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The Ten Living Cities

9:44 PM, Posted by Brian, No Comment

I was not able to attend the symposium from August 8th which was organized in order to allow cities on the 10 quickest dying cities in America that was published by Forbes earlier this year to communicate ideas about how to not only change the negative perception of their cities, but what actions are being taken to actually shift the climate of their cities to draw people and businesses back to them. My friend was able to go and I asked if he would write some of his opinions about what he thought the representatives brought and his reactions to what they were saying. Here is his post:

The symposium was an opportunity for representatives from each of the top ten cities listed in Forbes magazine for the fastest dying cities of 2008 to come together to prove that Forbes' perception was not truly accurate. The event was organized by two Dayton natives Peter Benkendorf of Involvement Advocacy and Mike Elsass owner of the Color of Energy Gallery, both of whom spoke during the opening remarks that morning.

I had heard about the event a couple of months back online from the Dayton Daily News website, but little information about the where and when were known at that time. I had remembered reading the Forbes article back in August of 2008 and was surprised that an event like this was taking place in Dayton one year after the article hit the streets. The list of dying cities that came out of Forbes 2008 article included Dayton, Canton, Cleveland, and Youngstown OH, Buffalo NY, Charleston WV, Detroit and Flint MI, Scranton PA, and Springfield MA (In no particular order). It was particularly of interest to me because I am originally from the Cleveland area and I wanted to find out what they were doing to combat their population drop. The only two cities that were not represented at the symposium were Scranton PA and Springfield MA.

After a welcoming introduction by Mayor Rhine McLin, the author of the article, Josh Zumbrum, spoke about his efforts and the reactions from the communities listed. While many people had taken offense to the article and the ramifications they thought would happen from being listed in such a position, Mr. Zumbrum had to explain the circumstances of the article. His speech varied from topics of interest today, including the current economic crisis and governmental support programs/bailouts, to the actual article itself. When he got down to it, he had to reassure the communities that the article was not truly an opinion piece. The article spawned from actual statistics on population decline and unemployment rate information available in 2008. Josh stated that he had no intention for this article to be as popular as it was, it just turns out that the media outlets focused on this information over other good works he had created around that time. He championed the cities involved in the symposium for taking their status on this list and turning it into something positive.

With that, the event turned to presentations from each of the cities represented. I attempted to get the names of the presenters as best I could, but forgive me if their names are spelled wrong. Some searching on Google may yield better results for their credentials and information. Each representative had great ideas that can be applied to each of the cities on the list. While many of their efforts overlap, each had something refreshingly new to say.

The two morning segments were dubbed Celebration of Cities and included the following cities in this order:

Detroit, MI - Rick Greyer representing

Canton, OH - Robert Torrez representing

Youngstown, OH - Mayor Jay Williams and Community Activist Phil Kidd representing

Charleston, WV - Susie Salisbury representing


Cleveland, OH- Valerie McCall representing

Buffalo, NY - Michael Grainer representing

Dayton, OH - John Gower of Dayton’s Planning and Development representing

Flint, MI - Matt Bock, Erin Cardell, and Addie Langford representing

Just a brief rundown on each follows, from what I remember, if someone remembers differently, please let me know:

Rick Greyer spoke for Detroit about the challenge of having a large regional suburban population and the issues present for residents of the inner city. Obviously he spoke of the car economy they once had, and the shift to bring in other business. He showed the various ways the city is trying to rejuvenate its downtown amenities, to draw in new business sectors and residents. With photos of the recently installed ice-rink facility, and plans to attempt to re-use/extend an existing rail line into the city, in order to further bank on transportation as a catalyst for city growth. One of the most striking comments was that he cites these mall locations (some of which we have seen outside Cleveland and Dayton) where they are attempting to build mini-cities with a work-play atmosphere. Rick states the obvious, in that, cities already have all of this infrastructure, why would we want to build these types of fake environments outside of it? The perception needs to be changed.

Robert Torrez spoke about Canton’s struggle with a declining population. And unfortunately Canton, I must apologize, but what you spoke of at length escapes me. I believe the challenge that Canton was facing was that nearby cities were attracting their residents out to where jobs may have been more available. I unfortunately forget how they are working to combat that. If anyone else should remember, please feel free to comment.

Mayor Jay Williams of Youngstown spent a great deal of time discussing how the economic shift from a manufacturing town back in the 1970-1980s has hurt the city for about 30+ years now. He went on to say how the city came to realize that if it didn’t change it would suffer greatly and showed great advances in building business parks and re-zoning land to be more inviting to business cooperation, in that the localized area they would function in, enhances those efforts. They have a strong community involvement, where residents are actively engaged in helping to further their city’s development. Phil Kidd spent a couple of minutes highlighting these efforts and the great response they have gotten at the resident level.

Susie Salisbury spoke of the great work that Charleston WY was doing. They are the center of business for the state and showed how their business week population of 200,000+ offsets their current population by almost three times the number of residents. They highlight their natural resources as a tourism draw. Their residents enjoy the mountainous trails, and numerous recreation activities of the area. Susie’s speech was very inspiring and enthusiastic. They have made great strides in promoting public green space and new signs that poke fun at park rules and government workers. They have taken a negative and turned it positive in order to have fun and to help others enjoy their public spaces. They list the numerous businesses that call downtown their home. They also, as many of the other speakers did, highlight their business groups and after-hours activities, festivals, and civic engagement activities.

After the break, it was noticeable that Dayton’s mayor McLin had other priorities and popped in and out of the future presentations.

Valerie McCall spoke briefly about as much as she could with her limited time about the things Cleveland was engaged in. She made a very good point in that, “Our city’s river burned 30 years ago, let it go and see what greatness we have created”(Citing the environmental protection act). Of note from this observers perspective was that she refused to admit that Cleveland was a dying city, even though population numbers indicated it was. She spoke briefly about the recycling of abandoned homes in the many neighborhoods of Cleveland, rather letting Mike from Buffalo explain how they were also engaged in that activity. Cleveland spoke about their great number of resources, including Lake Erie, the medical centers of excellence, the creation of a medical mart expo center for year round instructing of current research/advancements/trends.

Michael Grainer, a very enthusiastic activist and citizen of Buffalo, spoke a great deal about the numerous grass-roots efforts their citizens are undertaking in order to really re-use the existing infrastructure that has been put to waste by their enormous population decline. He stated that in recent years, the population of Buffalo has decreased some 50%. He spoke about the tremendous efforts underway in recycling abandoned homes and buildings and turning the materials into usable consumer goods that they then resell. Working in conjunction with Cleveland, they have taken a great deal of blighted properties and turned them into useable commodities. Their community involvement is like no other. Engaging youth at such high levels that community parks, community farms, education from these efforts, artists, etc. have all made huge differences in the look and the ownership of areas with large numbers of vacant buildings. Mike was very passionate about his city and the residents who have take ownership of making their city better, which was truly inspiring to people in the audience.

John Gower speaking on Dayton’s behalf attempted to speed through his slides that just had too much information to get through. He highlighted several of the projects including how Dayton plans to reduce the number of vacant properties in order to stabilize neighborhoods in the area. He even admitted to something I have notice in moving to this area, that in the past the population has taken more land than its increase in population needed to take. (Almost on the order of 50 times more). Now they are working to try and stabilize the challenges that a decreasing population is having on unused properties. Being that Dayton is a host city, they had prepared a very good movie regarding all of the proposed work that is going to be happening in the future to attract businesses and residents back to the Downtown core. He also made mention and thank you to Wright Patterson Air Force base for their continual contributions to being the number one employer in the city.

Finally Flit, MI had three representatives come to the table. Two, Erin Cardell, and Addie Langford, represented the large arts culture that is happening in Flint. They highlighted how their communities are benefiting from drawing in artists from surrounding areas and how the residents are ultimately benefiting from this form of entertainment and education. All of the representatives spoke on how their city has transformed themselves from a manufacturing center to an education center, listing a college population of 30,000+ students. Then Matt Bock, working with their center of tourism, made great comments regarding how image can make or break a city. He said that by talking up a city rather than focusing on it challenges and downfalls, really has a huge effect on citizen engagement, attitude, and resourcefulness in helping to promote rather than take down their city’s image. He spoke about how Flint becomes the butt of everyone’s jokes regarding down in the dumps economic conditions, but then how he reacts by instigating educational awareness about why those perceptions are wrong. He made very good points to the power that perception has to do with a city’s well being. Matt told the audience how one blog at a time, he is challenging people’s perceptions by waking them up to the reality of what is really happening in their city. His message is one that can be taken to all the cities, in that, image/perception really can make or break you and make or break your citizen’s pride in your city. He also encouraged everyone in attendance to defend each of the cities and educate people to what is really happening in each of our cities.

There were several activities in the afternoon after lunch that I did not partake in. One forum called Restoration of Cities did not start on time, but was meant to be an open conversation between participants about the “possibilities that will move our communities to become more viable and vibrant cities through the passion we all bring to this gathering.”

Then Public Square was to take place in order to link participants together in order to form committees that would help lead the cities into partaking in the challenging changes that would need to occur in order for them to advance their civic engagement and resident participation.

Activists and regional groups came out to recruit and to inform others about what was going on in their communities:

-The Dayton International Peace Museum

-A Peace Museum spin off called Peacekeeper, who seeks to get Dayton renamed to the “City of Peace and Prosperity”.

-Numerous pamphlets for the City of Dayton and organizations working in the city to make it a better place, including information on Dayton’s 2nd Annual Neighborhood Conference with a theme of Original People, Places & Dreams to be held at the convention center on Saturday September 12, 2009 from 7:30am to 3pm. Information can be found at City of Dayton Department of Planning and Community Development.

-The Charleston Area Alliance for Charleston WV.

-The Dayton Arcade renovation group Friends of the Dayton Arcade, which will have an open house for the Arcade on Urban Nights in Sept. like they did for the one this past May.

-The Kettering Foundation and its numerous publications.

-PowerNet of Dayton. A community outreach program to support neighborhoods.

-Repower America. for the advancement of green business and development. Become a member online.

-Garden Station, downtown Dayton’s community garden sponsored by Five Rivers Metroparks and the Dayton Circus. or check them out on Facebook or Yahoo.

-Generation Dayton. A group trying to network and retain Dayton’s young professionals.

There was an opportunity for feedback from the participants. One questionnaire asked “What declaration of ‘possibility’ can you make that has the power to transform your community AND inspire you?” Then it asked “What commitment are you prepared to make, to see this ‘possibility’ become reality?” The other questionnaire asked the participants to take a few minutes to list what was good about today’s event and what they might like to see at future events. Answers could be emailed to

So in some manner of speaking, I can attribute this event being held to people’s misconception about the source of the article. What people in these cities thought was that this article was an attack on their communities, when it was actually simply based on public statistics, a fact that these communities needed to understand and accept. This forum turned out to be more of a show-and-tell event and public relations session including some tourism bragging rights. I wanted to speak a great deal about what was said at this meeting, because I feel that it was underplayed in the Dayton community. The event had numerous cameras and photographers snapping shots of the speakers and spectators throughout the morning sessions. What disappointed me the most was that I have seen none of these were used in Dayton. They may have been from outside cities, because the only news information that came out of the weekends’ events were a collection of pictures of people enjoying First Friday in the Oregon District and a one page article from Dayton Daily News that only reported that the event happened, not what happened at the event. I would have expected more interest in the event given that Dayton had been working hard in recent years to promote itself in a new light and because of how many people in each of these cities had taken offense to the facts presented in the article. The turn out was so-so. I would estimate somewhere in the 200-300 people in attendance, but I could be wrong. They hopefully will continue with their goal of making this an annual event, to which I hope that more participation and media coverage would be given to make residents aware. The comments made and the efforts already underway in these “Living” cities are great and inspirational. One young lady got up to make a comment at the end that she, like many other young people, want to help and make a difference, but don’t necessarily know where to go to get in contact with areas where they could help. The panel on stage encouraged her to seek out community notifications, and city websites for listings of community programs. The event was very inspirational, but the attendance low, which doesn’t go far unless we spread the word.

Celtic Festival!

3:55 PM, Posted by Brian, No Comment

My favorite festival of the year! (Maybe next to alefest.) Great music great food, culture, dance lessons, art, kilts, bagpipes, fish and chips, and a whole lot of way too expensive beer.

This festival, much like Cityfolk, was set up a little different this year due to the construction at riverscape, but it was extremely packed. It's quickly becoming very popular in Dayton, and unlike a lot of other celtic festivals, this one is still free. That might change in the near future if support doesn't keep up, but there was record breaking attendance this year, everyone seems to enjoy themselves.

Some of my family was down from the swamp this weekend to celebrate my neice Emily's 10th birthday. She is a big fan of Gaelic Storm, and since they were playing at the festival as they always do, they thought it would be cool to come down. The performances that they hold there are fantastic. Celtic Festival was the first one in Dayton I went to several years ago and have been every year since. One of the biggest reasons I keep coming back is Gaelic Storm. They have a pretty big following growing, and each year the tent gets more and more cramped. As a result of though, the show continues to get better and better. We managed to get into the front row, which was extremely cramped, but as a result of, there was some crowd surfing going on.. a sign of a good crowd I think!

The band signed things after the show and sang happy birthday to my niece Emily, cool guys.

I wasn't sure he was going to make it all the way across.

There is always one retarded one, or else why bother?

Some of the countless women in my life, from left to right, my niece Sophia, my sister Kristen, my girlfriend Robin, and my niece emily with her mother (my sister) Jennifer.

Phew, a long night, but a good time. There are things going on this weekend as well that I may try to get myself to, but no promises, I'm pooped. At the very least I will be going to Victoria tomorrow for a show, but I know of some things going on tonight as well!

I'll update a little bit later on some special things going on real soon. Until then, keep busy, summer is winding down, go out and enjoy your city!

Being Lazy

3:20 PM, Posted by Brian, No Comment

Well in my defense I have had a pretty busy couple of weeks, and at that, a pretty busy couple of weekends. So I have the last two weekends to post which I will do here with some haste. First up however is the weekend of the 17th, in which we attended the Swamp Romp at Fraze Pavillion and also the Blues Festival at Dave Hall Plaza.

The Pavillion is a great place to see a show. Heck even if you want to sit out in the plaza area around the fountain, you can do that and spend a nice evening with someone. I have this odd feeling they definately cater to an older crowd though, and you can see that in a lot of the performances they line up. Joe Cocker, Steve Miller Band, The Beach Boys, Blue Oyster Cult, and the upcoming Heroes of Woodstock etc. The only show I can remember last year that might be towards a younger group was The Backstreet Boys, but, well they haven't been popular since I was in high school. We sat in the lawn at the stage, and I captured a few shots. As a band they were fantastic. And even though I still dont' know what Zydeco is, it rocks pretty good, with a real Nya'lins feel. I also still don't know why Kettering needs to have a "swamp" festival, but if they hold it next year, take a look, it is free after all.

The following day we went to the blues festival downtown. I may have mentioned this before but Dave Hall Plaza is a seriously under-utilized space downtown. The fact that anyone was discussing tearing it down to put in an ice rink made me pretty upset. The park itself is ideally located in the CBD, but since there isn't a whole lot of reason to go sit there, I am sure not many people use it. It's brilliantly landscaped with mature trees, a small stone pond, benches and nice view of the surrounding buildings. If Zydeco isn't your thing, the guys playing at the blues festival were AMAZING! There isn't anything else to say about it, and I cannot seem to remember the name of the band we watched, I should have done this earlier... But I've never seen someone rock a guitar so amazingly, it was supurb. We did take some time to walk down to a few of the tents and vendors open, and admittedly, it wasn't too many, but I expect this one to grow as the years go. If you love blues music and didn't go, you missed out, big time. My one complaint is that the crowd was a little stale, but give it time.

Next up, the weekend of the 24th.

This weekend, the 17th-19th

7:41 AM, Posted by Brian, No Comment

So wow, a lot going on this weekend again! There is a listing of some of the bigger things at DaytonMostMetro, but let's run down a few if you are BORED.

First and formost the Dayton Air Show is going on all weekend, if you have the time go spend part of your afternoon there! The Thunderbirds will be there putting on a show, and you can't really beat that. Other craft you're sure to see during the show itself is the Brazilian Airforce smoke Squadron, An f-18 (of blue angels fame), B-2, B-52, Apache copter, P-51 mustang, a Navy Corsair (very cool plane) the Golden Knights army parachutting team, holy crap, just go!

If you can't make it though, there are lots of other casual activities going on. Kettering is holding their Swamp Ramp at the Fraze Pavillion all day on Saturday from 2-11PM. You can enjoy a variety of different cajun style Zydeco music (I'm not entirely sure what that is just yet.) all day and mingle. Best part is admission is free. Since I only live a block away I owe it to myself to check it out for a little bit, I'll get back about that one. There is also a rumored festival going on over at Mama DiSalvo's this Saturday afternoon as well but I didn't catch the name of it on the advertisement I heard and I can't seem to find any information on it, so I'll suspect I'll walk over there too and just see what's going on.

Of course if you're not conviniently nestled in Kettering, there is also the 5th annual Tour d'Burg going on in downtown Miamisburg on Sunday. Miamisburg has been chosen to host the Ohio State Cycling Championships again this year, and so if you just can't get enough of the Tour de France, (going on presently) go see some cycling and have a little family fun in Miamisburg. If you are a serious biker, I believe you can still register, and while the Ohio countryside isn't exactly the Alps, there are up to 75 miles of trails and roads to do if you feel up for it. There is also a race section that wil be going on, in a one mile track around downtown Miamisburg. Several different races should be going on, but start around 8AM. For more information you can check it out here. Remember you can compete in this as well as spectate, and it IS free to do.
I might try to make it to this one but no garuntees.

Lastly the Michelob Blues Festival, which will be held at Dave Hall Plaza downtown will be on Saturday from 1:00pm to 9:00pm, vendors should be on site. I've never been to this (I can't recall if it's new or not) but I might try to go for at least a little while, to the seriously under-utilized Dave Hall Plaza. I'll be downtown anyway so I'll try to catch a few performances while I'm there. And once again it's FREE! So get out there Dayton and spend no money having a good time this weekend, and no excuses. Planting time is over, baseball won't be interesting for another 2 months, football sure isn't on, so do some quick chores and enjoy your weekend.

Again for a more complete list of things head over to Dayton Most Metro and their events calaedar, you might find something like you like. I'll be back at the end of the weekend with some more photos.

CityFolk Festival and Fireworks

8:48 PM, Posted by Brian, No Comment

As is apparent I am still having trouble deciding on an appropriate layout, and I'm not entirely sure what sort of looking I'm going for. Never the less I have information to post about last weekend. I'll note right now, that sadly a lot of my pictures of the time at Cityfolk have been corrupted for some reason, and much of what I took near the riverfront and walking through the Oregon District has been unretrievable. As a result I don't have a ton of pictures to post so I do apologize for that. It also makes this post somewhat less engaging as it is primarily now a few pics of a few places we stopped to drink, and some fireworks...... soooo, I'll try not to let that happen again, and for botching a major event in the city.
We started the night at the Cannery Arts & Design Center and toured the gallery there before heading over to the Wine Gallery for a light dinner and a glass or two of wine.

I went out that night with my girlfriend Robin and her two friends Lisa and Jessica. So I guess I was the odd man out? Well with three ladies that haven't seen each other in a while, I just tried to stick to taking pictures and not get myself stuck discussing something I couldn't get my way out of.
After we were done though we walked down Wayne avenue and stopped off at Garden Station who was holding a concert that night. They were actually pretty good, it was nice to see a small crowd gathered. I didn't catch the name of the band but we didnt' stay too long.
Garden Station, for those who don't know is a community garden located on the corner of Wayne and 4th near Oregon. They depend on community volunteers to help tend and grow the space. It is just now taking it's first steps, and if you have a green thumb you'd really like to flex, I'm sure they'd love the help! Here is some more infor if you would like to find out more.

After a visit there, we decided to take a walk through Oregon, browsed a few of the galleries there with a restless speed. Time was ticking you see! Without much time left, we wanted to experience what we could before the fireworks started. We decided to stop in at Cafe Boulevard, which again, if nobody has been, please visit for a martini on one of the neatest patios in town. I sadly lost the panorama shot of that.

We hurried our way down to Riverscape after our drink and caught a few performances before the fireworks. The streets were packed, it couldn't have been cooler. The music was pretty good too! Seeing all those people around, even for a night, can make you feel like part of a city when any other day can make you feel like the biggest group you belong to is the line at McDonalds. This is our City! And I hope Cityfolk continues to be successful, though I have heard rumors around that there may be a charge for entering next year due to dwindling sponsorship and government funding. Let's hope this isn't true, or if it is, changes by next yer.

Lastly, the fireworks, which were a great display as usual. What better way to end the night? My only complaint every year is the music they play. I know you can't have a bunch of patriotic stuff for the entire festival, but would it kill them to play more than half of stars and stripes forever while they're going off and not whatever is latest on the pop charts? It's only a 15 minute show, maybe it wouldn't be so bad to inspire some patriotism for those few minutes? To wrap up the night we relaxed on the patio at South Park Tavern on Wayne. It was far quieter than it usually is on a Friday night, I am assuming because of the festival, but with 20 beers on tap, and some of the best pizza in town, what else could you ask for?

Until next time! This weekend may be bare, since I should be out of town again, but if you're bored, be sure to check out the Events List at Dayton Most Metro, and as always for a list of all pictures on the blog or larger sizes, visit the album at

First Friday Arts Hop

8:06 AM, Posted by Brian, No Comment

This is just a reposting of the list from Dayton Most Metro, but I wanted to put it here in case anyone missed it. Go Downtown tomorrow evening and have some fun, because there is going to be a lot to be had. There is a lot of arts items on the list, but if you aren't into that sort of thing as much, don't forget there are a host of downtown taverns and resturants with events going on as well, so be sure to check out the entire list.

Downtown’s independently owned galleries, restaurants and other venues will celebrate Independence Day during the next First Friday art hop.

Patrons can download a discount coupon at that makes it even less expensive to enjoy many of downtown’s establishments ― most of which have a view of the City of Dayton’s fireworks right outside their doors or on their patios. First Friday will be held from 5 to 10 p.m. July 3 at the following locations:
• Color of Energy Gallery, 16 Brown St.;
• Summer Space, 207 E. Sixth St.;
• Gallery 510 Fine Art, 510 E. Fifth St.;
• Link Gallery, 519 E. Fifth St.;
• Goloka Gallery, 523 E. Fifth St;
• Cannery Art and Design Center, 434 E. Third St.;
• Dayton Visual Arts Center, 118 N. Jefferson St.;
• Sandra’s Art Emporium, 27 S. St. Clair St.;
• Dayton Convention Center Mezzanine Gallery, 22 E. Fifth St.
• c{space, 20 N. Jefferson St.; and
• Garden Station, corner of Fourth and Wayne Ave.
Summer Space, a new hub for a variety of arts programs, will host an exhibit of works by the group of emerging artists who have studios in the previously vacant building. Summer Space artists also have been creating work in the streets of the Oregon Arts District and in district establishments, as well as working with local students and established artists. Click here to read a blog chronicling Summer Space.
Another formerly vacant building turned community arts hub, c{space, will host “Penumbra,” a multimedia exhibition of recent work by artists Nicholaus Arnold, Ian Breidenbach, Andy Byers, Will Eagle, Jenn Flick, David Kenworthy, Lisa Miller, Adam Rohr and Frank Travers and featuring a musical performance by Kyle Byrum and complimentary food and drink. Penumbra also will be on display Saturday, July 4, from 5 to 11 p.m.
― more ―

July First Friday, page 2
Also at c{space, Courteous Mass, Dayton’s urban street cycling ride, will depart at 5:15 p.m. on Friday. Riders should meet at c{space at 5 p.m. for the hour-long ride. For more information, call 937-272-5930 or check “Courteous Mass-Dayton” on
The following exhibits also will be on display during First Friday in July:
• Gallery 510 Fine Art will feature painting demonstrations throughout the evening by proprietor Loretta Puncer, as well as the “Handmade Show,” featuring art quilts by Cathy Jeffers, hand-dyed wool hooked rugs by Donna Hrkman, raku ceramics by George Armstrong, and jewelry by Sara Cogswell, Trish Jeffers-Zeh and Cecilia Young.
• Color of Energy Gallery will present the first in a series of collaborative works by gallery owner Mike Elsass and local artist and teacher Dani Schmidt. In addition, paintings completed during a recent performance with SMAG Dance Collaborative in which Elsass used dancers as his brushes and Bob Rhoads’ saw-cut board etchings will be on display.
For more on the Oregon Arts District, visit
The Dayton Visual Arts Center will host the opening of “Green: The 18th Annual Open Members’ Show,” which celebrates Dayton’s diverse community of visual artists. As First Stop First Friday, DVAC will be open until 8 p.m. For more on DVAC, visit
The Cannery Art and Design Center will feature the stained glass art of Matt Warvel. For more on the CADC, visit
Garden Station, an urban community garden and art park, will host bonfires, live music and garden tours and show a movie at dusk.
The Dayton Convention Center Mezzanine Gallery hosts paintings by local artist Clifford Darrett.
A number of area restaurants and taverns will host special events during First Friday. Fifth Street Wine and Deli, 416 E. Fifth St., will host a beer and wine tasting. Therapy CafĂ©, 452 E. Third St., will present Eighties Night, featuring DJ Jay spinning ‘80s new wave and some ‘70s disco starting at 9 p.m. In addition, most of the restaurants, retail shops, bars and clubs, Neon Movies, Wiley’s Comedy Club, Urban Krag Climbing Center and other establishments throughout downtown will be open. July 3 also is the opening night for the weekend-long Cityfolk Festival ― held at RiverScape Metro Park and featuring performances by internationally acclaimed music acts, art, food and drink, and much more ― and the City of Dayton’s fireworks, which take place at RiverScape at 10 p.m.
The Downtown Dayton Partnership’s Web site,, has a complete list of downtown’s arts and cultural amenities, as well as a dining guide, parking map and much more.

4th Annual Railfest and Clodbuster Vintage Baseball

11:19 PM, Posted by Brian, One Comment

Welcome all to the first post of Weekends in Dayton. This blog is dedicated to spreading the experience of what there is to do in Dayton Ohio. People around here have a bad habit of whining about how little there is to do, and how boring it is. But if you actually look just about anywhere, SOMETHING is going on, whether it's a sports venue, a musical or play, to night life entertainment or hiking through a state park, if you have nothing to do, you aren't trying hard enough.

For the first post, my roommate pushed me into going to a relative newcomer in the list of Dayton festivals called Railfest, which is held in historic Carillon Park. Though there have been various train related events at Carillon in the past, an organized festival is only in it's 4th iteration and the crowd was pretty decent.

Many people set up their own train sets, some in interesting ways, including one in a in a suitcase and another in a guitar case. Outside in the park there were some larger trains set up as well as free rides on a miniature train set.

In the Family Transportaion Center, which is modeled after a train yard Round House, various historic engines, local train cars and even more train set make an appearance.

There are also, obviously, quite a few historic spots to explore and since we were there we toured the Wright Brothers Aviation Center as well. The event itself was free, however it is 8 dollars to get into the park, $5.00 for children. If you have never been to Carillon Park and have felt like visiting, then I would definately recommend waiting for an event like this to do so, since there will be a lot more to do than just take the tours.

For a complete rundown of all the pictures and some better sizes, you can go here:

For more information about Carillon Park,

And for more about about Railfest and the Carillon Park Rail and Steam Society that has been putting on the even the last few years:

While we were there, we noticed the vintage baseball team a friend of mine plays on was out in the front of the park playing a few matches. They are named the Clodbusters, and the team has been playing since about 1989. They, and many other teams across the country adhear to rules of baseball dating back as far as the 1860s, while dressed in period garb. Chris was kind enough to talk a while on camera about what they do. Instead of listening to me talk about it, why not listen to a history buff as well as an avide baseball fan.
Add Image

For more information about The Clodbuster Baseball Club, you can go to their website here.

And for some far better pictures than I could take, head on over to the Dayton Daily News at

Need a cheap afternoon with the family? They have two more meetings in Carillon Park this year, first on July 25th from 1-3pm against the Deep River Grinders, and again on September 12th from 1-3pm against the Cincinnati Buckeyes. Come on out with some sandwiches and sodas and watch your local vintage baseball club!

Until next week! And keep an eye out for things to do from the links on the right hand side. Some obvious choices are the Downtown Dayton fireworks display, the Cityfolk Festival and First Fridays!