When Dayton knew how to party: What to know about the biggest bashes in city history

Dayton can throw a great shindig.

Throughout its history, there have been plenty of reasons to celebrate, whether it was honoring aviation pioneers, revering an Olympic champion or opening a train station.

Here are seven examples of parties we wished we had been invited to.

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This early photogaph of the Dayton Arcade shows shopping stalls and shoppers in the rotunda. The building, which opened in 1904, was designed to house shops and farmers markets on the first floor while offices and apartments were located above. DAYTON DAILY NEWS ARCHIVE
Photo: Handout

The Arcade Charity Festival drew large crowds eager to see “one of the country’s most modern and complete structures of its kind.” Inside the Arcade numerous booths were set up in the interest of “sweet charity.” Visitors of all ages snacked on fruit, popcorn, candy, ice cream and cake.  (Read more...

Biltmore Hotel opening, 1929

The “perfume of roses scented the room while dance melodies by Marion McKay’s orchestra floated through the ballroom and the inviting lounges beyond,” at a grand dinner dance for 1,000 that marked the opening of the Biltmore Hotel. (Read more ...

A crowd estimated to be between 6,000 and 8,000 attended the dedication of the Dayton Airport which featured “air stunts” and “talks by men prominent in aviation circles.” (Read more ...)

A parade, led by the Sons of Veterans drum corps, formed at Jefferson Street and marched to a flagstaff at the southeast corner of Memorial Hall, Dayton’s “palace of peace.” (Read more ...)

More than 1,000 Dayton public school children holding American flags walked alongside Olympic champion Edwin Moses and his wife as they waved to the crowd on the streets. (Read more ...)

The image shows an overhead view of the Court of Honor located on North Main Street in Dayton, Ohio during the 1909 Wright Brothers Homecoming Celebration. Crowds are walking between the sculptures and columns that line the edge of the street, as the end of the parade approaches the Soldier's Monument. The image shows Main Street looking north from Third Street toward the Soldier's Monument. In the foreground, a polar bear can be seen, as part of the advertisement, above the Ahlers Fur Store located at the Teutonia Bank Building at the northeast corner of Market Street and Main Street. The building on the left side of the image is the Phillips House Co. at the Southwest Corner of Third Street and Main. There is a sign near the corner of this building for Geo. F. Merry Optician at 5 South Main. The Montgomery County Courthouse is located at the top and center of the image and the First Baptist Church is near the upper right corner. Another sign can be seen near the Montgomery County Courthouse for the Chas. E. Underwood Confectioner Company at 29 and 31 North Main Street. The large building, in the upper right corner, is the Harbour Apartments located at 245 North Main Street. rchives, Wright State University
Photo: Courtesy Special Collections & A

"Swaying forms of thousands upon thousands of individuals were stacked like sardines in a box,” wrote a newspaper reporter describing the celebration parade for the Wright brothers when they returned to Dayton. (Read more ...)

In the first 30 years after Dayton's Union Station opened, as many as 66 passenger trains served Dayton on a daily basis according to the Dayton Railway Historical Society website. DAYTON DAILY NEWS ARCHIVE

Crowds paid 10 cents each for admission to Union Station when it was dedicated in 1900. They marveled at the blue and white decorations, ate ice cream and confections and twirled across a platform reserved as a dance floor. (Read more ...)

The spectators at a Dayton Triangles game, “the biggest crowd that ever witnessed the opening of the professional grid season in this city,” glimpsed a Dayton shutout victory at the first professional football game. (Read more ...)


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