Dayton, Ohio skyline

Dayton, Ohio skyline

The second annual Before I Die Festival Ohio in Dayton, Ohio offers upbeat activities to think about, talk about, and do something about our inevitable mortality. Activities include Death Cafe conversations, a lantern cemetery tour, a symposium, movies, panel discussions, and a wide range of speakers. The two day event starts Friday, October 27th and ends Saturday, October 28th, 2023. View the full schedule of events here.

Neil Fogarty, the festival coordinator, started the event in Dayton in 2022. “The Inaugural Before I Die Ohio Festival was well received by participants and speakers alike,” he said. “The festival is a grouping of events which use information and humor to help people plan for the end of their lives so they can go on living, knowing that they have taken to burden of death planning from their loved ones.”

If you are not familiar with a Before I Die Festival, you might wonder why you would attend. So here are the top five reasons you should join the activities at this year’s event!

1. It’s Fun!

Despite the topic, the goal of the event is to provide education in a fun and upbeat way! Last year, Before I Die Festival Ohio had such positive feedback, and people were surprised at how much fun they had. This year they anticipate the same outcome. They created their Millennial Morticians event at the Dayton Beer Company for just this purpose.  At the event attendees get to ask any question they wish to the panel of young funeral directors in a relaxed atmosphere.

2. It’s Free!

Angel marker in Woodland Cemetery

Angel marker in Woodland Cemetery, Dayton, Ohio

Except for the History, Mystery, Murder, and Mayhem event at Woodland Cemetery in Dayton, all the events are free. Yes, that is right, you can register for any of the seven events, including two symposia with events within themselves, for free! Come learn about the steps to pre-planning, or learn about downsizing your stuff with Denise Swick, one of the top real estate agents in the Dayton area.

3. It’s Educational

All events are aimed to help educate families and caregivers. The Pre-planning Symposium addresses every step of the process from downsizing to memorial pre-planning. Learn about wills, estate planning, along with funeral planning. The speakers will have vendor tables there so you can ask questions and set up appointments where you can discuss topics further. We want you to feel empowered when you leave to prepare for your future!

4. You Can Network

You might not think this of a Before I Die festival, but if you are a professional in the end-of-life planning sector, this is a great event to meet others in your profession. We met so many other people last year passionate about this topic and they were able to make connections to further their network. We encourage you to come and see what the festival is about. If you are a professional, register, we would love to meet you!

5. Meet New People

This event is a great way to meet new people who have similar interests to you. It is a great way to learn from others who are looking to plan or have started planning. Ask them questions, learn from them too. They might have gone through a situation and gained knowledge and experiences they can share.

Presenting Sponsors are Dodds Memorials; Routsong Funeral Home; and Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum. Register and learn more at

Learn more about the Before I Die Festival concept here.