May 25, 2018, DAYTON, Ohio — Downtown Dayton is usually the place to be on summer nights, but June’s First Friday features several extra special celebrations. June 1 is the next DP&L Summer in the City signature event, The Great Dayton Adventure Race. Participants should head to the Oregon District for the race check-in and registration tables, then use the clue sheet to explore downtown Dayton businesses and amenities while racing for cash or prizes. Elsewhere in the district, visitors can enjoy a lively experience with sidewalk sales, Big Wheel races, oversized board games, balloon animal artists, live music, and more entertainment all along Fifth Street between Wayne Avenue and Patterson Boulevard.
June 1 First Friday is also the kickoff for Dayton PRIDE weekend. Affair on the Square features performances by the Dayton Gay Men’s Chorus, The Rubi Girls, and more, plus food and beer vendors, all on Courthouse Square. For a more laid-back launch to the weekend, head to RiverScape MetroPark where the Pickin’ in the Park concert will have guests toe-tapping to bluegrass and newgrass music.
Of course all the key ingredients to First Friday fan favorites will be there – new exhibits at local art galleries, live music, food and drink specials, and shopping activities can be found at destinations throughout downtown. Use the guide below to plan a visit.
For more information about the First Friday, or to find business addresses, parking, upcoming activities and more, visit the DDP website at downtowndayton.org. Invite friends and family to partake in First Friday fun! “Like” and share the First Friday Facebook page.
- Clash Dayton, 521 E. Fifth St.: Kick off fashion month at Clash with a soirée featuring fashion photographer Brian Mikulski alongside many local fashion designers. Come out and mingle with the models, photographer and designers on display from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. Call 241-9434.
- Dutoit Gallery, 1001 E. 2nd St.: See the new exhibit, “Dayton/Dresden: Fiely/Mauk.” This joint exhibition features paintings and prints from Douglas Fiely and Patrick Mauk. Douglas and Patrick share a studio space in north Dayton, next to the Dayton Printmakers Cooperative, where each create painting, drawing and prints. In the show, Douglas exhibits new works inspired by landscape, still life and the figure. Patrick includes works both inspired by and from his recent Dresden printmaking residency.
- Edward A. Dixon Gallery, 12 S. Ludlow St.: It’s the first exhibition of the talented Cuban painter Julio Pino Varens in the USA! Pino Varens is a self-taught painter still residing in his hometown of Cienfuegos, Cuba. Most of his work is Abstractionism and in others the deep influence of African Culture in his country is shown. Call 985-2115.
- Gem City Tattoo Club, 436 E. Fifth St.: “Bdeep, bdeep, dbeep, that’s not all folks!” Check out this nostaglia-infused art exhibit, “Taking it back to Saturday morning cartoons.” Enjoy light refreshments while diving into this fun show. Call 443-0335 for more information.
- The Front Street Building Co., 1001 E. Second St.: Explore dozens of local artists who open their doors to the public during First Fridays. Explore an eclectic group of artists, including painters, sculptors, jewelers, mixed-media artists, glass makers, woodworkers,and many more. On June 1, emjoy live music by Ohio Brass & Electric, playing from 6-9pm; admission is free and all-ages. Call 331-9061.
- K12 Gallery & TEJAS, 341 S. Jefferson St.: Don’t miss the new exhibit, “Breath of Life: Artwork by Linnea Albers.” Opening night activities take place from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Call 461-5149.
- Blind Bob’s, 430 E. Fifth St.: Live music from This Pine Box, Sylmar, Bendigo Fletcher, and Neo American Pioneers. Music starts at 9:30 p.m. $5 cover. Call 938-6405.
- Dublin Pub, 300 Wayne Ave.: Celebrate Irish First Friday at the Dublin Pub with a Miami Valley Pipes & Drums performance at 7 p.m. and Dulahan at 8:30 p.m. Call 224-7822.
- Hannah’s, 121 N. Ludlow St.: This First Friday, Hannah’s will host the Musician’s Co-Op. Starting at 7 p.m., hear from some of Dayton’s finest singers and songwriters and enjoy Hannah’s signature drinks and sandwiches. Call 640-1335.
- Oregon Express, 336 E. Fifth St.: The Linda Prevo Band and Wolf Moon Revival will perform at Oregon Express. Music begins at 5 p.m.
- RiverScape MetroPark, 237 E. Monument Ave.: It is time for another edition of Pickin’ in the Park with Five Rivers MetroParks! Enjoy an evening full of progressive bluegrass music from Luke Knight, Bigfoot Yancey and The Wooks, as well as craft beer and food from a variety of food trucks. Call 275-7275.
- Schuster Center, 1 W. Second St.: Enjoy a night of music by the Dayton Philharmonic during “Fiedler’s Favorites.” Celebrate the life and work of long-time Boston Pops conductor Arthur Fiedler with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. Find tickets at ticketcenterstage.com. Call 228-3630.
- Trolley Stop, 530 E. Fifth St.: Baoku’s Band performs all original, tribal, world-beat, African Roots music that creates electricity! Music starts at 9:30 p.m. with a $5 admission. Call 461-1101.
- The Black Box Improv Theater, 518 E. Third St.: Womit 2.0 takes the stage every Friday night from 8 to 9 p.m. The show format may change but the performers do not! They may interview an audience member, discuss personal stories, or simply take a one-word suggestion to create an hour of fun. BYOB. Call for ticket prices and availability: 369-0747.
- Club Evolution, 130 N. Patterson Blvd.: Every Friday night is “Lesbian Fest Ladies Night” at the LGBTQ-friendly Club Evolution. Call 203-2582.
- Courthouse Square, 23 N. Main St.: Dayton PRIDE 2018 kicks off with an Affair on the Square hosted by the Greater Dayton LGBT Center. The Affair will feature a food truck rally and entertainment by the Dayton Gay Men’s Chorus and The Rubi Girls. Following the Affair will be a .5K Bar Crawl where participates can hit local establishments for a drink.
- Dayton Chess Club, 18 W. Fifth St.: Dayton Chess Club hosts a quick tournament for U.S. Chess Federation members. Games are perfect for club chess players and those experienced with online chess games who would like to test their skill over the board. The club opens at 6:30 p.m. and registration ends at 7:25 p.m. The first of four games begins at 7:30. Visit daytonchessclub.com for more details. Call 461-6283.
- The Dayton Woman’s Club, 225 N. Ludlow St.: Support the Southwestern Ohio Hemophilia Foundation during their Evening Out Casino Night. It will be a night of friends and fun with casino-style gaming and prizes. Test your skill and luck with Black Jack, Roulette, Big Six, 3-card Poker, Casino Craps and other entertaining games. This is an adults-only event. Purchase tickets at swohiohemophilia.networkforgood.com or call
- Drakes Downtown Gym, 111 E. Fifth St.: Head over to Drake’s Downtown gym for First Friday Night Fights! Check out some of Dayton’s up and coming fighters. Event is BYOB and admission is $5 at the door. Call 223-6193.
- Fifth Third Field, 220 N. Patterson Blvd.: Cheer on the Dayton Dragons as the take on the Lansing Lugnuts at 7 p.m. Find tickets at ticketmaster.com.
- Gem City Tattoo Club, 436 E. Fifth St.: Take it back to Saturday morning cartoons from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m. with Gem City Tattoo Club. All art on the subject is welcome. They will also have refreshments and music.
- The Loft Theatre, 126 N. Main St.: Get ready for a show like no other. “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)” is an irreverent, roller-coaster ride with the Bard that will leave you breathless with laughter as three incredibly talented actors take on all 37 of his plays in just 97 minutes…with a good amount of creative editing. Tickets can be purchased at the box office or online at ticketcenterstage.com. Call 228-3630.
- The Neon, 130 E. Fifth St.: Downtown’s independent movie house offers foreign and indie films, as well as mainstream movies and documentaries, including the Dayton debut of biographical film, “Pope Francis: A Man of His Word.” Enjoy locally roasted Boston Stoker coffee, or a selection of craft beer, wine, and mixed drinks during the show. Call for current lineup and show times: 222-SHOW (7469).
- The Oregon District, Fifth Street: It’s time to explore the city and compete for cash or prizes! The Great Dayton Adventure Race returns to the DP&L Summer in the City lineup with new businesses to explore and new games to challenge participants. Check in or register near the Trolley Stop at the Downtown Dayton Partnership table. When you’re finished with the race, stroll Fifth Street and enjoy sidewalk sales, and adventuresome activities, like Big Wheel races, oversized board games, balloon animal artists, and other live entertainment. Call 224-1518.
- Proto BuildBar, 534 E. First St.: Don’t miss the fun, free Board Game Night event! Grab some friends and roll the dice with Proto’s curated selection of games, or bring some favorites from home. Proto will offer 25% off any board game-related 3D print. Call 222-6253.
- Skeleton Dust Records, 133 E. Third St.: Skeleton Dust Records will display ultra-rare noise releases from the collection of Chicago-based noise super-fan and poet, Joe Lombardo. The evening will be a celebration of the history and spirit of noise. Enjoy additional performances from Deterge, No Heat, and Stress Test.
Food and Drink
- The Barrel House, 417 E. Third St.: Barrel House will feature an Urban Artifact tap takeover. Food from the Drunken Waffle food truck will also be available from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m.
- Basil’s on Market, 312 N. Patterson Blvd.: All You Can Eat Crab Legs is back! Every Friday, Basil’s will offer all you can eat crab legs and sides for just $35 per person.
- Blind Bob’s, 430 E. Fifth St.: Featuring happy hour from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., $1 off well drinks. Check the boards for the special menu item of the day.
- Deaf Monty’s Wine, 22 Brown St.: Enjoy $2-$3 tastings of select wines. Small plates available for purchase. Call 225-9463.
- Trolley Stop, 530 E. Fifth St.: Half price happy hour including appetizers and well drinks from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
- Tumbleweed Connection, 454 E. Fifth St.: Watch live music and enjoy the “Sangria of the Day.” Call 228-5500.
- 2nd Street Market, 600 E. Second St.: Kick off the weekend and the start of the summer growing season with special evening hours at the Market on First Friday. From 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., the Market will have a variety of prepared food vendors, music, artisans and farmer vendors for your shopping enjoyment. Don’t forget – this weekend is also the return of Sunday hours to the Market! Come back Sunday, June 3, for shopping and dining from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Call 228-2088.
- Clash Dayton, 521 E. Fifth St.: Weather permitting, Clash will feature a sidewalk sale in addition to their fashion event. Come back Saturday for a special pop-up boutique inside Toxic Brew Co. Call 241-9434.
The Downtown Dayton Partnership’s website has a complete list of downtown’s arts and cultural amenities, as well as a dining guide, parking map and much more.
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