Dayton Renaissance

February 25, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

Dayton Renaissance

Celebrating Why Dayton Ohio is a Great City to Call Home

Dayton Skyline panorama during a colorful sunset where the -smooth Great Miami River perfectly mimics the entire spectacleDayton Skyline Reflecting Sunset’s Colors No. 1The glassy smooth Great Miami River perfectly reflects the office buildings forming the Dayton Skyline, which in turn reflects the warm and colorful sunset which took to the skies over the Miami Valley. The five-side pavilion residing on the edge of the Great Miami River represents the five rivers which flow through the Dayton area. The structure also represents the spot where the first Daytonians, Samuel Thompson and Benjamin Van Cleve came ashore on 1 Apr 1796. A pavilion inscription shares the first person to set foot on shore was Catherin Van Cleve Thompson, great-great-grandmother of the Wright Brothers.

I grew up in Dayton and my ancestors are buried around the city’s hillsides.  In 1990, I left Dayton as I began flying for the USAF.  Following my retirement, my family and move back to Dayton in 2017.  The Air Force moved us every year or two and although we lived in some great places, the moves gave us a lot of perspective.  The purpose of this page is to share all the great things taking place in Dayton, Ohio with a fresh set of eyes. 

Dayton Accolades:

- 2017, Outside Magazine - Best Rebirth of the American Dream

- – #1 Happiest Cities to Work in

- 2015, Outside Magazine – Honorable Mention for Best Towns

- National Geographic - What the River Knows


Dayton's Five Rivers MetroParks


Dayton’s Fountain of Lights panorama erupting during colorful sunset where the fountain sprays catch the warm sunlightFountain of Lights Finale No. 1Dayton hosts many wonders to include the Fountain of Lights which is reportedly one of the world’s largest fountains. The Five Rivers MetroParks operates the fountains during the 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day. At the close of the season and with storm clouds clearing the Miami Valley skies, I arrived at the confluence of the Mad River and Great Miami River for one of the year’s last sunset displays. The varying cloud heights refracted the day’s last rays in their own unique manner, thus giving the sky added depth as if to strike serendipitous harmony with the warmly backlit fountain sprays.

RiverScape MetroPark Fountain of Lights

At 800' wide, the Fountain of Lights at RiverScape MetroPark are reportedly one of the largest in the world!  Here are the fountains erupting at sunset!

Twilight over RiverScape MetroPark where an eddy forms as Great Miami River spills over River Run which serves as a leading line to the warmly lit Dayton SkylineRiverScape SwirlAs part of Dayton Ohio’s riverfront development, the Five Rivers MetroParks and Miami Conservancy District reworked the Great Miami River removing a hazardous low dam and creating Kayak-friendly chutes. This blue-hour image captures the river flowing through Feature 1 forming a slow-moving eddy in the foreground while reflecting the park’s pavilion and CareSource’s warm office lights.

RiverRun Addition

RiverScape River Run created a playful waterscape by replacing a low dam with Kayak Chutes.


The arched limbs from this ancient row of Osage Orange trees form a delightful tunnel during this autumn sunriseSunrise along Osage Orange Tunnel, Sugarcreek MetroPark No. 7This spectacular autumn sunrise took place at Sugarcreek MetroPark, near Bellbrook Ohio. Of the many park’s features, one entails the Osage Orange Tunnel. In the 1800s, farmers planted rows of these Osage Orange (Hedge Apple) trees creating a natural fence line. Today, this tree line forms a delightful tunnel giving park visitors a visual treat.
Sugarcreek MetroPark

Sunrise aligns with Sugarcreek MetroPark's Osage Orange Tunnel on an autumn morning




Dayton Landmarks


Two WWII C-47 troop carriers flew over Dayton Ohio’s D-Day celebration as spectators gazed into the clear blue skies75th D-Day Ceremony, National Museum of the U.S. Air ForceAs the nation celebrated the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day invasion of Europe, one such celebration occurred at the National Museum of the US Air Force. As spectators and 100-year old veterans gazed skyward, two C-47 aircraft flew overhead under the burning blue skies of Dayton Ohio.

National Museum of the USAF

The 75th Anniversary of the D-Day Invasion Ceremony at the National Museum of the USAF as crowd gazes at a formation flyover of C-47s.

Dayton's Historical Aviation Trail
An image of the front  of the red-bricked Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park under burning blue skiesDayton Aviation Heritage National Historical ParkThis scene represents the multiorganization effort to preserve Dayton’s aviation heritage. From a Federal perspective this area falls under the U.S. National Park Service as the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park which entails sites from around the Miami Valley. This NPS site is the Wright-Dunbar Interpretive Center. Inside also lies the Aviation Trail Visitor Center which is a non-profit organization representing Dayton’s efforts who works in conjunction with the NPS. A subpart of the Aviation Trail is the Parachute Museum which pays tribute to early pioneers who developed the device in the skies over Dayton.

Formation of a new U.S. National Park called the Wright-Dunbar Interpretive Center & the Wright Cycle Co. Bike Shop


The Wright Brothers Memorial 
During the ceremony honoring the Wright Brothers first flight, the participants gaze upwards as a 445th Airlift Wing C-17 from Wright-Patterson AFB banks over head in the blue skies over the Wright Br115th Anniversary of First Flight Ceremony FlyoverEvery year on December 17th, the anniversary of the Wright Brothers First Flight, relatives of Wilbur and Orville, Wright Patterson AFB, the National Park Service, local media as well as aviation enthusiast gather at Dayton’s Wright Brothers Memorial to commemorate the historic event. In this 2018 ceremony, the Miami Valley enjoyed brisk, blue skies as a 445th Airlift Wing C-17 banks overhead in tribute to Dayton’s famous sons.

The 115th Anniversary of First Flight Ceremony Flyover by a Wright-Patterson AFB C-17 at Wright Brothers Memorial, Dayton Ohio.

Historic Huffman Prairie

Late summer sunset image off the historic Huffman Prairie where the green grassy foreground shows the Wright Brothers replica hangar and starting derrick, while the background captures a dissipating tGolden Hour Over Huffman Prairie No. 2Huffman Prairie serves as the epicenter for the discovery of aviation. Following their 17 Dec 1903 demonstration, the Wright Brothers set up research in this field conducting 150 flights in 1904-1905 which refined the mastery of flight. Today we call this former pasture the Huffman Prairie Flying Field and a National Historic Landmark. Although the prairie resides on Wright-Patterson AFB, Dayton, Ohio it is preserved by the National Park Service in partnership with the Aviation Trail Inc. who promotes Dayton’s Aviation Heritage. In this image, late afternoon thunderstorms began dissipating allowing the day’s last rays to paint this historic land in warm golden colors.

The Huffman Prairie Flying Field and a National Historic Landmark at sunset.

Wright-Patterson AFB 

Fair Day Over Wright Flyer Sculpture No. 1Fair Day Over Wright Flyer Sculpture No. 1The Wright Memorial Chapter of the Air Force Association at Wright-Patterson AFB celebrate Dayton’s favorite sons by commissioning a stainless-steel sculpture of the 1909 Wright Flyer. A bronze statue of Wilbur Wright sits upright at the Flyer’s controls as a second statue of Orville stands to the right of the aircraft. Larry Godwin, the artist from Brundidge AL, presented the “Wright Flyer Memorial” on 2 Aug 2003, which was 94 years to the day after the original 1909 was accepted as the first military airplane. This sculpture which resides at WPAFB’s Gate 1B and Springfield St on this perfect day, appears to have just taken flight into a blue azure sky filled with a few cumulus clouds.

The 1909 Wright Flyer sculpture by Larry Godwin outside the WPAFB Gate.


The US Air Force Aerial Demonstration Team Thunderbirds in diamond formation against a blue azure skiesUSAF Thunderbirds at Dayton Vectren Airshow No. 4

Vectren Dayton Airshow

The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds passing through burning blue skies at the Vectren Dayton Air Show.  


Local Universities

University of Dayton
University of Dayton’s Immaculate Conception Chapel under blue skies.with red and yellow tulips standing under pink flowering treesUniversity of Dayton Chapel of the Immaculate Conception No. 2The University of Dayton’s Chapel of the Immaculate Conception served as a hub for the Marianist college for 150 years. In 2015, the university completed a $12 million dollar, privately-funded, renovation which will allow future students to celebrate their faith in a place of beauty for years to come. On this Spring Day, the red and yellow tulips served as complimentary colors to the unusually clear blue skies over the Miami Valley.

In the middle of the University of Dayton Campus lies the 150-year old Chapel of the Immaculate Conception where on this spring day, tulips bloom brightly under the blue sky.


Wright State University

Wright State University Nutter CenterWright State University Nutter Center

Of the many structures added to Wright State University in its first 50 years, one is the Nutter Center on the east end of campus.  


Cedarville University

A small Ohio college with architectural gardens and fountains reside under perfect skiesCedarville Univesity Panorama No. 2Cedarville University remains a small independent Baptist school in southwest Ohio. Founded in 1887 it keeps the grounds in immaculate condition between various sculptures and architectural feature on campus. In this summer image, blue skies and cumulus clouds hang over the campus gardens, fountains and walkways.

A panoramic view of the center of Cedarville University and Cedar Lake, Cedarville Ohio.



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