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Dayton's Urban Nights
Photo: Emre Telci
With fuel prices skyrocketing, more people are interested in shorter commutes and communities that have a full range of services within walking distance. On May 19, the Downtown Dayton [Ohio] Partnership will host its spring “Urban Nights” festival. The partnership sponsors another Urban Night in the fall.

During Urban Nights, participants enjoy an introduction to the multiple elements of urban living, including housing, entertainment, arts, and dining. Imagine a balmy spring evening and a walking tour of art galleries, loft apartments/condos, studios, and a variety of restaurants—some offering live entertainment and others, a discount on the evening’s meal. Complimentary transportation will be offered in the event area. Maps and discount cards will be available at most of the participating locations or from www.downtowndayton.org which also has details about the festival.

While the weather cannot be guaranteed, the partnership has lined up more than 50 downtown businesses to participate in the spring Urban Night. These Urban Nights events are an outgrowth of what were formerly known as Downtown Dayton Days and the Downtown Art Hop and Urban Excursion programs.

This year, for the first time, the Oregon District neighborhood will be participating. Other highlights will include:
  • The Dayton Visual Arts Center will hold its spring art sale at its new Jefferson Street location.


  • The Wright-Dunbar District (now in its fourth year of participation) will recreate the historic cultural legacy of the Fifth Street Experience, the mecca of entertaintainment for the African-American community during the 30s-50s, when entertainers included Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Ella Fitzgerald.
  • An ice cream social at The Christian Bookstore.
  • The Cannery Building will offer live jazz and art for sale.
Events such as Urban Nights highlight the benefits of urban communities. For more than half a century a lot of negative things have been associated with city living. Now the cost of suburban sprawl (in more ways than one) renews interest in a way of life that focuses on the activities that build a sense of community. Get to know your neighbor and community—what a great idea!

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Center for Metropolitan Ministries reporting by Kim Ridley. Copyright © 2006 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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