Downtown Dayton

Photo by Lynn Adams / Courtesy of the Downtown Dayton Partnership

Tonight is the Grand Illumination in downtown Dayton on Courthouse Square featuring live music entertainment, carnival rides, games, holiday crafts, horse-drawn wagon rides and a gingerbread house display.  The tree lighting will be at 7:45pm followed immediately by the Dayton Children's Parade Spectacular in Lights.  Go to downtowndayton.org and check it out.

Friday and Saturday from 6 - 8:30 p.m is Aullwood’s Enchanted Forest. You can roast marshmallows, meet the black rat snake and box turtles, friendly trail guides will escort visitors along the luminary-lit trail and you will meet costumed forest creatures.

Saturday is Franz Liszt’s 200th birthday and on Saturday and Sunday the Miami Valley Symphony Orchestra will be doing lots of favorites from the Romantic era…including a famous Liszt tune.

Photo by: Susan Gartner

This Friday marks the fall edition of Urban Nights in downtown Dayton.  It's an event that showcases the music, arts, dining and housing that downtown Dayton has to offer.  On this edition of Kaleidoscope, Juliet Fromholt spoke with Kristen Wicker and Krystal Luketic from the Downtown Dayton Partnership about the origins of Urban Nights and the new features at this fall's event.

Interview Highlights:

Kristen Wicker on the early days of Urban Nights

Photo courtesy of Kristen Wicker

Some people call it downtown's biggest party with live music stages and roving performers throughout the city. But Urban Nights isn't just about the party. It's a showcase for the arts, dining, music and even the housing available in downtown Dayton.  This bi-annual event is expected to bring 30 thousand people downtown this evening.

Kristen Wicker with the Downtown Dayton Partnership says that it's also an important way to highlight the 9 out of 10 downtown businesses that are locally owned and operated.

Juliet Fromholt

On Friday morning four new parks opened in downtown Dayton. They were small - about 200 square feet- and they were in the street. That's because September 17th was PARK(ing) Day. Dayton joined cities around the world participating in the grassroots movement that transforms metered parking spots into mini green spaces for one day only.

Here's how it works: people around the world pick a metered parking spot in their community. They feed the meter all day to rent the spot which gets transformed into a small park.

A parking spot outside the Ludlow Street entrance of City Hall will be covered in grass and plants. But it's only from 7:30 am until five-thirty in the afternoon. The plants are donated, and the City isn't spending any public funds to participate.

September 17th is Parking Day. It's a global grassroots movement that transforms meter parking spots into mini green spaces for one day. This year several Dayton organizations will be participating including City Hall.

The Greater Downtown Dayton Plan was unveiled yesterday. It expands the area traditionally thought of as downtown in an effort to create a larger more sustainable community.

Mike Ervin says that making downtown Dayton larger just makes sense.

"Downtown is a much bigger place extending down to the Oakwood border and the University of Dayton to Miami Valley hospital and a number of neighborhoods, spilling across the river and down alongside it. That's really our downtown when you think about," says Ervin.

This weekend, communities are coming together in Dayton to show there's still some life in economically depressed areas. For the past year, Dayton, Cleveland, Youngstown and Canton have been laboring under the title fastest dying cities in the country. It was last August that Forbes called them as the walking dead.

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