Explore downtown Dayton during the next free First Friday art hop, held from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, March 2, with activities for all to enjoy.
This month’s First Friday will feature a variety of live music, shopping opportunities and gallery openings. As the weather warms up, many downtown shops will feature sales on winter items. Roving musicians and entertainers will perform in downtown’s public spaces for visitors to watch and enjoy, and many businesses will offer specials to First Friday visitors.
Explore your artistic side
First Friday gives downtown visitors an opportunity to explore numerous art exhibit openings. Check out the Dayton Visual Arts Center’s opening at 118 N. Jefferson St. from 5 to 8 p.m. “The Cline Show: An All-Area University Exhibit,” will feature works in all types of media and showcase art by more than 20 local students from Wright State University, the University of Dayton and Sinclair Community College. Mike Elsass will premiere new works of art at his gallery, Color of Energy, 16 Brown St., and works of art by students from St. Luke’s Elementary will be displayed at K12 Gallery for Young People, 510 E. Third St.
Making their First Friday debut, the Dayton Society of Painters and Sculptors, 48 High St., will highlight artists from the Dayton Printmakers Cooperative for the DSPS’ seventh annual Printmakers Show. Featuring printmaking demos and refreshments, the DSPS will be open from 5 to 8 p.m.
The Cannery Art and Design Center, 434 E. Third St., will show work by Springboro calligrapher Ann Bain in celebration of her 80th birthday. The exhibit, “Exuberance,” will showcase a variety of 2D and 3D pieces. Press, 257 Wayne Ave., will feature work by local artists Glen Clark, Craig Tirey, Erich Reith and Amanda Barb
osa. Stop by H. David Clay Studio, 33 S. St. Clair St., to check out functional and decorative pottery made on site. Gallery 510 Fine Art, 510 E. Fifth St., will showcase a variety of work created by local artists for sale, including jewelry, quilts, scarves and ceramics.
Get your groove on
First Friday offers a variety of ways to get your live music fix, whether you’re in the mood to rock out or kick back to some lighter tunes. Canal Street Tavern, 308 E. First St., will host a CD release party for local band BJSR featuring Ape the Ghost, Young Heirlooms and Lauren Eylise. The Ohio Coffee Company, 46 W. Fifth St., will feature Sara and Mic Riley playing “A Sweet Sound” beginning at 7 p.m. This event has no cover and the coffee bar and kitchen will be open. At De’Lish Café, 139 N. Main St., “Feel Good Fridays” will be in full swing from 6 to 8 p.m., with top-shelf drink specials in the De’Lish lounge, and live jazz by the Wade Baker Quartet from 9 p.m. to midnight.
If you prefer something more classical, the Dayton Philharmonic will perform “Bartók’s Musical Tapestry,” inspired by the work of Hungarian pianist and composer Béla Bartók at the Schuster Center, 1 W. Second St.
Oregon Arts District venues will a variety of musical opportunities. Blind Bob’s, 430 E. Fifth St., will have live music beginning at 9:30 p.m., featuring New Vega, Grenades!? and other artists. Puzzle of Light will play beginning at 9 p.m. at Jay’s Seafood, 225 E. Sixth St. Omega Music, 318 E. Fifth St., will feature Moon High and M. Ross Perkins beginning at 6 p.m. At Trolley Stop, 530 E. Fifth St., Sarah Beck and Jessica Campbell will take the stage at 9:30 p.m.
Entertainment from shows to skating
If you’d like to explore downtown on your bicycle, check out Don Crawford Plaza in front of Fifth Third Field, 220 N. Patterson Blvd., where the monthly Courteous Mass Ride will meet at 5:15 p.m. for a ride through the city. For athletic enthusiasts, the climbing gym Urban Krag, 125 Clay St., will be open until 11 p.m. The RiverScape MetroParks Ice Rink, , 111 E. Monument Ave, will host a Wild West Skate from 7 to 10 p.m., featuring a DJ playing a variety of country and western music. Admission is $5, which includes skate rental.
First Friday is a way to discover some of the theater and performance options downtown. The Human Race Theatre Company presents the world premiere of “Tenderly,” a musical about the life of renowned singer and actress Rosemary Clooney, at the Victoria Theatre, 138 N. Main St. If you’re in the mood for a laugh, John Evens will perform at Wiley’s Comedy Niteclub, 101 Pine St., at 9 p.m.; tickets are $12. The Neon, 130 E. Fifth St., shows a variety of new releases and independent movies. Call 222-SHOW (7469) for films and show times.
Shop the winter sales
Getting a fashion fix is easy to do downtown. Amore!, 16 Brown St., will premiere new spring items and offer 50 percent off select winter fashions. Munch on Japanese snacks at the sushi and sake shopping party Clash Consignments, 113 E. Third St., with sushi provided by Fusian. The party will feature local DJ The Snark and a storewide sale on winter items until 10 p.m. Basho Apparel, 521 E. Fifth St., will have a featured print design on baby clothes by local artist Janell Barker of Press.
The Oregon Arts District features several stores that offer unique gifts, art and furniture. Shop for vintage and one-of-a-kind furniture, housewares, art and more at Jimmy Modern, 605 E. Fifth St. Peace on Fifth, 519 E. Fifth St., a slave-free and eco-friendly gift shop, will be serving free fair-trade chocolate. The Record Gallery, 16 Brown St., will broadcast Rev. Cool’s “Around the Fringe” show on 91.3 WYSO-FM for visitors shopping their vast record selection. ReCreate, 438 E. Fifth St., has new and used instruments, other music-related items and original artwork.
In addition, staff from the day spa Beaute Box, located at 116 W. Fifth St., will be on the go on the streets of the Oregon Arts District raffling prizes.
Work up an appetite
After wandering the streets of downtown, check out the dinner and drink specials offered on First Friday. Boulevard Haus, 328 E. Fifth St., features $1 off tap beer for those who mention First Friday. At Deaf Monty’s Wine, 22 Brown St., it’s only $5 for a 6-ounce glass of red or white wine. Dublin Pub, 300 Wayne Ave., has no cover and 20 percent off all food during First Friday. Lucky’s Taproom and Eatery, 520 E. Fifth St., will feature dinner specials, along with the special tapping of a firkin of New Holland Poet, an oatmeal stout. Olive, an urban dive, 416 E. Third St., will have several dinner specials until 11 p.m., in addition to broadcasting Rev. Cool’s “Around the Fringe” show on 91.3 WYSO-FM. Oregon Express, 336 E. Fifth St., has half-price pizza from 4 to 8 p.m. and live music at 9:30 p.m.
First Friday is presented by the Downtown Dayton Partnership with support from the Oregon District Business Association and WYSO-FM 91.3. The Downtown Dayton Partnership’s website has a complete list of downtown’s arts and cultural amenities, as well as a dining guide, parking map and much more.