Dayton Valley Days may not be back next year |

Dayton Valley Days may not be back next year

Teya Vitu

DAYTON – Without a new organizing committee, Dayton Valley Days won’t be back next year.

“Those of us doing it for the last 11 years are pretty much burned out,” Dayton Valley Days co-chairman Ruth Small said. “We’re looking for replacements.”

The committee encourages any group willing to take over Dayton Valley Days to show up at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 26 at the Dayton Community Center on Pike Street.

The committee will decide in the days following that meeting what to do with the Dayton Valley Days corporation. This could lead to disbanding the non-profit corporation if a new group does not step forward, Small said.

The Dayton Valley Days committee will address the directors of the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce on Nov. 1.

Dayton Valley Days started in 1989 as a fund-raiser for the artist-in-residence program at local schools. Four years later, the focus shifted to raising money to restore historic buildings in downtown Dayton.

For the past three years, the corporation’s efforts have funded restoration of the old firehouse and jail.

“We have enough money to complete the building,” Small said. “It is the last public building in Dayton we can work on.”

Small said the committee is open to any proposals regarding Dayton Valley Days. Committee members are willing to consult with a new group and even have the corporation available as the umbrella organization.

Small said she would even welcome changing the name and nature of the event that has become Dayton’s largest annual gathering. A new group could even work entirely on their own, she said.

“We’ve been talking about this for several years,” Small said. “We’ve just decided to not continue.”

For the past 10 years, Small took charge of crafts and food booths at Dayton Valley Days, held on the third weekend of September. Janette Hoffert did “everything.” Johnnye Saylor and Andrea Chaney oversaw the art show and Steve Saylor has produced the Dayton Valley Days T-shirts every year.

Joe Bruno organized the parade and Sherrie Glover and Carol Oehler put on a silent auction.

Small said putting together Dayton Valley Days typically starts in January.

“Usually, I make two or three phone calls until four months before Dayton Valley Days and then it’s 25 calls a day,” Small said.

Small said the event has grown from 17 booths in 1990 to 80 booths this year. For the past three years, Dayton Valley Days has been coupled with a rodeo on the same weekend.

She said that led to rodeo people coming downtown and some Dayton Valley Days people going to the rodeo. Small figures about 5,000 people attended the event this year.