Make a plan to start the weekend at downtown Dayton’s May First Friday

Every first Friday of the month, downtown Dayton becomes even more lively, with something to do and see at every corner.

May’s First Friday event is planned for Friday, May 7, starting at 5 p.m., and will take place across downtown Dayton and throughout the Oregon District.

“With April snow showers behind us, spring is in full swing and Mother’s Day and spring Class of 2021 graduations are approaching!” wrote Downtown Dayton Partnership marketing manager Allison Swanson in a release. “A trip to downtown Dayton for First Friday will be a chance to explore the shopping, dining and drinks, and creative local arts scene at the independent, small businesses of downtown Dayton.”

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The DDP reminded anyone planning to go that the health and safety of downtown’s staff and patrons continues to be the top priority for business owners, managers and workers. Businesses that plan to be a part of First Friday festivities are continuing to follow socially-distanced protocols and many are still offering delivery and takeout options.

In fact, the DDP stresses the importance of protocols, particularly the mandatory mask order in place across Dayton and the state. “Masks must be worn indoors, and outdoors when the suggested 6 feet of social distancing cannot be maintained. Businesses also have capacity limits on the number of guests allowed indoors at one time,” stated the DDP release.

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Here’s the complete rundown of Friday’s festivities:

💎Art, Dance, Music and Film

The Contemporary Dayton, 25 W. Fourth St.

Inaugural Exhibitions at the Co’s new space at The Dayton Arcade on display now through July 17. Zachary Armstrong: Grids & Abstracts April 30-July 17, 2021/ Cauleen Smith: Remote Viewing April 30-July 17, 2021/ Curtis Barnes, Sr.: Peace & Love April 30-July 17, 2021. Link for all pertinent information: 937-224-3822.

Dayton Art Institute, 456 Belmonte Park N.

Now open! Open on First Friday until 5 p.m. Visit the latest Focus Exhibition, Looking at Family: Photographs from the Collection - pulled from the DAI’s photography collection, it presents a range of artworks in which artists analyze concepts of family, love and relationships.

Dayton Society of Artists, 48 High St Dayton, OH 45403

The Dayton Society of Artists is pleased to present Unite, the Dayton Society of Artists’ 2021 annual spring juried show. The call for art was open to all mediums, techniques, and styles. Work was encouraged to, but did not have to fit the theme, “unite.” Click here to book an Appointment to see the latest DSA Gallery Exhibition or by calling 937-228-4532.

Human Race Theatre, 126 N. Main St.

The Human Race Theatre’s season opener NOW & THEN will stream April 28-May 9 on BroadwayOnDemand. Filmed live on location at Mudlick Tap House, this romantic comedy/drama takes us to a neighborhood bar in 1981 where Jamie is closing up when a last-minute customer enters and offers Jamie and his girlfriend Abby $2,000 to sit and have a drink with him. Who wouldn’t take it? But the unusual conversation, and the appearance of a second customer, makes the unbelievable begin to look like it just might be true! Single tickets now on sale - $25 to stream theatre from the comfort of your home! Tickets at

Dublin Pub, 300 Wayne Ave.

Live music at the Dublin Pub! Stop by for a pint and listen to live music for Irish First Fridays. Happy Hour from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Social distanced seating inside and on the extended patio. 937-224-7822

Edward A. Dixon Gallery, lobby of 131 N. Ludlow St.

Visit this gallery inside the lobby of the Talbott Tower at 131 N. Ludlow St., to see We’re Doing It ALL Wrong™ Art Exhibition May 7th - July 31st Pop-Up Gallery at 133 N. Ludlow Street. Artwork from across the United States and around the world that shine light on some of the human issues that plague us. Free to the public Open weekends - Friday 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Call the gallery at (937) 985-2115 or shop the gallery online at:

First Friday at Front Street, 1001 E. Second St.

Spend an inspiring evening with us at First Friday, May 7, 2021. Live music, tasty treats and many open studios and galleries that allow you a one of a kind look behind the scenes. Kelly Ingerson Solo Exhibiton open from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. for First Friday, with a chance to meet the artist. Art hops at Front Street are always free to attend and conveniently located in Dayton just off St. Route 35. Free, lit, onsite parking is available in surrounding lots. Please wear a face covering and practice social distancing during your visit.

The Neon movie theater, 130 E. Fifth St.

Click here for the latest offerings from downtown Dayton’s independent, art theater, featuring in-person and virtual viewing options: Also enjoy beer and cocktail specials during First Friday, and you can purchase a DORA drink at the Neon to walk around downtown Dayton’ Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area.

Picture Perfect Paint Parties, 123 N. Ludlow St.

For First Friday, all Take Home Paint Party Kits are buy one get one 1/2 off. 937-265-0691.

Wiley’s Comedy Club, 101 Pine St.

Presenting Mike Armstrong, a former police officer from Louisville Kentucky who is now a regular guest on The Bob and Tom show, with TV credits ranging from Oprah to CBS Morning News to Good Morning America. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, tickets are ONLY available online or by calling (937)224-JOKE. We are not currently selling tickets at the door. Show starts at 8 p.m. Find more information on the website here.

💎Dining and Drinks

Local Cantina, 501 E. First St.

For First Friday specials you’ll find $5 Mustache Ride Margaritas and $3 Draft pints from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Table 33 Dayton, 130 W. Second St.

Fridays are wine night at Table 33, with $3.33 wine pairings with any entree.

Trolley Stop, 530 E. Fifth St.

Enjoy Half-off Happy Hour! 937-461-1101.

Winans Chocolates and Coffee, 221 N. Patterson Blvd.

Enjoy a First Friday at Winans with a special offer of $15 wine flights and a free piece of chocolate with the purchase of a latte (enjoy inside or on our patio). Open until 9:30 p.m. 937-732-1001.

Lily’s Dayton, 329 E. Fifth St.

For social-distanced dine in, delivery with 937Delivers or carryout - join us for local food and hand-crafted tiki or traditional cocktails. 937-723-7637.

Mudlick Tap House, 135 E. Second St.,

Join us to kick of First Friday for Happiness Hours, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. with $2 off glasses of wine, a $6 cocktail feature, $2 off draft beers and ½ off of shareables. Enjoy a night on our extended outdoor patio. 937-895-4066.

Oregon Express, 336 E. Fifth St.

Stop in for some of the best pizza in Dayton. Happy hour specials, with all to-go beer at $3 and Bring your Own growler for a fill for $6. Dine in, carryout and curbside pickup available. Find our menu on our website here. 937-223-9205.

Salar Restaurant and Lounge, 400 E. Fifth St.

Kick off your First Friday with happy hour at Salar from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. with cocktail specials, $5 house wine pours, $1 off of all beers, and bar bites specials. Enjoy dinner, too, available for dine in or carryout. And we have a special extended street patio set up for Out on 5th, the pedestrian promenade weekends in the Oregon District. 937-203-3999.

Salt Block Biscuit Company, 115 E. Third St.

Enjoy Salt Block’s new dinner service from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Chef Justin Mohler will prepare 2-3 dinner specials, and also offer the Tinned European/American Seafoods Planks and of course tons of Sweet and savory bakery offerings for your evening meal.

Troll Pub Dayton, 216 Wayne Ave.

Every Friday at the Troll Pub is part of W.T.F Happy Hours: Wednesday, Thursday & Friday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. featuring 1/2 Priced Pints & 1/2 priced apps, $4 Fireball Shots & $4 Wheatly Vodka specials.

💎Shopping and Activities

Grace Lane Boutique, 133 E. Fourth St

Stop by this boutique to see the Showcased artist for the month: Erin Holscher Almazan. First Friday (5 p.m. to 9 p.m.) will include Pink Moon Goods curated selection of ethical and hand-crafted home goods. On Saturday during the Downtown Dayton Sidewalk Sale we will have Om Essential Oils by Alicia. She will have body scrubs, shower steamers and more. Perfect for Mother’s Day and Graduation gifts. Grace Lane will have up to 70% off clearance and 25% off sale racks plus, lots of new dresses, skirts and tops for the Spring, Mother’s Day and Graduation. Tons of ethical gift ideas, too. 937-903-2729.

Heart Mercantile, 438 E. Fifth St.

Shop Heart Mercantile’s unique gifts and Dayton clothing selection and enjoy shopping with our pop-up vendor, Heliotrope Art Studio Pop-Up from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. with one of a kind, unique, unusual, earrings and Art.

Luna Gifts and Botanicals, 261 Wayne Ave.

Receive double stamps on loyalty stamp cards with any purchase. 037-522-0240.

Vidia’s Closet, 27 S. St. Clair St.

Vidia’s Closet is having a First Friday Sale with 25% off of all in-store inventory, or use the code VC25 to get the discount with your online purchases. Shop fashion-forward trends for all. 937-813-2144.

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