Chairman - Christy Smith
June 20 - 24, 2017
Theme: MUSIC…Our Source of Energy & Motivation
Official Invitation to Dayton!
Greetings from the Gem City! You will be amazed at many sites there are to see in the Dayton Area. Several are within a few blocks of the Crowne Plaza Hotel. A free shuttle bus stops in front of the hotel frequently to take guests to different points of interest downtown.
If you are interested on the history of aviation, you are in for a treat. Dayton, considered the Birthplace of Aviation, is the home of Orville and Wilbur Wright, inventors of powered flight. Huffman Prairie, now part of the Aviation Trail, was where the Wright Brothers practiced flying. The National Museum of the Air Force, the largest aviation museum in the world, is visited by two million people a year, and is housed in four giant hangars. The walk from the first hanger to the last one is a quarter of a mile. But the museum has several free electric scooters and wheelchairs for those who have walking difficulty. Admission is free.
The Wright Brothers are just the start: the city of Dayton has more inventions per capita than any other city in the world. Some of these inventions are featured at the Carillon Historical Park. The Vectren Dayton Air show at the airport is one of our biggest attractions. It will be held on Saturday and Sunday, June 24-25 (after our NFMC convention). The U.S. Thunder Birds will perform during the 2017 Airshow. You can purchase the tickets online. Discounted general admission tickets are sold at area Kroger store. There are free buses that you can pick up downtown to go to the airshow. The free bus will drop you off and pick you up at the front gate. Driving to the show is not advisable as traffic can be awful.
Dayton ranks second in the country among medium size cities for cultural offerings. Dayton has two symphony orchestras, the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra and the Miami Valley Symphony Orchestra. The Dayton Contemporary Dance Company (DCDC) is internationally renowned. The Kettering Children’s choir has over 250 members. The Bach Society of Dayton gives several concerts each year. These are just a few of many musical groups the city boasts.
Dayton is the first city to create an alliance between the Dayton Philharmonic orchestra, Dayton ballet and Dayton opera. While many orchestras, ballets, and operas around the country are suffering, the DPAA is financially sound. The Schuster Performing Arts Center, home of the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra (DPO) and the Dayton Opera) has a state of the art concert hall with the best acoustical system. Across the street is the Metropolitan Arts Center (MAC) where you will find the Human Race, a professional Theater, and Dayton Public Radio (WDPR). Most of the DPO concerts are recorded by WDPR and are broadcast at a later date so all music lovers can listen to them on the radio. Next to MAC is the beautiful and historic Victoria Theater, home of the Dayton Ballet, the second oldest ballet company in the country. In July and August when the ballet is not in season, old movies are shown every weekend with free popcorn, soda pop and a free concert on the mighty Wurlitzer organ.
The Dayton Art Institute (DAI) is one of the best art museums in the country. DAI is a Blue Star Museum. It offers free admission to military personnel and their families from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The stunningly beautiful building was modeled after Villa D’este near Rome and Villa Farnese at Caprarola in Italy. The DPO Chamber series performances take place in the Renaissance Auditorium at the DAI. And the Miami Valley Symphony Orchestra perform across the street in the auditorium of the historic Masonic Center. One can walk around the grounds of the museum for a beautiful view of Downtown Dayton.
There are three colleges in Dayton: Our Young Artists Competition will take place at the University of Dayton, a private Catholic university. Wright State University recently opened its Tom Hanks Film Creative Center and boasts an excellent performing arts complex. Sinclair Community College is the largest community college in the country with a student population of over 20,000. Other area schools of higher education include Antioch College, Cedarville University, Wittenberg University, Central State University, Wilberforce College, Edison Community College, and Miami University.
There are many photo opportunities in the Dayton Area. If you love flowers, there are three major places where you can stroll to enjoy the gardens and they are free also: Wegerzyn MetroPark to the north, Cox Arboretum to the south, and Riverscape, which is just a few blocks north of the hotel, on the banks of the Great Miami River.There are many activities at the Riverscape.You can rent a canoe or pedal boats at Riverscape. For those who enjoy dancing, several big band groups play on some Thursday evenings, so bring your dancing shoes and spend a romantic evening as you dance on moonlit evenings under the stars.
The Link Dayton bike share system includes 22 stations around downtown Dayton, including one at the Dayton Convention Center, across the street from the hotel. Using your credit card, you can easily rent a bike and ride around town. Dayton has been designated by the League of American Bicyclist as a Bike Friendly community and has over 350 miles of connected paved bicycle path, more than any other area in the U.S.
The popular baseball minor league team, the Dayton Dragons, a feeder for the Cincinnati Reds, play at Fifth/Third Stadium, just a few blocks from the hotel. For those who wish to attend a game, bring a lawn blanket. If you’re interested in tickets, be sure to buy ahead of time! They sell out fast.
Second Street Market is just a couple blocks south of the ballpark. Here, locals sell lunches, baked goods, cheeses, produce, plants, flowers and art work and crafts. They are open Thursday to Saturday.
King’s Island amusement park is just a short drive south. You can get a huge discount on King’s Island tickets at the American Automobile Association (AAA)
You might also check out Entertrainment Junction, which is a 20-minute drive on I-75 south. It has a huge display of model trains indoors. Entertrainment is not just for children but for all model train enthusiasts. There are so many restaurants in Downtown Dayton for a variety of palates, including seafood, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Indian, steaks and good ol’ American Fare. The Spaghetti Warehouse, less than a block away from the hotel, has the best lasagna. Basil is a restaurant with a beautiful view of the river.
I have so many exciting plans for a great convention! Many wonderful performers, unique and interesting workshops, and a tour that highlights the many assets of this beautiful city. All we need is YOU! Whatever your interest is, we have it in Dayton. Bring your spouse, children, grandchildren, best friends to the convention and make Dayton your vacation destination! E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions or if you need assistance with your vacation planning. Come, learn and see why Dayton is not just the birthplace of aviation, it is also known as the Gem City.
Christy Smith, Dayton 2017 Chairman