Thousands descend on downtown Dayton for Lights in Flight Festival

Local News
Thousands descend on downtown Dayton for Lights in Flight Festival

The wet weather Tuesday evening didn’t stop thousands of people from turning out for downtown Dayton’s annual 4th of July celebration.

The Lights in Flight Festival, which is in its 4th year, features food vendors, live entertainment and a fireworks display.

“I had to see everybody,” said Goddess McIntyre, who attended the festival. “It’s a fun thing to do. It don’t matter.”

“It wasn’t going to stop her from coming to get her funnel cake!” said Sellick Anderson, who was attending the festival with family.

The wet weather also wasn’t stopping cooks like Highley Russ of Cork-N-Bottles Concessions. He said he keeps busy at the festival, rain or shine.

“Wall-to-wall people lined up, everybody hungry,” Russ said.

The weather can have an impact on final attendance numbers, according to Lamonte Hall, Jr., Dayton’s recreation program coordinator. But he said he still expects there were tens of thousands of visitors.

“With great weather, we normally have 50,000-plus people in the downtown area to see the fireworks,” Hall explained. “I’d assume with the rain, if it stays like this, maybe somewhere around 20,000.”

The event brings many people downtown from outside the city, Hall said, which means more business for nearby shops and restaurants.

“Some people eat here, and then some people pull out of here and find the closest place they can and go eat,” he said. “Some people even come in for the festival. I talked to some people today who actually came in from out of town for the festival and are staying downtown.”

“It’s nice to come to,” Anderson said. “Come out, bring your family, enjoy the festivities.”

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