Fort Wayne is a party town. Almost every weekend in the summer there is some kind of festival going on in town! If you can't find a festival to fit your needs, head out to Jefferson Pointe on Friday nights for Friday Nites Live! Here's a rundown the this summers major festivals. Unless otherwise noted festivals are at Headwaters Park downtown (Updated for 2008):
Vera Bradley Classic - May 30 - June 2 (Charity Golf & Tennis Tournament, Various locations.)
Germanfest - June 1-8
New Haven Canal Days - June 3-7 (New Haven, IN)
Mad Anthony Celebrity Classic - June 9 (Charity Golf Tournament, Fort Wayne Country Club, 5221 Covington Rd.)
Indiana Highland Games - June 14 (Concordia Theological Seminary)
RibFest - June 19-22
Greekfest - June 26-28
Three Rivers Festival - July 12-20
Allen County Fair - July 22-27 (Allen County Fairgrounds, 2726 Carroll Rd, Fort Wayne)
Hispanic Heritage Festival - August 2-3
Muddy River Run - August 9-10 (Car Show, Allen County Fairgrounds, 2726 Carroll Rd, Fort Wayne)
Indiana Black Expo - August 10-16
Taste of Fort Wayne - August 23
Auburn-Cord-Duesenburg Festival - August 28 - September 1 (Various Locations, Auburn, IN)
Chilifest - August 31 - September 1
Be a Tourist in Your Own Hometown - September 7 Noon-5PM (Free admission to various city attractions with passport from the Visitors' Center)
Rockin' Docs Musicfest - September 12-13
Johnny Appleseed Festival - September 20-21 (Johnny Appleseed Park, Off Coliseum Blvd behind the Coliseum and Memorial Stadium)
For full list of Fort Wayne events, head to the Fort Wayne Visitors Center website and click on Calendar of Events.
Fort Wayne passed a city ordinance in 1999 that required all restaurants in the city limits to provide a completely seperated from floor to ceiling smoke-free eating environment for it's non-smoking customers. Many restaurants in the city limits such as Applebees and Fridays continue to allow smoking only in the bar and the smoking section is completely sectioned off either by walls or, in the case of Applebees, floor to ceiling glass panels. A few restaurants, such as the Casa Grille, have gone totally smoke free. More recently the city (and possibly the entire county?) updated the ordinance to prohibit smoking pretty much anywhere indoors. This includes bars, clubs, and bowling alleys.
Starting this year, Indiana will be following daylight savings time. So where as before Fort Wayne spent half the year on Eastern time and half the year on Central time, we will always be on Eastern time now.
Alright, I'll admit, it's not a new concept, but it's still fun! Designers and sponsers from around Fort Wayne have created 102 very decorative mastadons and spread them around town! While the majority of them are in the downtown area, you can find some at Jefferson Pointe and other locales around town. But why a mastadon you ask? Well, it's the mascot for IPFW (Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne). Unfortuantely, vandals exist. Some have taken the vandalism in good humor though. One mastadon was given a giant get well card, another was outfitted with a crutch. And out of 102, only 3 have been vandalized to the point they need repair work. I think that's pretty good.
For best viewing, head down to Headwaters Park downtown. Many of the mastadons line Clinton Street on both sides, plus a short stroll brings you to more at Freiman Square, the Lincoln Museum, The History Center, and many other places downtown.
If you come to Fort Wayne, prepare to see everything named after apples. It's sort of like Atlanta with peaches. The reason is the famous American folk hero Johnny Appleseed is buried here. You can find his grave marker near the All County War Memorial Coliseum in Johnny Appleseed Park. That is why you will find places like the Apple Orchard in Glenbrook Mall and you will probably notice rows of apple trees planted along some stretches of roadways in town. It's all thanks to Johnny Appleseed!