Festivals. Fairs. Fireworks.
Your biggest problem in July will be how to fit it all in.
Here are some of the events we are looking forward to in July.
Summer for area theater enthusiasts means the return of FutureFest. The 28th annual festival of new plays is presented at Dayton Playhouse, 1301 E. Siebenthaler Ave., Dayton, Friday through Sunday, July 20 through 22.
FutureFest 2018 showcases six finalists. Debra Kent’s “What Are Words Worth to a Long Fellow?” opens the festival at 8 p.m. Friday. Saturday’s productions are “Fettered” by Annie Pesch at 10 a.m., Shawn Hooks’ “Late in the Game” at 3 p.m. and “Last Rites-Detroit, 1967” by Kip Moore at 8 p.m.
FutureFest concludes Sunday with Dawn Roth Smith’s “Of Men and Cars” at 10 a.m. and “Queen of Sad Mischance” by Richard Lee Waldeck at 3 p.m. Cost: $20 per show, $100 for weekend package. Call 937-424-8477 or visit www.daytonplayhouse.org.
2) MONTGOMERY COUNTY FAIR
For a century-and-a-half, the Montgomery County Fair has been the go-to summer spot for games, rides, food and entertainment. There is one big difference this time: the fair begins its 166th season at its new home at 645 Infirmary Road, Dayton, on Monday, July 9. The fair runs through Sunday, July 15. Fair hours are 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Rides open at 1 p.m. Cost: $10, includes admission to grandstand events and parking. Free for children 6 and younger with paying adult. Call 937-224-1619 or visit www.montcofair.com.
3) JIM GAFFIGAN
Netflix has become a major outlet for stand-up comedy. Jim Gaffigan currently has five specials available on the streaming service. However, he’s trying something different with his forthcoming special “Noble Ape,” making it available through more than a dozen rental and pay digital platforms. Gaffigan, currently out on his Fixer Upper Tour, performs at Fraze Pavilion, 695 Lincoln Park Blvd., Kettering, at 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 27. Cost: $45 lawn & terrace in advance, $50 day of show. Call 937-296-3300 or visit www.fraze.com.
Dayton Visual Arts Center, 118 N. Jefferson St., Dayton, hosts an opening reception for “The Light Within” from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, July 6. The DP&L Foundation’s annual open members’ exhibition, DVAC’s final offering of its 2017-2018 season, is on display through Aug. 11. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Cost: Free. Call 937-224-3822 or visit www.daytonvisualarts.org.
5) OLD CASE FILES
Salacious stories from our city’s past are brought to life by Dayton History each summer during its “Old Case Files.” The historical courtroom drama series, at the Old Court House, 7 N. Main St., Dayton, Friday through Sunday, July 20 through 22, offers a dramatic reenactment of a controversial local murder. Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 3 p.m. Sunday. “Old Case Files” are also presented July 27 through 29 and August 3 through 5. Space is limited, reservations requested. Call 937-293-2841 or visit www.daytonhistory.org.
6) COOL FILMS
The 1949 George Cukor comedy “Adam’s Rib” launches the new season of the Summer Cool Films Series at Victoria Theatre, 138 N. Main St., Dayton, Friday through Sunday, July 7 through 9. Other films include “The Princess Bride,” “Irma La Douce” and “Die Hard.” July 27 through 29 is Christmas in July with “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” on Friday, “Elf” on Saturday and “Miracle on 34th Street” on Sunday. August 17 through 19 is a disaster movie marathon with “The Poseidon Adventure” on Friday, “The Towering Inferno” on Saturday and “Earthquake” on Sunday. Show times are 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 3 p.m. Sunday. Reel Late at the Vic features music from C. Wright’s Parlour Tricks before 10:30 p.m. late shows of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” on July 14 and “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” on August 11. Cost: $6 per screening or $39 for a 10-ticket passbook good for any films but the Reel Late at the Vic screenings. Call 937-228-3630 or visit www.ticketcenterstage.com.
7) ROSEWOOD SHOWS
A new joint exhibition opens at Rosewood Arts Centre, 2655 Olson Dr., Kettering, on Monday, July 16. The show features the mixed media paintings of Cincinnati-based artist John Humphries and the acrylic paintings of Paula Izydorek of Cleveland. A reception for the artists will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, July 19. The show is on display through August 17. Cost: Free. Call 937-296-0294 or visit www.playkettering.org.
8) LAVELL CRAWFORD
Although he didn’t realize it at the time, Lavell Crawford’s life changed dramatically when he landed the role of bodyguard Huell on “Breaking Bad.” The veteran comedian also reprised the role on the spinoff series, “Better Call Saul.” His other credits include “American Ultra,” “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” and “Legends of Chamberlain Heights.” Crawford is currently focused on stand-up, including a return to town for performances at the Funny Bone Comedy Club, 88 Plum St., The Greene, Beavercreek, Friday and Saturday, July 20 and 21. Show times are 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. Cost: $15-$45. Call 937-429-LAFF (5233) or visit www.daytonfunnybone.com.
9) KICKIN’ CHICKEN WING FEST
Each summer, Fraze Pavilion, 695 Lincoln Park Blvd., Kettering, hosts a variety of free festivals, from the season-opening Kettering Block Party on June 11 to the upcoming Kickin’ Chicken Wing Fest on Saturday, July 14. Festivities begin at 3 p.m. with an opening set from the 24Seven Party Band followed by the North 41 at 5:30 p.m. Lt. Dan’s New Legs close out the night with a 8 p.m. performance. Coolers and pets are not permitted. Cost: Free. The next free festival at the Fraze is “Festival of the Vine,” a celebration of wine and jazz, on August 11. Call 937-296-3300 or visit www.fraze.com.
10) MUTTS GONE NUTS
Scott and Joan Houghton worked as a comedy duo for 20 years before bringing their rescue dogs into the act for something completely different in 2005. The result is Mutts Gone Nuts! Canine Cabaret, a family-friendly, laughed-filled night of entertainment. The Springfield Arts Council’s Summer Arts Festival presents Mutts Gone Nuts! at Turner Pavilion, Veteran’s Park, 250 Cliff Park Road, Springfield, at 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 11. Cost: Free. Visit www.springfieldartscouncil.org.
INDEPENDENCE DAY BEST BETS
1) LIGHTS IN FLIGHT
The City of Dayton’s Lights in Flight Festival is presented at RiverScape MetroPark, 111 E. Monument Ave., Dayton, at 5 p.m. Tuesday, July 3. The annual Independence Day celebration features music, food and beer sales and evening-capping fireworks show at 10 p.m. Cost: Free. Call 937-333-8400 or visit www.downtowndayton.org.
2) RED, ART & BLUE
Wagner Subaru presents Red, Art & Blue, the annual members-only party at Dayton Art Institute, 456 Belmonte Park North, Dayton, from 8 to 11 p.m. Tuesday, July 3. The event features food, activities and a great view of the City of Dayton’s fireworks display. Cost: $35 ages 12 and older, $15 kids ages 3-11, free 2 and younger. Reservations are required. Call 937-223-4ART (4278) or visit www.daytonartinstitute.org.
3) AMERICANA FEST
The 45th annual Centerville-Washington Township Americana Festival is massive street party presented in various spots in downtown Centerville near Main and Franklin streets, on Wednesday, July 4. Each year, the Independence Day celebration features a parade, street fair, 5K run, fireworks and more. The 5K begins at 7 a.m., street fair at 9:30 a.m., parade at 10 a.m., fireworks at 10 p.m. Cost: Free. Call 937-433-5898 or visit www.americanafestival.org.
4) RED, WHITE AND BOONSHOFT
Boonshoft Museum of Discovery, 2600 Dewesse Pkwy., Dayton, hosts Red, White and Boonshoft from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, July 4. The one-of-a-kind science celebration features educational shows, entertainment, indoor fireworks in the planetarium, face painting and more. Cost: $14.50 adults, $12.50 seniors 60 and older, $11.50 children 3-17, free for museum members and children younger than 3. Call 937-278-6076 or visit www.boonshoftmuseum.org.
5) STAR SPANGLED BOOM
The City of Moraine presents Star Spangled Boom at Wax Park, 3800 Main St., Moraine, at 4 p.m. Wednesday, July 4. The annual Independence Day Fireworks Celebration features amusement rides, amateur talent show, food trucks and live music from Buddy Jewel at 7 p.m. and McGuffey Lane at 8:30 p.m. Fireworks begin at 10 p.m. Cost: Free. Call 937-535-1000 or visit www.ci.moraine.oh.us.
6) GO 4TH
The City of Kettering presents Go 4th! At Delco Park, 1700 Delco Park Dr., Kettering, from 6 to 11 p.m. Wednesday, July 4. Fireworks, food vendors and live music are among the attractions at the annual Independence Day celebration. The fireworks show begins at dusk. Cost: Free. Visit www.playkettering.org.
7) 4TH OF JULY CAR SHOW
The 4th of July Car Show and Swap Meet returns to Greene County Fairgrounds, 122 Fairground Road, Xenia, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, July 4. The 53rd annual event showcases antiques, classics, trucks, street rods and street machines manufactured through the late 1980s. Cost: $10 car registration, $2 spectator donation. Visit www.greenecarclub.com.
8) FAIRBORN’S 4TH
Fairborn’s 4th of July Celebration is presented at Community Park, 691 E. Dayton-Yellow Springs Road, Fairborn, on Wednesday, July 4. The city presents its largest party and parade ever. The parade begins at 10 a.m. Southbound Band performs from 5 to 7 p.m. followed by the Summer Highway Band from 7:30 to 9:45 p.m., followed by fireworks at 10 p.m. Cost: Free. Visit https://ci.fairborn.oh.us.
9) STAR-SPANGLED 3RD
The City of Vandalia is another community getting a jumpstart on the holiday with an Independence Day Eve party. The Star-spangled Celebration returns to Vandalia Sport Complex, 1111 Stonequarry Road, Vandalia, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 3. Fireworks begin at 10 p.m. Cost: Free. Visit www.vandaliaohio.org.
10) FIRECRACKER SHOW
Champaign Cruisers presents the 21st annual Firecracker Car, Truck and Bike Show at Skelly Lumber Company, 1300 N Main St, Urbana, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, July 4. Cost: $10 entry fee, free for spectators. Visit www.champaigncruisers.com.
BEST CONCERTS AND MUSIC FESTIVALS
1) COUNTRY CONCERT
Country Concert, the big daddy of regional events, is presented at Hickory Hills Lakes, 7103 State Route 66, Ft. Loramie, Thursday through Saturday, July 5 through 7. The 38th annual festival features headliners Eric Church, Brad Paisley and Toby Keith and more than 20 other acts. Music begins at 3 p.m. Thursday, 4 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday. Cost: $109 Thursday, $115 Friday and $129 Saturday. Three-day passes are $249. Special packages are available. Call 937-295-3000 or visit www.countryconcert.com.
2) ROGER DALTREY
Roger Daltrey, the longtime vocalist for the Who, is currently on a solo tour performing the band’s landmark 1969 rock opera, “Tommy.” Daltrey will be joined by members of the Who’s touring band and musicians from the Dayton Philharmonic when he performs at Fraze Pavilion, 695 Lincoln Park Blvd., Kettering, at 8:30 p.m. Monday, July 2. Cost: $60 lawn & terrace, $110 orchestra in advance. All ticket prices increase $5 day of show. Call 937-296-3300 or visit www.fraze.com.
3) PATTI LABELLE
Patti LaBelle, who has been making music since 1960s, is known for hits such as “Lady Marmalade,” “You Are My Friend” and “New Attitude.” Her most recent album, “Bel Hommage,” is a collection of jazz standards released in May 2017. LaBelle, 74, performs in concert at Rose Music Center, 6800 Executive Blvd., Huber Heights, at 7 p.m. Sunday, July 15. Doors open at 6 p.m. Cost: $23.50-$78. Call 937-228-2323 or visit www.ticketmaster.com.
4) DAYTON CELTIC FEST
United Irish of Dayton presents its signature event, the Dayton Celtic Festival, at RiverScape MetroPark, 111 E. Monument St., Dayton, Friday through Sunday, July 27 through 29. The annual celebration features the debut of Rory Makem, returning headliners Gaelic Storm, Scythian, Socks in the Frying Pan, the Fitzgeralds and We Banjo 3, plus vendors, food, beer, children’s activities and Sunday Mass. Festival hours are 5:30 to 11 p.m. Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Cost: Free. Call 937-372-9788 or visit www.daytoncelticfestival.com.
5) PARLIAMENT FUNKADELIC
As one of the godfathers of funk, George Clinton has cut a colorful swathe through the music industry since the 1970s. He recently announced his touring days are coming to an end in 2017. However, before that he is touring with his two outfits: Parliament and Funkadelic. Clinton brings this summer’s tour to Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway, 777 Hollywood Blvd., Dayton, on Thursday, July 19. Doors open at 6 p.m. You must be 21 to attend. Cost: Free. LYD featuring Yolanda Drake opens the show at 6:30 p.m. followed by MojoFlo at 7:30 p.m. Call 844-225-7057 or visit www.hollywooddaytonraceway.com.
6) DAYTON BLUES FEST
Headliner Bob Margolin will be joined by local group Joe Tellmann Band when he headlines the Dayton Blues Festival at RiverScape MetroPark, 111 E. Monument St., Dayton, from 1 to 9 p.m. Sunday, July 15. The one-day event presented by the City of also features Rachel Litteral and the Abstracts, Paul Caver and the Final Verdict, Johnny Fink and the Intrusion, Larry Humphrey and Friends, Mississippi Red and the Bumble-Bee-Licious Band and the Soul Fixers. Cost: Free. The city-sponsored series of free festivals, which also has vendors selling food, beer, merchandise and more, concludes with the Dayton Reggae Festival on Sunday, Sept. 2. Call 937-333-8400.
7) JASON ISBELL
Jason Isbell first made a name for himself as a member of the Drive-By Truckers from 2001 to 2007. However, the Alabama native garnered even more success after going out on his own. Today, the four-time Grammy Award-winner fronts the band the 400 Unit. Isbell, currently out supporting his 2017 album, “The Nashville Sound,” performs with Hiss Golden Messenger at Rose Music Center, 6800 Executive Blvd., Huber Heights. 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 17. Doors open at 6 p.m. Cost: $23.50-$58. Call 937-228-2323 or visit www.ticketmaster.com.
8) MIAMI VALLEY MUSIC FEST
When it launched in 2006, the Miami Valley Music Fest had an audience of about 100. Today, the annual event combining music, art and charity generally attracts a couple thousand concert-goers. Miami Valley Music returns to the Troy Eagles Campground, 2252 Troy-Urbana Road, Troy, on Friday and Saturday, July 20 and 21. This year’s lineup includes the Spikedrivers, D-Funk All-Stars, Mike Perkins, Subterranean, the Ark Band, the Typical Johnson and Sharon Lane. Cost: $40-$60. Visit www.miamivalleymusicfest.com.
9) DAVE KOZ
In 2013, Dave Koz released “Summer Horns,” a collaborative album with Gerald Albright, Richard Elliot and Mindi Abair,” which were supported with several tours. Koz is back this year with a sequel album, “Summer Horns II,” featuring Albright and Elliot along with Rick Braun and Aubrey Logan. Koz & Friends featuring Albright, Braun, Elliot and Logan bring the Summer Horns Tour to Fraze Pavilion, 695 Lincoln Park Blvd., Kettering, at 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 20. The show also features. Cost: $46.50 law & terrace, $56.50 side orchestra, $66.50 center orchestra in advance. All ticket prices increase $5 day of show. Call 937-296-3300 or visit www.fraze.com.
This year’s Springsfest is one of the most anticipated yet in the music festival’s short history. What’s the fuss, you ask? It’s a rare local show from headliners Guided By Voices, currently supporting the much buzzed about album, “Space Gun.” The third annual Springsfest, at 100 Dayton St., Yellow Springs, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, July 7, also features performances from Twin Peaks, Caamp, Counterfeit Madison, Speaking Suns and others. Cost: $55. Children 12 and younger admitted free. www.springsfestival.com.
11) GUY & LANG
When he first crossed paths with Buddy Guy, Jonny Lang was just a 14-year-old kid. He was the great new hope of the blues scene learning from a seasoned vet. Today, they are longtime friends, musical contemporaries and frequent tour mates. Guy, 81, and Lang, 37, are back on the road together this summer for a tour that pulls into Rose Music Center, 6800 Executive Blvd., Huber Heights, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 11. Doors open at 6 p.m. Cost: $23.50-$67. Call 937-228-2323 or visit www.ticketmaster.com.
12) BOBBY INGANO
Growing up in Honolulu, Bobby Ingano was exposed to Hawaiian steel guitar music at an early age. He started playing ukulele at age seven and later switched to guitar. Ingano was playing the blues when an opportunity to study with steel guitar legend David “Feet” Rogers altered his musical path. Today, he is one of Hawaii’s most revered steel guitar players. Ingano performs at Little Art Theatre, 247 Xenia Ave., Yellow Springs, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 11. The concert also features performances by the Corndrinkers, Ian Ufton, Chris Moore and Floyd Alexander. Cost: $12. Call 937-767-7671 or www.littleart.com.
It has been more than two decades since O.A.R. formed in Rockville, Md. Despite lineup changes, the band has soldiered on. The group’s eighth studio album, “The Rockville LP,” was released in 2014. O.A.R. brings the Just Like Paradise Tour to Fraze Pavilion, 695 Lincoln Park Blvd., Kettering, at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 24. Matt Nathanson & the New Respects will also perform. Cost: $40 lawn & terrace, $55 side orchestra, $65 center orchestra in advance. All ticket prices increase $5 day of show. Call 937-296-3300 or visit www.fraze.com.
14) BRET MICHAELS
Poison released three top-five, platinum-selling albums before the band and its metal contemporaries were replaced by the new wave of grunge bands. While, no longer on the charts, the group remains a top concert draw. Vocalist Bret Michaels is a still an active member of Poison but he has also appeared on television and performs as a solo artist. Michaels brings his solo show to JD Legends, 65 Millard Dr., Franklin, at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, July 28. Local openers Mick Blankenship and Mad Hatter will also perform. Cost: $33.50. VIP passes $100-$175. Call 937-746-4950 or visit www.jdlegends.com.
15) SCAGGS & AMERICA
On July 27, Boz Scaggs releases “Out of the Blues,” his 19th solo album. It’s the third in the Canton’s native’s unofficial trilogy with the albums, “Memphis” (2013) and “A Fool to Care” (2015). Scaggs will be joined by co-headliners America when he performs at Rose Music Center, 6800 Executive Blvd., Huber Heights, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 4. Doors open at 6 p.m. Cost: $23.50-$83. Call 937-228-2323 or visit www.ticketmaster.com.