DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN)– Dayton’s Lights in Flight Festival flooded downtown and closed down East Monument Avenue. Many vendors who participated said this weekend was crucial to keeping their doors open for much longer.

“It’s a pretty big deal, this is the beginning of our business,” said CEO Kingdom-Things Pastor Christopher Davis. “We’re starting here and upscaling it from here as time goes on so this is a big deal and we’re really excited.”

Davis just started his business two months ago and attending Dayton’s Lights in Flight Festival helped keep him afloat. Another Dayton Business Beauty and the Beads started five years ago but says the past two years have been a difficult road for many.

“It’s very critical for small businesses right now, for us and other vendors,” said Co-owner Sheila Goodwin. “During the pandemic, we couldn’t get a lot of vendor events, shows, or ways to get products out there. Now that things are moving along, it’s really great for small business owners to get rolling and get extra money, gas is killing us.”

For 20 years, Patrol Member for Antioch Shrine Mark Tindall has helped with Dayton’s Fourth of July celebration parking. They raise hundreds of dollars that will funnel right back into the Dayton community.

“The funds go back to Antioch Shrine and take care of the circus, hospital and things that make operations run,” said Tindall.

The Department of Recreation says hours of planning went into Dayton’s Lights in Flight Festival but now, everything is paying off.

“Even though we are still in the pandemic, we believe we can have a fun and safe event so we’re happy to have everybody down to the Riverscape to have a great time,” said Program Coordinator Nick Terbay.