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The holidays have descended upon the Miami Valley, and this December 7 First Friday offers plenty of opportunities to “shop small” and support local businesses. In addition to the activities listed below, live entertainment will be roving throughout downtown. Hop on board the Sugarplum Shuttle, sponsored by PNC Bank, and ride through the Oregon District to various downtown destinations on the Dayton Pedal Wagon multi-passenger bicycle. The free shuttle runs from 6-8 pm and will also have live entertainment riding along! Those not into pedaling can ride the free Flyer, downtown’s circulator bus system. Look for the Festive Flyer for goodies and a selfie station inside! The Flyer operates from 6am to 11pm Fridays.
December’s First Friday is also the official launch of the Whimsical Windows contest. Downtown businesses go pane-to-pane to out-decorate one another for the holidays. Use the online voting tool to help downtown small businesses win a cash prize and the title of “most festive” display. The link to the voting tool can be found at www.DaytonHolidayFestival.org starting at noon on Dec. 7, and will remain live until noon Friday, Dec. 28. Download a copy of the map and explore the city while browsing colorful displays.
Check out the individual listings below, and remember the most up-to-date event listings are found on the online calendar published on the Downtown Dayton Partnership’s website. Subscribing to the weekly e-vents email newsletter also keeps one up to speed. 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. More holiday fun (including a downloadable calendar of events) can be found online at www.DaytonHolidayFestival.org as Family Weekends, presented by DP&L continues.
The Contemporary Dayton, 118 N Jefferson St.: Don’t miss the annual Holiday Gift Gallery taking place on First Friday and through Dec. 22. Formerly the Dayton Visual Arts Center, the gift gallery at The Contemporary features more than 50 local artists in a variey of media. Call 224-3822.
The Dayton Society of Artists, 48 High St.: Members’ Winter Party and Gift Exchange. Join the DSA at the High Street gallery on December 7 for a very merry event. They’ll have a gift exchange, a mini art project to decorate tiles with alcohol ink for the first 30 people, and some beautiful art to view from the current exhibit. An art gift exchange will take place at 6 pm. Bring a small wrapped work (approx 12″x12″x12″ or smaller), for the swap and go home with another member’s original. Please BYOB and/or a snack to share. Call 228-4532.
Dutoit Gallery, 1001 E. Second St.: 3rd Annual Members Exhibition. Dutoit Gallery invites everyone to celebrate our 3rd Annual Members Exhibition. The gallery features artists whose work spans various media, methodology, concept and subject. The exhibit opens First Friday, from 6-9pm and runs through December 28. The gallery will also be open to the public Third Sunday at Front Street, Dec. 16, from 11 am-4 pm. Contact individual artists for private appoints. Call (201) 752-6362.
The Front Street Building Co., 1001 E. Second St.: First Friday at Front Street-December. Spend the evening enjoying the artwork of more than 100 artists and artisans on display in the studios and galleries throughout the complex! There are painters, printmakers, jewelry artists, sculptors, glass artists, mixed media artists, potters, and more. The fun begins at 6pm and will go until around 9pm. Be sure to stop by the newly available gallery/studio space “The Front Street Experience” to see work by Caitlin Cartwright. Call 461-5149.
K12 Gallery & TEJAS, 341 S. Jefferson St.: Local artists will have their artwork on display at the Holiday Art Sale, including paintings, pottery, jewelry, cards, and glass works of art! View the exhibition, meet the artists, and shop for local art while enjoying refreshments and music. Call 461-5149.
Skeleton Dust Records, 133 E 3rd St.: Skeleton Dust Records presents an art opening for Simon Kingston from 7-9pm. Enjoy live electronic and experimental music performances from local artists Fliphone Addict & Granfalloon. Complimentary refreshments served. Call 221-8528.
Wells & Co. Custom Tattoo, 110 E Third St.: Special art exhibit features the work of Glenn Scott. Master tattooer and fine artist Scott has been a pioneer and leader in the Dayton tattoo community since 1982. Wells & Co. owner, Chad Wells, began his apprenticeship with Glenn in 1992 and has always tried to live up to Glenn’s professional and personal standards regarding tattooing as an art form to be enjoyed by all people. This solo show by Scott will feature works in multiple media on canvas as well as Glenn’s renowned bone sculptures. The show opens on First Friday at 7pm with an open house and light refreshments The show will hang through the month of December. Call 286-3127.
Hannah’s, 121 N. Ludlow St.: This First Friday, Hannah’s will host another edition of the Musician’s Co-Op with Adam Elfers, featuring Dayton’s best singer/songwriters, starting at 8pm. Anyone interested in performing can sign up for the following month at each Co-Op (depending on availability). Don’t forget fresh shrimp Fridays! Call 640-1335.
Trolley Stop, 530 E. Fifth St.: Live music by Cherry Lee & The Hot Rod Hounds from 9:30pm-1:30am. Call 461-1101.
Yellow Cab Tavern, 700 E 4th St.: Handmade Holiday is back! The annual Handmade Holiday returns First Friday this December! Featuring over 30 local vendors selling all handmade items. Plus, there will be a food truck, swag bags, special cocktails at the bar, a raffle and more. Call 424-3870.
The Black Box Improv Theater, 518 E. Third St.: Womit 2.0 takes off Friday at 8pm. They’ll get inspiration with a volunteer audience interview, a one-word suggestion, or asking the audience about a specific topic. After the intermission, Artificial Intelligence takes the stage. The actor will have a script, but the improviser doesn’t, and the laughs spin out of unpredictable dialogue! Call 369-0747.
Buckeye Laptop, 133 N. Ludlow St.: Free Christmas cookies and beverages for customers. Register to win a free laptop, $20 off any laptop purchase and $15 off any repair. Bundle pricing available with phone screen, battery and tempered glass – save over $50! Call 985-2006.
Dayton Chess Club, 18 W. Fifth St.: Every Friday evening 6:30pm-12:30am (with a few exceptions for weekend tournaments with the first round on Friday evening), there’s a quick USCF rated tournament ($20 for DCC members /$25 for non-members, $10 for U1250 DCC members/ $15 for U1250 DCC members) and there are usually a few players who opt to play casual chess. Call 270-4016.
The Dayton Club, 40 N Main St.: Celebrate the season with hors d’oeuvres, specialty cocktails, and a whole lot of fun at the Ugly Sweater Party! Prizes will be awarded so bust out your holiday best! This event is open to members and member guests. Not a member but interested in attending? Contact Membership Director Jocelin Dean at email@example.com for a special invitation! From 6:30 PM- 8:30PM. Call 256-2975
The Mu Crew, 15 W. Fourth St.: It’s the Mu Crew Holiday Party! The Mu Crew is an organization for young gay/bisexual men ages 18-29, and during the party, enjoy Christmas music, having a holiday meal, decorating cookies, and playing some holiday-themed games! There’s also the ever-popular gift exchange, and guests get an extra present or two from Mu Crew! Come wearing a festive outfit for a chance at an additional prize! Call 985-0813.
Picture Perfect Paint Parties, 123 N. Ludlow St.: Gather friends for an evening of creativity with a special Holiday Paint Party. Tickets are $35.99 and include all materials and instruction. Call 265-0691.
RiverScape MetroPark, 237 E. Monument Ave.: Sheltered under the covered pavilion, the MetroParks Ice Rink measures 70 feet by 150 feet and sets the scene as a perfect winter wonderland in downtown Dayton. Admission fee is just $5 daily, and skate rentals at $2. Skaters ages 3 and younger are admitted free with a paying adult. The rink operates from 11am to 10 pm. Call (937) 278-2607.
Schuster Performing Arts Center, 1 W. Second St.: The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance continues its biennial Hometown Holiday event, ringing in the season with music both sacred and celebratory with the Dayton Philharmonic. Complete the holiday festivities with a stroll through the Wintergarden and observe the Wonderland Windows displays collected from the former Rike’s department store. Call 228-3630.
Wiley’s Comedy Joint, 101 Pine St.: When he’s not on stage at Wiley’s, comedian John Poveromo can be found on Sirius XM Radio, and he has been featured at the Jersey City Comedy Festival as well as the New York Underground Comedy Festival. Show starts at 8 pm; two-item minimum purchase. Call 224-5653.
Food and Drink
- The Barrel House, 417 E. Third St.: Visit The Barrel House for First Friday with Shantz Express. Every Friday at The Barrel House is Food Truck Friday! Join us on Friday, December 7th for First Friday with the Shantz Express food truck 5-10pm! We’ll also be featuring new artwork from our November Artist of the Month, Michelle Carr. Call 222-4795.
- Basil’s on Market, 312 N. Patterson Blvd.: Basil’s is bringing you new happy hour specials! Fridays, hit Basil’s from 3 p.m. until 6 p.m. for a $5 bar menu and $5 house wine and craft beer! Patrons must be seated in the bar area for the specials. Call 818-4390.
- 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. Call 938-6405.
- Deaf Monty’s Wine, 22 Brown St.: Enjoy $2-$3 tastings of select wines. Small plates available for purchase. Call 225-9463.
- Hannah’s, 121 N. Ludlow St.: It’s Fresh Shrimp Friday at Hannah’s! Try shrimp cocktail, peel-and-eat, shrimp street tacos, and shrimp skewers, cooked to order and served with house-made cocktail, remoulade and hot sauces. Call 640-1335.
- Oregon Express Bar and Restaurant, 336 E. Fifth St.: New Happy Hour 4-7 pm includes $10 Pitchers of Stella, Fat Tire, and Lagunitas IPA. Call 223-9205.
- Salar Restaurant & Lounge, 400 E Fifth St.: We offer Happy Hour from 5 to 7 p.m. at our main bar and patio. It includes $5 select appetizers, $1 off signature cocktails, $1 house red and white wine, and select beer specials. Call 203-3999
- Trolley Stop, 530 E. Fifth St.: Half price happy hour including appetizers and well drinks from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Call 461-1101.
- Clash Dayton, 521 E. Fifth St.: The holiday season First Friday will have an extra special twist this year with a Miss Mistletoe pinup contest sponsored by Greta Grenadine and Gem City Pinup Photography! “Miss Mistletoe” will be a winter/holiday-themed classic 1940s/1950s style pinup contest! There will be great prizes, including a mini photoshoot from Gem City Pinup Photography, a handmade chiffon peignoir, and a prize from Clash, along with sashes, tiaras, and other goodies for the winner and two runners-up! Please remember that this is not a “beauty pageant,” and contestants will NOT be judged on size, shape, age, etc. Call 259-8986.
- Luna, 261 Wayne Ave.: Take 10% off total purchase of plants, plant accessories, and other home goods and items at Luna Gifts & Botanicals. Earn double stamps for Luna loyalty cards! Call 522-0240.
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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