Best tastes in town

The Taste of Miami Valley at Riverscape

By Stacey Ritz

The Taste of Miami Valley began in 2005 and features a wide variety of food choices, from frozen custard to the best BBQ. Every year, additional restaurants are added as well as new restaurants to the area. Vendor booths are also included- there is truly something for everyone to enjoy at this event. The Taste of Miami Valley will be held in conjunction with Urban Nights. It is estimated that 50,000 people will attend the Taste of Miami Valley this year. Amy Zahora, Executive Director of the Miami Valley Restaurant Association, commented, “I think it is a great partnership, people come downtown to see everything Dayton has to offer, from the condos, to the shopping and the arts. The Taste of Miami Valley showcases some wonderful food from the Miami Valley area’s finest restaurant and people get to dine and enjoy the park.”

Live music, over 30 restaurants and a wonderful artistic flair in downtown Dayton – what could be better? Zahora said, “The wonderful live music will be featuring Not That Bad and Spungewurthy on Friday, Sept. 14 and then Saturday, Sept. 15 we will have a Rubber Duck Regatta, music by Highway Junkies, Forte – Centerville High School’s a cappella band – and the headlining act coming from Cleveland -Panama, a Van Halen Tribute band! We are really excited to have Panama. Since Van Halen had to cancel their tour this year we thought this band would be a great fit.”

Dayton resident Chris Foster has attended the Taste of Miami Valley in the past and plans to attend again this year. “I’m bringing a carload of friends along with me again this year. We had a blast last year. I love the music, the atmosphere … and, of course, the beer!” Foster isn’t alone in his positive words towards the event. Kim Robins of Centerville will be attending the Taste of Miami Valley for the first time this year. “I’ve never been, but I’m excited. I’ve heard great things. This will be my first time going to the event and to Urban Nights.” Robins admits that she’s looking forward to trying great local food and learning more about the community, as she moved to the Dayton area just two years ago. “I continue to learn more and more about the community and I’m glad my friend told me about this event. I’m really looking forward to it. I have no doubt it will be a great time!”

Both Friday and Saturday will feature a Cornhole Tournament, sanctioned by the American Cornhole Association. The winner of the tournament will qualify for the national tournament. James Swartz has been practicing for the tournament all summer. “I am looking forward to seeing how I stack up against others. Cornhole is awesome. It should be a fun day!”

The Taste of Miami Valley has something for everyone. The event offers a great avenue to connect with local restaurants, with the local families who operate them and offers a wide variety of dishes. If there is a food you’ve wanted to try, the Taste of Miami Valley is the place to do it. Valerie Beerbower, Public Information Manager for Five Rivers MetroParks, shared “We are proud to host events like Taste of Miami Valley that showcase the artistic flair of our local food scene. Special props go to the burgeoning ‘slow food’ scene that features locally sourced products in many restaurateurs’ dishes.” Beerbower also discussed how the event is a great way to connect local residents to our home city. “We hope this event encourages individuals to try gardening at home to capture some of that flavor, or perhaps to just appreciate the land and be more conscientious about its care and stewardship.”

Admission to the event is free, as are all concerts. Tastes of food and drinks from over 30 of the Miami Valley’s best restaurants are $3 each. Be sure to stop by and vote for the People’s Choice Best of Taste, for a chance to win $150 of restaurant gift certificates each day.

Whether you are looking to try out some great food and great beer, or if you’re looking forward to hanging out with friends and family and listening to the sounds of Panama and Highway Junkies, The Taste of the Miami Valley has something for everyone to enjoy. Come out and join the fun!

The Taste of Miami Valley will be held at RiverScape MetroPark, located at 111 E. Monument Ave. on Friday, Sept. 14 from 5-11 p.m. and Saturday Sept. 15 from 2-11 p.m. For more information about the Taste of Miami Valley, visit

Reach DCP freelance writer Stacey Ritz at

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