8 great things about summer in Dayton area

Food Truck rallies, concerts, festivals, fireworks and more

And with the turn of a calendar page, we will have made it.

The official first day of summer is Saturday, June 21.

Summer solstice on the Northern Hemisphere is set to happen this year at 6:51 a.m. when the sun hits its farthest point north of the equator.

With any luck, the skies will dry up and rain won’t damper anyone’s spirits or weekend plans.

Regardless, it will be flip flop weather until at least (we hope, this is Ohio) until Sept. 22 at 10:29 p.m., the autumnal equinox, according to the Old Farmer's Almanac.

There is a lot of summer to love in the Miami Valley until that happens.

Here are my picks for the best things about summer in the Dayton area.

Food Truck Rally

When the food truck movement hit the Gem City in recent years, it hit it hard.

Street food has quickly become a summertime favorite.

A food truck rally will be part of the Vandalia Farmers Market 3 to 7 p.m. today at Seger Park, corner of Kenbrook Drive and South Perry St. in Vandalia.

About a dozen trucks will participate in a food truck rally 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, July 11, at The "Old" Yellow Cab building, 700 East Fourth St. in Dayton.

The Rotary Club of Springfield hopes it can light a food-truck fire in that city.

Thirty-five food trucks will participate in the group's food truck competition. The top prize is $10,000.

Outdoor jams

The party has already started at the Fraze Pavilion, 695 Lincoln Park Blvd. in Dayton.

This year's line up includes Ringo Starr & His All Starr Band, Earth Wind and Fire, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Alan Jackson, The Avett Brothers and Heart. Click here for more.

Dayton started its Downtown Sunday Summer Music Series at Dave Hall Plaza, S. Main St. last week with Women in Jazz. Next up is Dayton Blues Festival July 21 and then Dayton Reggae Festival on Sept.1

The Cityfolk Festival Reunion is planned to happen on Courthouse Square 1 to 7 p.m. this Sunday, July 22. There will be children's activities as well as music and other performances. Click here for more.

Food festivals

Summer festivals are all about food. Luckily the Dayton area has more than its fare share of festival with great grub. Everything from shawarma to bacon is featured at these annual affairs.

ExploreClick here for the 11 best food festivals in the Dayton area

Treasure hunting

It is oddly liberating to search for treasure in the sun. Garage and yard sales offer the perfect opportunity to do just that.

St. Anne's Hill Historic District near downtown Dayton will hold its annual Trash n' Treasure sale 8 a.m. until items run out Saturday, June 21. Click here for a map and description of items.

Flowers, Flowers and more flowers

The birds and bees will be drunk on nectar until fall harvest time.

The floral show is already underway at parks like Cox Arboretum MetroPark, 6733 N Springboro Pike in Miami Twp.,Montgomery County, and Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark, 1301 E Siebenthaler Ave. in Dayton.

Neighborhood have already started their garden tours.

The DeWeese Ridgecrest neighborhood will hold its sale 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and feature 10 gardens. Click here for more information.

The Oregon District (my neighborhood) will hold its garden tour 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Click here for more info.

Admission is $10 for each sale.

The Miami Valley Hosta Society is hosting a hosta garden tour 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. that day at 16 of its members’ homes around the Dayton area. Admission is free.

Seven houses will participate in the tour 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday Click here for more information.

Things that go boom

Independence Day will be here before you know it and it going to be a noisy one as evident by the planned Independence Day celebrations.

July 3

Dayton Independence Day Fireworks: RiverScape MetroPark, 111 E. Monument Ave., Dayton. 5 p.m. Fireworks at 10 p.m. Free. 937-333-8400 or www.daytonohio.gov.

Rock-N-Boom Independence Day Celebration: Delco Park, 1700 Delco Park Dr., Kettering. 6-10 p.m. 937-296-2400 or www.ketteringoh.org.

Old Fashioned Country Fireworks: Clark County Fairgrounds, 4401 S. Charleston Pike, Springfield. 6 p.m. Free. 937-328-PARK (7275).

July 3-4

Star Spangled Boom: Wax Park, 3800 Main St., Moraine. 6 p.m. Thursday and 4 p.m. Friday. Fireworks at 10 p.m. Friday. Free. 937-535-1000 or www.ci.moraine.oh.us.

July 4

The 41st annual Americana Festival: downtown Centerville near Main and Franklin streets. 5K begins at 7:30 a.m., street fair, 10:30 a.m., parade at 10 a.m., fireworks at 10 p.m. Free. 937-433-5898 or www.americanafestival.org.

Time to ride and get soaked

Take a quick ride down U.S. 75 and it is beach season.

The Beach Water Park is showing off its new zipline featuring a 600-foot drop over the wave pool. It is among several attractions at the park located at 2590 Water Park in Mason.

Nearby Kings Island is making thrillseekers scream with Banshee, its new $24 million inverted steel roller coaster. No trip to King's Island would be complete without at least a brief visit to Soak City, the amusement park's water park.

Still not soaked enough? Check out Great Wolf Lodge, 2501 Great Wolf Dr., for water park fun out of the sun.

A little closer to home Kettering’s Adventure Reef Water Park, 2900 Glengarry Dr., will be cooling people off.

The patio is open

Nothing says summer like a frothy beverage or a tasty meal on a patio.

It is al fresco dining and (drinking) season here in the Miami Valley.

ExploreClick here for a list of some of the best patios in the region.

Contact this blogger at arobinson@DaytonDailyNews.com or Twitter.com/DDNSmartMouth