Dayton Holiday Festival adds new features, activities for 50th anniversary celebration

Mike Colvin DDP Press Releases

The golden anniversary celebration of the Festival will kick off at Courthouse Square and surrounding areas on Friday, November 25, 2022

November 14, 2022 (DAYTON, Ohio) – The Dayton Holiday Festival, presented by AES Ohio, returns to downtown Dayton for its 50th anniversary beginning Friday, November 25. The festival brings the return of long-standing favorite activities and events, as well as some new additions to the beloved celebration. Mrs. Virginia Kettering hosted the first free festival in 1972 to ensure that all children and families in the community could create lasting holiday memories. The 2022 celebration will be a warm welcome to the holiday season as well as a time to look back and reflect on what the annual event means to the Dayton community.

“The Dayton Holiday Festival has been a downtown tradition for decades, and we’re honored to help celebrate its golden anniversary,” said Sandra K. Gudorf, president of the Downtown Dayton Partnership. “This event brings people together year after year and is a wonderful way for families to get into the holiday spirit. We’ve added some special touches this year to mark what this magical event means to the downtown community.”

To celebrate 50 years of the Dayton Holiday Festival, the Downtown Dayton Partnership (DDP) is taking a look back at memories from the past and how the celebration has flourished since 1972.

• The 50 Favorite Things social media campaign, sponsored by Fifth Third Bank, is underway now through December 20 to highlight the DDP’s 50 favorite things about spending the holiday season downtown. One memory or favorite activity will be highlighted daily in the 25 days leading up to the Dayton Holiday Festival kickoff event on Friday, November 25, and in the 25 days following. People are encouraged to share their own favorite Dayton Holiday Festival memories on the DDP Facebook and Instagram pages by tagging @DowntownDayton.
• Guests to this year’s Dayton Holiday Festival can enjoy a stroll down Memory Lane on Main, sponsored by Johnson Electric. This collection of historical photographs and memories will be on display from November 25 through January 1 in windows along Main Street between Monument Avenue and Fourth Street. Guests are invited to relive iconic memories and learn more about this beloved community event over the years.

2022’s month-long Dayton Holiday Festival celebration kicks off with the Grande Illumination and Dayton Children’s Parade Spectacular in Lights from 4 to 9 p.m. on Friday, November 25, which will include other special touches to celebrate 50 years, including a special golden tree this year. A full lineup of the activities and events can be found at Those unable to attend in person can enjoy the holiday kickoff by tuning in to WHIO-TV at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 25 to watch the Grande Illumination TV special and tree lighting.

The 2022 Dayton Holiday Festival is presented by AES Ohio, and is a program of the Downtown Dayton Partnership, with funding from the Mrs. Virginia W. Kettering Dayton Holiday Festival Fund. Additional sponsorship and support comes from CareSource, White-Allen Chevrolet, Dayton Live, the City of Dayton, Montgomery County, Fifth Third Bank, altafiber, Dayton Children’s Hospital, Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, Johnson Electric, NECA/IBEW Electrical Professionals, Premier Health, Key-Ads, and Wright-Patt Credit Union. Media sponsors include, iHeartRADIO, and WHIO-TV.


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