Updated: 8:09 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 3, 2009 | Posted: 7:49 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 3, 2009

Labor Day weekend means plenty of events to choose from


Labor Day weekend  means plenty of events to choose from photo
Crowds line up for games, rides, food and refreshments at last year’s Alterfest.

By Lauren Perl

Staff Writer

Since its enactment as a legal holiday in 1894, Labor Day has continued to offer a plethora of events for people to see and do.

People have found more and more ways to celebrate, and why not? Don’t we owe it to ourselves to take a day off once in awhile? This Labor Day is no different. Grab an extra hour of sleep or two — you’ve earned it; but just don’t sleep the weekend away. This list highlights just a few of the great events happening in and around town this weekend.

As always, visit www.ActiveDayton.com anytime day or night to find many more ideas on how you might celebrate your Labor Day beyond the barbecues and last-minute swim at the pool before it closes. Get out there and do something fun.


  • When: Noon to midnight Saturday, Sept. 5, and Sunday, Sept. 6; noon to 8 p.m. Monday, Sept. 7
  • Where: Alter High School, 940 E. David Road, Kettering
  • Cost: Free
  • More info:www.alterfest.com
  • The scoop: Alter High School plays host to its annual Alterfest and this isn’t just for alumni, parents or students — it’s for everyone. Run in a 5K, play some games, enter a raffle or experience the sights and sounds of great entertainment like Irish dancers and local bands like Bonneville, Vanity Theft and Velvet Crush. If you’re smart you’ll be sure to pick up one of the chicken dinners that make this festival so popular. Last year, festival organizers say they served up 4,600 of them, so be prepared to get in line and know that it will be worth it.
  • Verdict: A festival complete with games, food, live entertainment, Texas Hold ‘Em and a sports bar? Yes, a sports bar with beer and six big screen televisions broadcasting the Big Ten Network. What’s not to like?


  • When: 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 5
  • Where: Stubbs Park Amphitheater, Centerville
  • Cost: Free
  • More info: (937) 428-4716 or www.ci.centerville.oh.us
  • The scoop: Three area blues bands need your help. The Doug Hart Band, Michael Locke & The Repeat Offenders, and Jimmy Baker & Blues Encounter will be competing for a chance to return to Centerville’s Stubbs Park in 2010 to perform their own two-hour concert. Co-sponsored by the Dayton Blues Society, each band will perform a 45 minute set, and following the concert you can cast your vote on a paper ballot at the park, or online at www.ci.centerville.oh.us between 9 p.m. and midnight. The amphitheater offers only lawn seating, but blankets and chairs are permitted.
  • Verdict: The Centerville Summer Concert Series has been bringing talented performers to the Stubbs Park Amphitheater stage all summer long. The last concert will be held on Sept. 13.


  • When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 5, and Sunday, Sept. 6
  • Where: George Rogers Clark Park, 930 S. Tecumseh Road, Springfield
  • Cost: $8 for adults, $3 for kids
  • More info: (937) 882-9216 or www.grcha.org
  • The scoop: It’s time for a history lesson. Travel 200 years into the past to witness a historical adventure set on the former site of two Shawnee villages, as well as the largest Revolutionary War battle west of the Alleghenies.
  • Verdict: There is just no end to the variety of attractions at the Fair at New Boston. Listen to a war hero tell his story, see a battle re-enactment, join an 18th century dance.


  • When: 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 4
  • Where: At the following locations in downtown Dayton:
    Cannery Art and Design Center, 434 E. Third St.
    Color of Energy Gallery, 16 Brown St.
    Dayton Visual Arts Center, 118 N. Jefferson St.
    Gallery 510 Fine Art, 510 E. Fifth St.
    Garden Station, corner of Fourth Street and Wayne Avenue
    Goloka Gallery, 523 E. Fifth St.
    H. David Clay Studio, 33 S. St. Clair St.
    K12 Gallery for Young People, 510 E. Third St.
    Sandra’s Art Emporium, 27 S. St. Clair St.
    Space 11, 207 E. Sixth St.
    Summer Space, 207 E. Sixth St.
  • Cost: Free
  • More info: Visit www.downtowndayton.org
  • The scoop: In addition to all of the familiar venues that participate in First Friday events, two new arts spaces will host their inaugural exhibitions on Friday, Sept. 4, in conjunction with First Friday. Space 11, on the third floor of the Oregon Arts District’s Excelsior building, will host the opening reception for “Show 1: Satellite.” The Missing Peace Art Space, 234 S. Dutoit St., will host the opening of “Know Justice, Know Peace,” featuring the work of Max Ginsburg of New York City.
  • Verdict: First Friday attendees can get around for free on Greater Dayton RTA’s Wright Flyer, and patrons can download a discount coupon in advance at www.codecu.org that makes it less expensive to enjoy many of downtown’s restaurants and taverns.


  • When: Gates open at 8 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 5. The festival lasts two days through Sept. 6.
  • Where: Frontier Ranch Music Center, 8836 York Road, Pataskala
  • Cost: $65 in advance, $80 at the door, free for kids 12 and younger with a paid adult. Gates open for early-bird camping at 3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 4, which costs $20 extra.
  • More info: (614) 431-3600 or www.hookahville.com
  • The scoop: If you’re an outdoor music lover who also enjoys camping, this event’s for you. Come to the Frontier Ranch Music Center, pitch a tent, crack a cold beverage, and listen to the old time sounds of roots music, New Orleans funk, rock ‘n’ roll and bluegrass.
  • Verdict: The blend of young and seasoned musicians from a variety of genres creates an eclectic lineup that features 32 bands including festival favorites Ekoostik Hookah.


  • When: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 6, and noon to 5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 7
  • Where: Lincoln Park Pavilion (arts and crafts show) and Far Hills Avenue (parade and 5K run), Kettering
  • Cost: Free
  • More info: Visit www.holidayathome.org for a complete schedule and list of activities.
  • The scoop: Spend your holiday at home, right here in Kettering. If you are looking for something to do, Kettering’s Holiday at Home festival — now in its 51st year — has an array of options.
  • Verdict: Head over to Kettering Monday for the Holiday at Home parade, which begins at 9:55 a.m. on Far Hills Avenue and Stroop Road. Don’t forget to check out all of the other festival activities. For a full schedule of events, visit holidayathome.org/events/schedules.html .


  • When: Through Sept. 13
  • Where: The new Dayton Theatre Guild digs at 430 Wayne Ave., Dayton
  • Cost: $18 for adults, $16 for ages 60 and older, $11 for students
  • More info: (937) 278-5993 or www.daytontheatreguild.org
  • The scoop: The Dayton Theatre Guild tests the limits of morality, sexuality and corruption in this outrageous story about the nefarious Marquise de Merteuil in this most dangerous liaison.
  • Verdict: Set in France at the beginning of the 18th century, this decadent audience-pleaser is sure to delight and entertain with its quick wit, drama and intrigue.


  • When: 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 4
  • Where: Fraze Pavilion, 695 Lincoln Park Blvd., Kettering
  • Cost: $30 for terrace tickets
  • More info:www.fraze.com or (937) 296-3302
  • The scoop: Kenny Loggins and Jim Messina roll into town on a musical reunion tour with special guest Gabe Dixon.
  • Verdict: The two musicians hit the road in 2005 for a “Sittin’ In Again” reunion tour and it was so popular that they’re back at it again. That can only be a good sign.


  • When: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily through Monday, Sept. 7
  • Where: Montgomery County Fairgrounds, 1043 S. Main St., Dayton
  • Cost: $5. Children 12 and younger are free with a paying adult. Carload pass is $20 per carload, no limit.
  • More info: (937) 224-1619. www.montcofair.com .
  • The scoop: County fairs offer a little something for everyone and this one is no exception.
  • Verdict: Live entertainment, rides, games and — best of all — fried goodies? A good fair has a way of bringing out the little kid that lives in all of us. We’re so there ...


  • When: 7 to 11 p.m. Friday, Sept. 4
  • Where: The Greene, Juniper Way, Beavercreek
  • Cost: Free
  • More info: (937) 490-4990 or www.thegreene.com
  • The scoop: Gather some friends and hit The Greene for a block party this weekend ... Vegas-style!
  • Verdict: With gambling tables, fake money, show girls, street performers, raffles, prizes and live music, “A Night at the Greene” promises to be a gamble you’ll want to take.


  • When: 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 5, through Oct. 25
  • Where: Renaissance Park, 317 Brimstone Road, Wilmington
  • Cost: Ticket prices vary due to special offers and group rates. Visit www.renfestival.com for details.
  • More info: (513) 897-7000, ext. 244 or visit www.renfestival.com
  • The scoop: Grab your sword and armor and meet us at the Renaissance Festival at Renaissance Park in Wilmington for some medieval mayhem. Be ready for knights, swordsmen and jousters, master artisans, costumed performers, musicians, food and drink, theater and more. Oh, and bring a shield, just in case.
  • Verdict: If you’re looking to channel the spirit of 16th century England, this is your chance. The festival, now in its 20th year, knows how to show visitors a good time. Themed weekends include pirates (Sept. 19-20), Oktoberfest (Sept. 26-27) and romance (Oct. 17-18). This weekend, Sept. 5-7, it’s all about family and friends. For this weekend only, adults are two for the price of one and all kids 12 and younger are free with a paying adult.


  • When: Noon Saturday, Sept. 5
  • Where: Ohio Stadium, 410 Woody Hayes Drive, Columbus
  • Cost: Call the athletics ticket office at (614) 292-2624 for prices.
  • More info: (614) 292-2624 or www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com
  • The scoop: GO BUCKS! It’s football season again, and our beloved Buckeyes are back. The season will kick off with a home game against the Navy team at Ohio Stadium in Columbus.
  • Verdict: Tickets will be hard to come by (not surprisingly) so you may want to find a hoppin’ bar to visit. Drink a cold one and cheer on the team. Need ideas? We’ve got plenty at www.ActiveDayton.com/bars.


  • When: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 5, and Sunday, Sept. 6; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 7
  • Where: 9845 N. Hardin Road, Piqua
  • Cost: $2
  • More info:www.piquaheritagefestival.com
  • The scoop: Visit the Piqua Heritage Festival for a celebration of the early 19th century.
  • Verdict: The crafts, costumes and canal boat rides are not the only intriguing features of this festival. Check out the rest of the activities planned for the event that the American Bus Association designated a Top 100 Event in North America.


  • When: 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 5
  • Where: Riverscape MetroPark, 111 E. Monument Ave., Dayton
  • Cost: Free
  • More info: (937) 274-0126 or www.metroparks.org
  • The scoop: Soak up Motown hits from the ‘60s and ‘70s, courtesy of Dayton-based band TOUCH.
  • Verdict: If you’re looking for some old school soul at the right price, this free concert is right up your alley.


  • When: 9 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 6
  • Where: Both sides of the Ohio River, Cincinnati
  • Cost: Free
  • More info:www.webn.com
  • The scoop: Our neighbor to the south has just the thing to put a bang into your Labor Day weekend.
  • Verdict: This excellent display of pyrotechnics is the perfect way to cap off Cincinnati’s Riverfest. Head to either side of the Ohio River and set up early, grab a bite to eat, hang out with some friends and listen to a variety of local bands while you wait for the fireworks to begin.