No matter the reason

Celebrate the season at Miamisburg’s small-town holiday festival

By Emma Jarman

Photo: The Miamisburg Holiday Event takes place Saturday, Dec. 12 in downtown Miamisburg; photo: Rob Leifheit

Whether you’re Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist or whatever you please, the crisp, cold weeks between Thanksgiving and New Years are typically a time to celebrate family, togetherness, consumerism and overeating. Just 15 minutes from downtown Dayton is Miamisburg, the picturesque town that will never bow out on an opportunity to flaunt its Midwest charm and holiday spirit. Miamisburg will celebrate this year’s season with another installment of the annual Miamisburg Community Holiday Event and Parade.
This nondenominational celebration, replete with carnival-style games and crafts for children, cookie decorating in the Baum Opera House, an elves workshop and pictures with Santa Clause in the Market Square Building will start Saturday, Dec. 12 at 11:30 a.m. and power through the early afternoon until 2 p.m. The event will kick off with a “Home for the Holidays”-themed parade, where attendants can wave and cheer as all of their favorite animated characters stroll through the downtown streets. This year will be the largest parade ever, says Miamisburg Parks and Recreation Programmer Mark Hesse, with an expected 1,000 to 2,000 people—a sizeable crowd for a city of about 20,000.
The parade and festival will go on rain or shine, and if Dec. 12 is anything like the mild December Dayton has enjoyed so far, it’ll be ugly Christmas T-shirt weather rocking its way into a happy and green new year. Children of all ages, parents, grandparents and everyone in between are encouraged to come to Miamisburg and experience their local shops and restaurants during and after the annual Holiday Festival.
“The holiday event is a program that allows our community to celebrate the holidays together,” Hesse says. “[It] provides an opportunity for families to enjoy time together, experience an exciting holiday event and visit our historical downtown.”
This year, as typical of those past and to come, participating merchants in the Miamisburg area will provide sales and additional holiday-themed activities including horse-drawn carriage rides throughout downtown. Participants may also marvel at the gingerbread house contest and boogie in the streets with the DJ playing music outside.
Miamisburg is a short hop down I-75 from Dayton proper, highly accessible from all the ‘burbs but far enough from the city to still manage an authentic small-town vibe. Whether you prefer the sports bar atmosphere at the vibrant TJ. Chumps on Linden Avenue or the straightforward Sushi Cafe Kai on Byers Road, the Miamisburg restaurant scene has something for everyone—and the holidays are a perfect time to experience it. Locals and visitors alike can share in the delights at Amy’s Cakes and More on Linden Avenue, or (weather-permitting) pedal over to one of the many certified bike-friendly businesses in the area such as Luna Blue’s Boutique, Classic Stitch Embroidery or Curious Styles and Coffee Shop for all your holiday gift needs and wants. All of the local businesses will be open during the holiday festival hours.
The event is free, so barring death or dismemberment, there is no excuse not to swing by. The city of Miamisburg will also be collecting canned goods to go to the local food pantry Helping Hands. Helping Hands is celebrating its 50th year of service to the Miamisburg community this year, and the holidays are a particular time of need for items. The organization not only helps underprivileged local residents and those struggling through the expensive months but also hosts non-needs-based free food distributions throughout the year.
Helping Hands is also a part of Kroger Community Rewards. To keep the holiday spirit going, Kroger cards can be registered to the number “45410,” and each purchase will help to reduce hunger in the Miamisburg community. Cards can be registered by clicking the “Sign Up” button on the Miamisburg Helping Hands Facebook page.
There are so many ways to celebrate the holidays, from frequenting local businesses to spending time with your family to helping others in need. The Miamisburg Community Holiday Event and Parade is an event that covers all three bases.
“You should expect an exciting holiday atmosphere, where families will travel throughout downtown Miamisburg experiencing all the neat shops and restaurants our community has to offer,” Hesse says, “along with being able to enjoy pictures and visits with Santa Clause, cookie decorating, carriage rides and a variety of children’s games.”

The Miamisburg Holiday Event runs 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 12 in downtown Miamisburg. The parade starts the event at 11:30 a.m. Admission is free. For more information please contact Miamisburg Parks and Recreation at 937.866.4532 or visit To learn more on how to register a Kroger Community Rewards card to help reduce hunger, visit

Reach DCP freelance writer Emma Jarman at Emma

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