Mark your calendar for summer events at RiverScape MetroPark

By Lauren Lemons

Photo: Early morning risers center themselves with a yoga class under the RiverScape Pavilion

Summer kicks off an entire season of outdoor entertainment at downtown Dayton’s RiverScape MetroPark, an area-wide venue for community gatherings and events.

“RiverScape MetroPark provides a venue for outdoor programs, festivals, and cultural celebrations that bring the community together and establish downtown Dayton as the regional epicenter for outdoor fun and entertainment,” says Bill Tschirhart, Five Rivers MetroPark chief of administration.

Those looking for outdoor summer fun can visit RiverScape MetroPark for a variety of programs and events hosted by Five Rivers MetroParks, along with Dayton’s most beloved community festivals.


Take a break

This summer, RiverScape offers visitors a break from the hustle and bustle with exercise classes and a scenic lunch hour.


Fitness in the Park

Get centered and active with a Saturday morning workout under the RiverScape pavilion. These free Yoga and Zumba classes are offered most Saturdays from 10 to 11 a.m. Participants should bring water and wear comfortable clothes. Fitness in the Park yoga sessions are sponsored by Bridget Credit Union.

Dates for Yoga: May 6, May 27, June 10, July 8, July 22, Aug. 19

Dates for Zumba: May 13, June 3, July 1, July 15, Aug. 5, Aug. 26


Music at Lunch: 

Monday – Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., May 8 through Sept. 29

Those who need to get away from their desks can visit RiverScape MetroPark for lunch. Grab a bite from local food trucks or bring a bagged lunch, and enjoy beautiful views of the river and live acoustic music. Boxed lunches and cool treats also are available at the RiverScape MetroPark Fountain Snack Bar.


Rent for adventure

Rent bikes and child accessories to explore the region’s more than 300 miles of paved, connected bikeways. Rentals are available Memorial Day through Labor Day on Saturdays and Sundays, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.


Music in the air

RiverScape Summer Music Series features a variety of live music acts, from soulful R&B performers to big band brass musicians. Concerts are held on select Thursdays and Fridays and are a great way to decompress after the work week. Concertgoers can enjoy offerings from local food trucks, treats from the park’s café and beautiful views of downtown and the Great Miami River. The Summer Music Series is presented by and is free all ages.


Pickin’ in the Park

Kick off the weekend with an evening of live, progressive bluegrass music. From 5:30 to 10 p.m. on select Fridays during the summer, three local bluegrass bands take the stage to perform string-picking American roots music. Pickin’ in the Park is sponsored by Mikesell’s Snack Food Company.

Friday, May 5: Casey Campbell, Slippery Creek, and The Tillers

Friday, June 2: Alex DeLange, The Wayfarers, and The Last Revel

Friday, Aug. 4: Mad River Railroad, Growler, and Whisky Bent Valley Boys


R&B Hot Summer Music

R&B performers light up the stage at RiverScape during an evening dedicated to one of the country’s most popular musical genres. These free concerts are from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. on select Fridays and are free. Bring a lawn chair for seating. R&B Hot Summer Music is sponsored by Bridge Credit Union.

Friday, June 9: KICK-N-FLAVA

Friday, July 14: Jah Sol


Big Band Nights

Classic instruments and upbeat tunes are guaranteed to get toes tapping during Big Band Nights at RiverScape, from 7:30 -9:30 p.m. on select Thursdays. Bring a lawn chair for seating.

Thursday, June 8: Hal Harris Orchestra

Thursday, June 22: Tom Daugherty Orchestra

Thursday, July 6: The Kim Kelly Orchestra

Thursday, July 20: Barry Campbell Big Band with vocalist Elaina McCormick

Thursday, Aug. 17: Dayton Jazz Orchestra


Not-to-miss summer festivals

A go-to for cultural celebrations and summer holidays, RiverScape is home to fun-filled community festivals throughout the season. New this year, the Germanfest picnic, Dayton Jazz Festival, and Dayton Reggae Festival will be hosted at RiverScape. Also, in what has become a holiday tradition for many families, Independence Day celebrations culminate with fun family activities at the park and brilliant fireworks over the Great Miami River. Free, all-ages festivals at RiverScape also include:

Dayton Jazz Festival – Sunday, June 11, 1 to 9 p.m.

City of Dayton Lights in Flight Fireworks Show and Festival – Monday, July 3, 5 to 10 p.m.

Dayton Blues Festival – Sunday, July 16, from 1 to 9 p.m.

United Irish of Dayton Celtic FestivalFriday, July 28, from 5:30 to 11 p.m.; Saturday, July 29, 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.; and Sunday, July 30, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Germanfest Picnic – Friday, Aug. 11, 5 to 11 p.m.; Saturday, Aug. 12, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; and Sunday, Aug. 13, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Dayton Reggae Festival – Sunday, Sept. 3, from 1 to 8 p.m.

Hispanic Heritage Festival – Saturday, Sept. 16, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.



For more information, please visit

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Reach DCP freelance writer Lauren Lemons at

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