2023 Dayton Holiday Festival Grande Illumination & Dayton Children's Parade

2023 Dayton Holiday Festival Grande Illumination & Dayton Children's Parade

The Grande Illumination Dayton Holiday Festival traditional tree lighting and Dayton Children's Parade Spectacular in Lights - November 24, 2023.

Event details

Event has passed (Fri, Nov 24 2023)
* this page may be updated if event is repeated in the future *
Cost: FREE

Dayton Holiday Festival 2023

Dayton Holiday Festival Returns in 2023

Celebrating its 51st year in 2023, the Dayton Holiday Festival is your source for family-friendly holiday fun in downtown Dayton.

Started by Mrs. Virginia Kettering in 1972 so that all children could enjoy the holiday season regardless of their economic means, the festival continues today with free attractions for the community. Note this year’s kickoff events take place at a new time – 3-8 p.m.

Dayton Holiday Festival Tree


Activities at the 2023 Dayton Holiday Festival

The Grande Illumination tree-lighting ceremony – FREE – 7p.m. Watch the holidays light up during Dayton’s traditional tree lighting. When we throw the switch, approximately 50,000 lights will brighten the two-story-tall tree on Courthouse Square!

Dayton Children's Parade Spectacular in Lights – FREE – Immediately following the tree lighting, the Children’s Parade will round the corner of Second and Main streets to start its route through downtown, sparkling with more than 100,000 lights! Watch decorative seasonal floats, horses, drill teams and bands, and some special holiday treats. 

Crowds at the Dayton Holiday Festival

Live musical entertainment – FREE – Enjoy holiday songs and other live entertainment on the Courthouse Square Main Stage leading up to the lighting ceremony.

3:05-3:25 p.m. – Dayton Metro Barbershop Chorus
3:30-3:55 p.m. – Berachah Valley
4:05-4:30 p.m. – Gwen Brown
4:40-5:05 p.m. – Tori Adams
5:15-5:40 p.m. – SaxTone
5:50-6:20 p.m. – Reyna Spears Holiday Band
6:30-6:50 p.m. – Dayton Celebration Chorus
6:55 p.m. – Dayton Celebration Chorus (Jingle Bells sing-along)

Crowds at the Dayton Holiday Festival

Live Reindeer – FREE – 3:30-6:30 p.m. Meet our North Pole ambassadors! Two of Santa’s reindeer will be available to meet on Courthouse Square. Don’t miss your chance to take your picture on Santa’s sleigh!  

Street Fair on Third – FREE – 3-8 p.m.  Enjoy free rides and other activities for kids throughout the evening!

Horse-drawn Wagon Rides – Enjoy a wagon ride through downtown! Plan to come early, as the rides are very popular and lines can be long (Please note that in order to ensure everyone in line will get a ride, it is often necessary to close the line earlier than the scheduled end time.) Suggested donation: $1 per person.

Holiday Village – FREE –  Enjoy festive activities, music, and lots of surprises for kids. Free. Scheduled to perform: 

3:30-4:15 p.m. – Magic by Dave
4:30-5:15 p.m. – Roz Puppet Show
5:30-6:15 p.m. – Juggling: Craig Muhlenkamp
6:30-7:15 p.m. – Young Professionals Choral Collective

Gingerbread Homes for the Holidays – FREE – 3-7 p.m. View all the delicious contest entries and the award-winning houses, and vote for your favorite, located inside the old Montgomery County courthouse.

Rike’s Holiday Windows – FREE – Located inside the Schuster Center Wintergarden, experience a reimagining of the Rike’s department store holiday window displays that once stood at this busy downtown corner.

Virginia Ketterings Holiday Train Display – FREE – View this one-of-a-kind model train display given to the community by Mrs. Virginia Kettering.


Dayton Holiday Festival returns in 2023 with increased security

Dayton Events Calendar

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