That time of year we have all been waiting for has finally arrived. A summer favorite, the Three Rivers Festival starts today. If you’re from the Fort, you’re familiar with it all – the parade, the concerts and, of course, Junk Food Alley. Without fail, I always make sure to get my fill of lemon shake-ups and funnel cake, but there is plenty going on to keep busy, even after you satisfy your sweet tooth.
The festival starts today and runs through Saturday, July 18th. Here is a quick guide on what you can expect at the Three Rivers Festival this weekend.
Opening Day: Friday, July 10
The festival begins with a variety of downtown displays, shows and activities, with the Midway and Junk Food Alley running from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. The evening’s events include a concert featuring Loverboy, Coolidge, and James & the Drifters, and a TinCaps game at Parkview Field. Doors for the concert open at 5 p.m. and the TinCaps game begins at 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, July 11
The Runners on Parade race, in its 21st year, kicks off the Three Rivers Parade at 8 a.m. Saturday morning. The race starts off at Headwaters Park Pavilion and makes its way through downtown. This is one of the largest summer 5Ks in northeast Indiana, with over 1,000 participants and $1,000 in total prize money. When I asked Race Director Craig Bobay what his favorite thing about the race is, he said, “Having the chance to run the streets of beautiful downtown Fort Wayne without worrying about traffic is cool. But the best part really is the opportunity to run, jog or walk in front of the thousands of spectators who line the streets of the course before the famous Three Rivers Festival Parade begins.” Race sponsors include the Fort Wayne Track Club, Fort Wayne Orthopedics and Three Rivers Running Company. Online registration is closed, but you can still register in person today, at Three Rivers Running Company from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., during packet pick-up hours. Late registration is $30. Learn more about Runners on Parade at runnersonparade.com.
The Parade begins at 9:45 on Saturday, and if you’ve never been, it really is a blast, and it’s a great way to kick off the weekend. Several local businesses and organizations participate in the parade, which is complete with floats, music, and follows a two mile route through the streets of downtown. I highly recommend going at least once to experience this Fort Wayne staple.
Some other exciting things happening during the festival on Saturday include the Chalkwalk on Main Street, Lawton Park Flea Market, Crafters Market in Headwaters Park, Barr Street Market, Summerland Tour 2015 (doors open at 5 p.m., featuring Everclear, Fuel, Toadies and American Hi-Fi), and a TinCaps game at Parkview field.
Sunday, July 12
Many of Saturday’s events will continue on Sunday, including the Chalkwalk, Lawton Park Flea Market, and Crafters Market. If you’re up for a little friendly competition, stop by the Central YMCA parking lot for the Three Rivers Three Point Challenge. The TinCaps game will start at 1:05 and have an opportunity for post-game autographs. Science Central will be hosting the Science Central Egg-Stravaganza, which begins at 1 p.m. And STAR 88.3 will be sponsoring MUSIC SUNDAY. Performers will include Building 429 and Christian rapper KJ-52, Moriah Peters and About a Mile.
So, make your way downtown this weekend and all of next week to join the fun. (Did you know that it’s the second largest festival in Indiana?) For more information about these and other events taking place at the Three Rivers Festival, visit www.threeriversfestival.org.