What’s it like to live downtown?

Find out at Urban Nights

by Kevin J. Gray

Friday, Sept. 14, show your love for downtown Dayton by coming out to Urban Nights. The event, which runs from 5 to 10 p.m. is an extensive collaboration between the Downtown Dayton Partnership, several local not-for-profits, and many, many local area businesses, galleries and entertainment spots. Urban Nights showcases the wealth the Gem City offers, and covers downtown Dayton, the Oregon Arts District and the Wright-Dunbar Business Village. Join more than 30,000 of your closest friends and neighbors and get yourself downtown.

Think of Urban Nights as a giant street party mixed with a multi-block open house that highlights everything downtown living offers. Downtown Dayton Partnership, an economic development group, organizes the event. DDP events coordinator Krystal Luketic explains why the event is an important one for her organization and why it matters to the continuing growth of the area: “Events [like Urban Nights] bring so many people into downtown and these events allow us to highlight what’s downtown–not just for our already existing restaurants and retail, but they allow us to reach out to people who may not necessarily come downtown on a regular basis but then find out, ‘Hey, I am interested in being part of downtown, I want to live here or work here and here’s what’s available.’”

As Luketic notes, visitors have an opportunity to really explore downtown Dayton. At Urban Nights, more than 100 local businesses, restaurants, retail spaces, nightlife, urban living areas and art galleries open their doors. Many have planned special events that evening, including interactive events and special promotions. The complete listing is available in the program map and guide, available on the partnerships website at http://www.downtowndayton.org/pdfs/UNMap-Fall12-Web.pdf.

In addition to the happenings at each location, there are some cornerstone events not to be missed. First and foremost, the streets resound with live musical entertainment at the Main Stage and each of the satellite stages. New this year, Urban Nights is not only highlighting the area’s musical talents, but also its performing arts all-stars with Dancing In The Streets. See the complete stage listing at the right.

That’s not enough, you say? Be sure to check out these other cornerstone events of the evening:

-Over the Edge – Volunteers rappel down the 27 stories of KeyBank Tower as a fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Miami Valley. Each volunteer has raised at least $1,000 for the organization. Also check out the free climbing wall at Courthouse Square. Get a taste for heights and you could be a spring Over the Edge volunteer.

-Dayton, Ohio! You Are Here! – A large scale performance piece transforms the Old Courthouse on Third and Main streets. Look for video projection and shadow dances as DCDC participates to bring Dayton’s present alive.

-Taste of the Miami Valley – Kick-off the weeklong celebration of local cuisine at Urban Nights. The event takes place at RiverScape MetroPark and is free to attend. Samples are generally $3 each.

-Urban Bikes @ Urban Nights: A ride to celebrate bicycle culture in Dayton. Cyclists gather at 5:15 p.m. at Don Crawford Plaza in front of Fifth Third Field for a community ride through Urban Nights that ends at Courthouse Square.

-Business Grand Openings – Dayton adds three more establishments to the downtown area: OinkADoodleMoo in the lobby of the KeyBank Tower, 10 W. Second Street.; Brim, a new hat shop at 464 E. Fifth Street.; and Sew Dayton, featuring fabric and patterns, at 16 Brown Street.


Navigate the event on foot or take a free trolley provided by the Greater Dayton RTA to reach venues in more distant areas such as Wright-Dunbar. For full details, including a copy of the map and program, visit the Downtown Dayton Partnership website: http://www.downtowndayton.org.

Reach DCP freelance writer Kevin Gray at KevinGray@daytoncitypaper.com


Stage Listing

Main Stage Entertainment:

5:00-5:45 p.m. – Spencer Sutherland

5:45-6:00 p.m. – Circle Nerdz (break dance crew)*

6:00-6:45 p.m. – Eric Jerardi Band

6:45-7:00 p.m. – The Dropbacks (juggling duo)*

7:00-7:45 p.m. – Cherry Lee and the Hot Rod Hounds

7:45-8:00 p.m. – Soul Fire Tribe (fire dancers)*

8:00-10:00 p.m. – Funky G

* Performing in front of the stage on Courthouse Square

Satellite Stages:

Dancing in the Street

First Street between Main and Ludlow

5:00-5:20 p.m. – (TBA)

5:30-5:50 p.m. – Zumba

6:00-6:20 p.m. – Zumbatomic

6:30-7:00 p.m. – Funk Lab

7:10-7:30 p.m. – McGovern Ceili Dancers

7:40-7:50 p.m. – Dayton Contemporary Dance Company

8:00-8:20 p.m. – South Dayton Dance Theatre

8:30-9:00 p.m. – SMAG Dance Collective.

The Community Stage

Second and Jefferson streets by the Kettering Tower

5:00-7:00 p.m. – 10-minute performances of all kinds by Dayton Originals

7:00-10:00 p.m. – Karaoke

Live on Five

In the Oregon Arts District, next to The Trolley Stop

6:00-6:45 p.m. – Burning Jones

7:00-7:45 p.m. – Dustin Vincent

8:00-8:45 p.m. – Customer Service and the Gem City Horns

9:00-9:45 p.m. – Beatlejuice

Taste of Miami Valley Stage

RiverScape MetroPark

5:00-8:00 p.m. – Not That Bad

8:00-11:00 p.m. – Spungewurthy

Wright-Dunbar Entertainment

The Plaza Stage:

5:30-9:00 p.m. – Deron Bell Smooth Jazz & Gospel with Karaoke

Grillin’ & Chillin’ Tent:

5:00-10:00 p.m. – Master G spinning music for the dance tent

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