Weather the Fort

Winter weather is festive until New Year’s Day.  After that, it’s just cold.  The whole city seems to hibernate and complain until spring break.

Ted Pappert and John Felts, members of Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana, decided to combat these winter blues and embrace the cold.  Last year, they created Weather the Fort, an outdoor winter festival to celebrate the beauty of the season in Northeast Indiana.

While an outdoor festival in February may seem like an odd choice, the community gave it a warm welcome. So did Mother Nature, ironically.  The inaugural event last year drew a crowd of 2,500 on an unseasonable 60-degree day and raised over $1,500 for the Rescue Mission. Through this, a new downtown Fort Wayne tradition was born.

Building on last year’s success, the second annual Weather the Fort is Saturday, February 11th from 4-10 p.m. at Freimann Square in downtown Fort Wayne.  Admission is free, but limited to adults over 21.

This year’s event promises a merry cold-weather experience. Heated tents will house food vendors, beer stations, and coffee tastings. Also on the docket are live local bands, ice carving, a dance and fire performance by Pyroscope Entertainment, and a curling demonstration by the Fort Wayne Curling Club.

Proceeds from food and beverage sales will support Fort Wayne Turners, a local non-profit dedicated to encouraging people of all ages to be active.

Free parking is available at the parking lot of Barrett McNagny LLP and on the north side of the park by the viaducts.

Weather the Fort is sponsored by YLNI, Lutheran Health Network, Downtown Improvement District, Alt 99.5, Design Collaborative, and Arts United. Follow them for updates on Facebook.

Questions about Weather the Fort should be directed to Tim Pappert at


Author: Hillary Knipstein

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