Summer Winds Down with Cultural Festivals, Live Music and More at MetroParks

Five Rivers MetroParks will host Dayton’s favorite cultural festivals this August and September to end the summer.

The Dayton African American Cultural Festival will kick off on Saturday, Aug. 20 at Island MetroPark, 101 E Helena St., Dayton. From noon to 8 p.m. visitors can enjoy family-friendly activities, vendors, food, entertainment and live music, all of which celebrates the richness of the African American experience. On Sunday, Aug. 21, all are invited to return for Gospel Explosion from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Enjoy a series of lectures, church service and gospel entertainment.

cultural diversity

Summer celebrations at RiverScape MetroPark – 237 E. Monument Ave, Dayton – end with PACO’s Hispanic Heritage Festival on Saturday, Sept. 17. From 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., festival goers can enjoy live Latin music on the RiverScape pavilion stage, in addition to children’s activities, food, vendors and traditional dance and dress.

Both festivals are for all ages and free to the public.

Live music continues with four free concerts at RiverScape MetroPark this August as part of the Summer Music Series. Concerts are on select dates, which are:. Dates are:

  • Friday, Aug 5, from 6 to 9 p.m.: Kyleen Downs and The Pullouts (includes food truck rally)
  • Thursday, Aug. 1, from 7 to 9 p.m.: Kim Kelly Orchestra
  • Thursday, Aug 18 7 to 9 p.m.: Joslyn & the Sweet Compression
  • Thursday, Aug. 25, 7 to 9 p.m.: Neo American Pioneers

Attendees should bring a chair. No registration is required for these summer concerts.

Taiters Kayak Solutions will offer walk-up rentals from under the Patterson Road bridge (west end of RiverScape MetroPark). Rentals will be offered on Thursdays from 4 to 8 p.m. through September. Participants will be required to wear a life jacket, which will be provided. Learn more about summer kayak rentals at

Additionally, MetroParks will offer paddling programs in the downtown Dayton area throughout the summer.

metroparks kayak

Qualifying Montgomery County families who may need financial assistance with MetroParks’ paddling and other fee-based programs can apply for the Access to Nature financial assistance program, funded by the Five Rivers MetroParks Foundation. Families can receive up to $200 per year to participate in MetroParks’ programs, shelter and campsite rentals, and summer camps. Learn more and apply at

Fitness in the Park continues with free, all-levels classes held under the RiverScape pavilion. Classes are from 10 to 11 a.m. on select Saturdays. August Fitness in the Park dates are:

Free community fitness programs continue through October:

Participants should bring their own mat, towel and reusable water bottle to Fitness in the Park and community fitness classes. Registration is not required.


Each Wednesday though August, RiverScape MetroPark will host Music at Lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The public is invited to bring their lunch and enjoy it outside along the Great Miami River. Visit for the schedule of live summer music performers.

The Fountain Snack Bar is open through Labor Day weekend and offers snacks and cool treats, such as ice cream and drinks. Hours of operation are:

  • Tuesdays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Fridays and Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Sundays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Additionally, The RiverScape Café offers snacks and drinks and will only be open during special events, such as the Summer Music Series concerts.

The interactive fountains and Five Rivers Fountain of Lights will operate from Memorial Day, May 30, to Labor Day, Sept. 5. The Five Rivers Fountain of Lights operates for 10-minute intervals at the top of the hour during the weekdays from 7:55 a.m. to 10:05 p.m. and during weekends from 10:55 a.m. to 10:05 p.m. While swimming is not permitted in MetroParks’ locations, the public is invited to splash in the interactive fountains daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.


The Summer Music Series is sponsored by AARP and supported by Kettering Health.

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