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Dayton Holiday Festival

dayton holiday festival

Celebrate the season in Your Downtown

The Dayton Holiday Festival, presented by DP&L, is your source for family-friendly holiday fun in downtown Dayton. Started by Mrs. Virginia Kettering in 1972 so that all children could enjoy the holiday season regardless of their economic means, the Festival continues today with free attractions for the community.

Each year the festival kicks off Thanksgiving weekend with the Grande Illumination and the Dayton Children’s Parade, and the fun continues throughout the month of December with activities like the Tike’s Shoppe, a family movie series at The Neon, pizza with Santa, and more!

The Grande Illumination tree lighting
& The Dayton Children's Parade Spectacular in Lights
Mark your calendar to kick off the Dayton Holiday Festival on Friday, November 24, 2017!

Watch the holidays light up during Dayton's traditional tree lighting on Courthouse Square, followed immediately by a nighttime parade for children, sparkling with more than 100,000 lights!

The holiday fun continues through December with Family Weekends and other activities, including The Tike's Shoppe and Wintergarden Wonderland Windows at the Schuster Center, a family movie series, pizza with Santa, a holiday train display, noontime entertainment in downtown's office buildings, and much more.

Gingerbread Homes for the Holidays Contest Now Accepting Entries
The Dayton Holiday Festival is looking for the area's most creative confectionary decorators to compete in the thirteenth annual Gingerbread Homes for the Holidays contest on Friday, Nov. 24. Entries will be judged and displayed for public viewing inside the Old Courthouse at Third and Main streets downtown on that day only, during the Grande Illumination. All ages and skill levels are invited to participate in this free contest. Download the contest rules and entry form here

More information about the 2017 Dayton Holiday Festival will be posted later this year. In the meantime, if you have questions about the Dayton Holiday Festival, email This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it , or call her at (937) 224-1518 ext. 227.