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Summer Is Here
Photo: Pat Herman
Ah, Memorial Day—the traditional start to summer—is finally here! In Dayton, Ohio, residents welcome summer during “RiverBlast,” a family-friendly festival. The event takes place May 27 and 28 at RiverScape, a Five Rivers MetroPark located at Monument Avenue at Patterson Boulevard (that’s just east of Main Street for those who have yet to get acquainted with Dayton.

Highlights of the annual event include:

  • Live entertainment

  • Food vendors serving traditional summer dishes

  • Free carnival rides for children

  • Face painters

  • Memory wall honoring hometown service women and men

  • Fireworks above the Riverside Drive bridge, accompanied by orchestral and popular music

  • 11 am, Sunday, the Dayton Rubber Duck Regatta
On Sunday, 10,000 rubber ducks (adopted by festival participants—either individually or a “quack pack” of six for the price of five) will race on the Greater Miami River for prizes. Most importantly, the regatta will benefit United Rehabilitation Services of Dayton (URSDayton).

RiverBlast increases the sense of community while providing fun for families and supporting a worthy cause. According to 2003 statistics, more than 117,000 people live within a three mile radius of the center of downtown Dayton. More than 47,000 households contain 25,394 families (averaging 3.08 members). The median age is 32, and average household income is $30,642. Twenty minutes is the average commute time for the 51,000 plus workers.*

What do you know about your community?

As you reflect upon the information about Dayton, think about where you live. Use the Memorial Day festivities as a point to increase what you know about your community. How many people live or work within three miles of downtown? How many families live in that area? What is the average worth of homes? What other data is available? How does it change your perspective? Sources for this type of information might include your municipality’s Web site or your local library.

Think about the street where you live. How well do you know your neighbors? Is there a neighborhood newsletter? How do neighbors interact? What can you do to increase community spirit on your street? Maybe the first step is to invite several households to share a picnic lunch at the area Memorial Day festival, using the time to build some memories!

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