 5 from noon to 5 p.m.

Where: Downtown Dayton

More info: Website | Facebook

More than 30 small businesses and locally owned restaurants in downtown Dayton will be participating in the Downtown Dayton Sidewalk Sale, set to take place on Friday night and Saturday afternoon.

Retailers will have merchandise for sale in their storefronts, and restaurants will be offering takeout food and drink specials for guests to enjoy as they stroll from shop to shop. Local artisans and musicians will also be present at this open-air event in downtown Dayton. Those interested in attending the event are encouraged to check the Downtown Dayton Partnership’s website for announcements regarding participating businesses and restaurants.



Carillon Park train rides

When: Saturday, Sept. 5, from 1-4 p.m.

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

More info: Facebook | Website

The famous mini train at Carillon Historical Park will be running this weekend with rides on Saturday, Sept. 5, from 1-4 p.m. Children and adults can take the 8-minute ride along a picturesque route through sycamore and cottonwood trees and underneath the 100-foot-tall Brethen Tower.

The Carillon Park & Steam Society operates the 1/8th scale train each year. The rides cost $1 per person (plus museum admission) and support the Carillon Park Rail & Steam Society.

Social distancing will be enforced and the train cars will be cleaned between rides.

This weekend, Carillon is also hosting a special display of antique fire equipment during the Miami Valley Antique Fire Apparatus Show on Saturday, Sept. 5 from 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Credit: Sarah Franks

Credit: Sarah Franks

Free admission day at Aullwood Farm

When: Sunday, Sept. 6, 1-5 p.m.

Where: Aullwood Farm, 9101 Frederick Pike, Butler Twp.

More info: Facebook

Enjoy socially distant fun by walking the trails and meeting some adorable animals on free admission day. Note, the Nature Center is closed to the public.

Last blast of summer at Aqua Adventures

When: Sept. 4-7 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Where: Aqua Adventures at Land of Illusion, 8762 Thomas Road, Middletown

More info: Facebook

The season is coming to a close at Aqua Adventures inflatable water playground at Land of Illusion in Middletown.

Just two more weekends remain, including extended hours this holiday weekend.

Swim, relax at the beach, bounce and splash to get that last blast of summer fun.

Super Dad’s Backyard BBQ Porterhouse for Two at Lily’s Bistro

When: Friday, Sept. 4 with two seatings, at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

Where: Lily’s Bistro, 329 E. 5th St., Dayton

More info: Facebook

Looking to celebrate grilled beef without Dad having to bring out the grill? Head to Lily’s Bistro for the Super Dad’s Backyard BBQ Porterhouse for Two event on Friday, Sept. 4. Chef Don Warfe will be grilling Porterhouse steaks to be a part of a four-course meal that can be enjoyed on Lily’s patio.

The following items will be on the menu:

- First Course: Watermelon gazpacho with fresh herbs and goat cheese.

- Second Course: Mediterranean salad with chickpeas, garden tomatoes, kalamata olives, pickled red onions, capers, cucumbers, feta and fresh herbs over arugula.

- Third Course: Grilled porterhouse steak for two. Served with squash straws, tabbouleh salad and tzatziki compound butter.

- Fourth Course: Baklava served with house-made pistachio-vanilla bean ice cream.

A wine and cocktail special will also be available for purchase at the event.

Tickets for the event are $85 for two and can be purchased by visiting the restaurant’s website. There will be two seatings for this event, at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., and attendees are encouraged to purchase tickets early, as spots are limited.

Credit: Staff photo by Michael Franz

Credit: Staff photo by Michael Franz

Popular Labor Day events that have been canceled


Alterfest, a popular festival put on by Archbishop Alter High School in Dayton, was canceled earlier this year by its organizers, citing concerns over mass gatherings in midst of the coronavirus pandemic. The event typically features food, carnival games, rides and beer. Festival organizers are looking forward to hosting the 40th year of the event next year.

❌The Fair at New Boston

The 38th Annual Fair at New Boston was officially canceled in late July after organizers determined that they would not be able to meet health guidelines created by the ongoing pandemic. For the past few decades, the Fair at New Boston has been recreating early Ohio life from roughly 1790-1810 with 600 costumed participants portraying settlers, Native Americans, military members and others, along with battles, demonstrations, food, vendors and an authentic re-creation of a Native American village. This historical festival was originally set to take place over Labor Day weekend at George Rogers Clark Park in Springfield. Typically, this event attracts an estimated 8,000 guests annually. Organizers are looking forward to greeting history buffs next year for the 39th Annual Fair at New Boston.

Ohio Renaissance Festival

Normally held during weekends throughout September and October near Waynesville, the Ohio Renaissance Festival celebrates the Renaissance era with entertainment, food and shopping. Unfortunately, however, organizers of the festival were forced to cancel the popular event, citing state recommendations regarding mass gatherings.

“ORF has always prided itself in offering first-rate, high-quality entertainment for everyone,” said Ohio Renaissance Festival organizers in a statement on their Facebook page. “Many of our performers have made the decision to bow out for this season, and we respect them for putting their health and family first. It’s going to be a long year, one that we will not soon forget. This was a tough choice to make, but in the end, we are doing what we feel is right for the festival and our guests.”

The Ohio Renaissance Festival plans on coming back for the 2021 season.

Kettering Holiday at Home

The Kettering Holiday at Home festival draws thousands of visitors to the streets of Kettering every year. Unfortunately, though, the popular Labor Day celebration, scheduled to take place from Sept. 6-7, was canceled back in late May by festival organizers.

Each year, this Labor Day celebration features a parade, a 5K, an arts and craft show, an auto show, children’s activities, live music and more.

“Our hometown spirit is alive and well during this unprecedented time our city is going through,” according to a May press release from the city of Kettering. “Last week the City of Kettering made some difficult decisions to maintain safety for its citizens. In accordance with those decisions, this year’s Holiday at Home committee has decided to cancel this year’s festival.”

Organizers plan to throw a bigger and better version in 2021.

River Blast

For the past few years, Miamisburg’s River Blast has been a Labor Day celebration in downtown Miamisburg featuring live music, kids’ activities, fireworks and other local entertainment. But this year’s festival also fell victim to the pandemic.

Like the other canceled festivals, River Blast will be back in 2021, bigger and better than ever, organizers vowed.

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