Living Communities

Entrepreneurship Spotlight — Mike Rowland

Posted by on April 4, 2017 | Comments Off on Entrepreneurship Spotlight — Mike Rowland

Entrepreneurship Spotlight — Mike Rowland

We’re back with another Entrepreneurship Spotlight, this time featuring Mike Rowland of Animal Training and Development. Mike has been training dogs in Fort Wayne for over 25 years, and it’s been so fun getting some insight into being an entrepreneur from someone who’s been doing it for years! He definitely has some great perspective for all you future Fort Wayne business owners. His business has evolved from focusing on puppy classes and simple behavior issues, to training service dogs for veterans with PTSD (although he still does puppy classes and potty training). He also now holds seminars and trains future dog trainers. Mike helped my golden retriever and I accomplish our goal of being a therapy team — my dog passed his therapy certification with flying colors! Animal Training and Development is a wonderful asset in our community, check it out! What made you decide to open a business in Fort Wayne/Northeast Indiana? I recognized the need for professional dog trainers in the Fort Wayne area.  There were only a few options back in 1986 and many people were turning their dogs into Animal Care & Control due to relatively common and simple behavior issues like housetraining, jumping, barking, digging and chewing.  I took part in a “Animal Hotline” offered through Animal Care & Control once a week and fielded over twenty calls each day from people that were desperate for help.  It was very rewarding for me as an entrepreneur to take those calls and meet the needs of the callers.  Even though I was doing it for free, I knew the word would spread that people were getting help and that if it worked for them, more people would call.  Within a few weeks, there were more calls to the hotline than I could manage and my business phone began to ring.  It’s been ringing ever since. What resource in the community has helped you thrive in the community? Animal Care & Control, Allen County SPCA, local dog rescue groups and local Veterinarians.  All of these safe havens for animals were great places for me to grow as a professional and give back to those that give so much. What is the biggest challenge you have worked to overcome in starting your business? It takes time and effort to be successful and even more so if you have no money for marketing.  I started with zero investment capital and only passion and dogged determination kept me going through the lean years.  Looking back, those were some of the best days.  Living simply and enjoying what I was doing, knowing I could help people train and enjoy their dogs; it didn’t seem like work at all.  The sense of accomplishment and freedom to do things the way I wanted were reward enough to keep me going. What person has helped you the most in your journey? Every client that found help and told one or two friends.  To this day “word of mouth” proves to be good advertising. What is some advice you would have for new entrepreneurs? First, determine what it is you are passionate about, then figure out how to make a living doing it.  If you can make a living doing what you are passionate about, you will never have to work a day in your...

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Souped Up: Fort Wayne SOUP

Posted by on March 10, 2017 | Comments Off on Souped Up: Fort Wayne SOUP

Souped Up: Fort Wayne SOUP

Note from event organizers – Due to overwhelming interest in our inaugural Fort Wayne SOUP event on March 30th we must change the location from One Lucky Guitar to the Summit located at 1025 West Rudisill Blvd. The new venue can accommodate up to 240 guests. In an effort to organize and plan for dinner appropriately we ask all attendees register for the inaugural event through Eventbrite. We are grateful to One Lucky Guitar and the community for all their support. Fort Wayne SOUP is served. Actual Soup?  The SOUP is a micro-grant dinner that fosters community and raises funds for creative projects that enhance Fort Wayne living.  (It’s easier than it sounds!) Here are the ingredients: Relationships. A shared meal.  Diversity. Critical dialogue. Community. Creativity. Collaboration. Democracy. Fun. Empowerment. Contribution. Action. Join the mix at the inaugural Fort Wayne SOUP on March 30, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. at the Summit.  The suggested minimum donation is $5.  Guests receive a meal, the opportunity to hear four vibrant ideas for projects that will transform Fort Wayne, and to cast a vote to fund their favorite project.  The deadline for submitting project proposals is March 16, 2017.     The Process Fort Wayne SOUP hosts a soup dinner (called a SOUP).  Several weeks before each SOUP, community members submit project proposals to the SOUP committee. The  projects must benefit the Fort Wayne community, but the field is otherwise open to all ideas, including art, urban agricultural, social entrepreneurship, education, technology, and more. Proposals must include a summary, proposed use of funds, an explanation of the project’s impact on Fort Wayne, and a timeline for implementation. The committee reviews and votes on four projects to be presented at the SOUP.  The selected community members work with Fort Wayne Confluence to create dynamic four-minute presentations to pitch their proposals. At the SOUP, attendees make an optional donation, suggested to be $5 or more, at the door. While enjoying soup, salad, and bread, they hear the four pre-selected project proposals. Each presenter fields four questions from the audience. SOUP attendees discuss and debate the benefits of each proposal.  Each attendee votes on the project they believe will most benefit the Fort Wayne community. The project with the most votes receives all of the money collected at the door, as seed money to fund their project.  Attendees do not obtain equity or ownership in the winning project.  Winners are expected to work diligently to bring their project to life, and to attend the next scheduled SOUP and discuss their progress.   The Inspiration SOUP arrived here via Detroit (and other SOUP’s hosted in communities worldwide), at the hands of a dedicated committee of young professionals.  After reading a magazine article about the Detroit SOUP and its transformational effect on Detroit—even during a devastating recession—Andrew Gritzmaker, Mark Green, and Kenny Walpole were inspired to gather a committee and bring the SOUP to Fort Wayne. “We saw an opportunity to help contribute to the momentum Fort Wayne is experiencing. The heart of SOUP is community. When people come together and small projects are accomplished, a sense of potency is realized and people begin to see potential,” said Gritzmaker. He was particularly moved by a Detroit SOUP success story. A young entrepreneur pitched her idea for winter coats that unfold into sleeping bags to help Detroit’s homeless population during harsh winters. She used the...

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Ballroom Dancing in Fort Wayne

Posted by on December 7, 2016 | Comments Off on Ballroom Dancing in Fort Wayne

Ballroom Dancing in Fort Wayne

Soon, there will be many Christmas and New Year’s Eve parties that involve dancing the night away. Dancing is a fun workout and it’s even more fun when it’s with a partner or group of friends. So, grab your significant other or a friend and go ballroom dancing! You could learn the salsa, merengue, tango, hustle, and many more. Learning ballroom dance is also great if you’ve got a special event to go to like a wedding and need some new moves. There are so many places to go dancing here in Fort Wayne to let loose and have a good time! The Fort Wayne Ballroom Company – 1559 West Dupont Road They offer ballroom dancing lessons for special events, preparation for professional dance competitions, and social dancing. Their instructors are certified in DVIDA. Hours are Monday-Thursday from 12:00pm-9:30pm, and Friday from 12:00pm-10:00pm. Check out their website here.   Arthur Murray Dance Center of Fort Wayne – located at 8818 Coldwater Road Arthur Murray Dance Company has been operating in Fort Wayne for 75 years and boast 260 dance studios worldwide! They offer instructional dancing and special events for beginners to star dancers! Their hours are Monday 6:00pm-10:00pm, Tuesday-Friday 12:30pm-10:00pm, and Saturday from 10:00am-2:00pm. Learn more about Arthur Murray here.   Fort Wayne Dance Collective – located at 437 E. Berry St. Suite 203 Fort Wayne Dance Collective offers not only ballroom dancing classes, but also ballet, Zumba, modern, hip hop, jazz, belly dancing, Taiko, and more! Check out their class schedule here. Their hours are Monday-Thursday 9:00am-8:00pm, Friday-Saturday 8:30am-12:00pm.   Fred Astaire Dance Studio – located at 5404 Meijer Drive From services like group lessons, private lessons for any special events and preparation for dance competitions, you can learn dance inspired by the original ballroom dancer. You could learn a variety of dances; anywhere from rhythm dancing like the salsa, mambo, east and west coast swing, rumba and the cha-cha to smooth dancing like the foxtrot, tango, quickstep, and the waltz! If interested, give them a call at (260) 209-4130 or fill out their contact...

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LFW Weekly Fun File

Posted by on November 3, 2016 | Comments Off on LFW Weekly Fun File

LFW Weekly Fun File

Is it the holiday season? Looking for fun things to do in Fort Wayne? Look no further! LFW compiles a list of ongoings and events that we’re excited about every week! This is by no means an exhaustive list, and if you don’t quite see what you’re looking for, check out our events calendar. If you’d like to see your event featured in the Weekly Fun File, or added to our events calendar, let us know! Email us at info@livingfortwayne.com or you can go ahead and submit your event to our calendar! Click on the event for more information about times, locations, cost, etc. 1. YLNI Rally the Vote Thursday, November 3 from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. This is a family-friendly event with games, music, and food and drink. Pick up some voter education handouts, and take advantage of the opportunity to vote early! 2. Alternative Gift Party Thursday, November 3 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Purchases will benefit local charities. Get a gift that gives in many ways! There will also be wine and snacks so … 3. Old Fort Cluster Dog Show Thursday, November 3 through Sunday, November 6. Who doesn’t love dogs?! There will be TONS of them … go watch them run around and look pretty! 4. Mixology: Battle of the Bartenders Friday, November 4 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The Cap n’ Cork traveling trophy is up for grabs! There’s hors d’oeuvres, entertainment, and drinks, of course. 5. Shows, Shows, and More Shows! Times Vary – Check Individual Show Schedules There are a million different shows happening the next few weekends. All for One is putting on The Wind in the Willows, the Civic Theatre presents A Christmas Carol – The Musical, and the University of Saint Francis show, The Wizard of Oz, opens this weekend. 6. Special Character Toddler Time Friday, November 4 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Marshall will be in town! There will be activity centers and doggy-themed treats. Take pictures with Marshall, jump around, and have a good time! 7. Disney Live! Mickey and Minnie’s Doorway to Magic Saturday, November 5 at 12:30 p.m. Get ready for another wonderful Disney adventure! Your little ones will love this show (and you probably will, too). 8. Chamber Orchestra: Philharmonic Chorus: 40th Anniversary Celebration Saturday, November 5 at 7:30 p.m. The Philharmonic Chorus celebrates 40 years of extraordinary music-making with one of the greatest oratorios in the choral orchestral repertory: Mendelssohn’s Elijah. 9. 46807 Neighborhood Clean Up! Saturday, November 5 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Help keep our community clean! They will be focusing on Packard Park, but if enough people volunteer, they can do projects throughout the ’07. Remember, this isn’t all Fort Wayne has to offer. Get out and have some fun this weekend! We can’t wait to see you around our...

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The Secret Behind Launching a Career in Northeast Indiana

Posted by on October 4, 2016 | Comments Off on The Secret Behind Launching a Career in Northeast Indiana

The Secret Behind Launching a Career in Northeast Indiana

As an upcoming graduate and young professional looking for employment in Fort Wayne, I am amazed by the amount of pressure put on finding a career – not to mention finding one that I like. But these expectations come with no explanation on what sort of skills I need, advice on how to launch my career in this area successfully, or the kind of person that employers look for when hiring, except that they will look at my degree to see if I am qualified for the position. Corporations and all other types of businesses are comprised of all types of people. The people who make up Northeast Indiana, in a broad sense, are hard workers, innovative craftsman with a “don’t quit” mentality. The Northeast Indiana area has a regional population of more than 700,000 people with many diverse industry bases ranging from insurance, logistics, automotive, medical, food processing, and more. It is no wonder businesses in this area are looking to hire young professionals and graduates. With a dozen nearby colleges and universities, there are many young professionals and graduates looking to succeed in their careers in the Northeast Indiana region. But how are they to do that? To find out, I went looking for and spoke with seasoned professionals who gave me the secret on how to launch a career in Northeast Indiana. Justin Clupper, Director of Signature Programs at Greater Fort Wayne, said “The best thing to do is connect with the intent of communication; Begin networking, and building relationships in your specific industry and area.” This was followed by Ashley Calderon, Director of Career Services at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, who said, “89% of Indiana University-Purdue University students stay in this area. We know that employers are looking for candidates who have leadership skills because this is the number one skill employers are looking for at this time. Students need to be able to communicate effectively – in writing and verbally. This community is very well-connected, and students need to be able to navigate the connection in order to succeed in this area.” Ryan Krueckeberg, Vice President of the Board of Directors for Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana, said “I would suggest getting involved by utilizing the Leadership Institute by learning workplace leadership skills and community leadership skills. Meeting people, getting to know people, getting to know your community has been the biggest influencer in my career. Building relationships and fostering those relationships and allowing those relationships to lead you to other people. Making a valid effort to continuously educate yourself, whether it is by getting the degree or educating yourself in your community. There’s so many organizations who can foster interests that you didn’t know you had before.” By learning what it means to be successful in Northeast Indiana when starting a career, I know how to be a better young professional. I can take the relationships I will make by networking with people and the skill sets that I can develop now to any business. Thanks to these seasoned professionals, I finally got the explanation that I was looking for – the secret to launching a career in Northeast...

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LFW Weekly Fun File

Posted by on September 8, 2016 | Comments Off on LFW Weekly Fun File

LFW Weekly Fun File

Looking for fun things to do in Fort Wayne? Look no further! LFW compiles a list of ongoings and events that we’re excited about every week! This is by no means an exhaustive list, and if you don’t quite see what you’re looking for, check out our events calendar. If you’d like to see your event featured in the Weekly Fun File, or added to our events calendar, let us know! Email us at info@livingfortwayne.com or you can go ahead and submit your event to our calendar! Click on the event for more information about times, locations, cost, etc. 1. ART MOVES Thursday, September 8 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Fort Wayne Dance Collective’s fourth annual fundraiser hosted by Wunderkammer Company! It will be a great show for a great organization. 2. 20th Anniversary Season Opening Concert Friday, September 9 from 7:30 p.m. The Heartland Vocal Artists start the celebration of their 20th year with a fun mix of pop and vocal jazz, including a tribute to Indiana musicians in honor of Indiana’s Bicentennial year. A cash bar is available during the event. $20 Advance and $25 at the door. 3. Salvage in the City Saturday, September 10 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Have you been to Saving Grace Vintage Boutique? If not, you need to go! They have wonderful, adorable, amazing things. This Saturday, they’re having an outdoor sale! There will be food trucks and music! Go! 4. The Rocky Horror Show Friday, September 9 at 8 p.m. Saturday, September 10 at 8 p.m. and 11:59pm Friday, September 16 at 8 p.m. Saturday, September 17 at 8 p.m. and 11:59 p.m. Such a fun show to kick off Halloween season … it will really get you in the spirit, especially if you go to a midnight show. 5. Brewed “IN” the Fort Fest Saturday, September 10 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Indiana’s finest brews! Also, food trucks and music. My goal is to eat all my meals at food trucks this weekend. 6. RideGreen 2016 Saturday, September 10 at 1 p.m. Ride to some of the best local “food and watering holes.” 7. Fort Wayne Air Show Saturday, September 10 and Sunday, September 11 Fun for the whole family! This even is going to be huge. There will be lots to do and see (and lots to eat). 8. Autism Acceptance Walk Sunday, September 11 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. It’s a family-friendly, one-mile walk. There will be food an entertainment, and all proceeds from this event support the local Ally programs in Indiana. 9. Be a Tourist in Your Hometown Sunday, September 11 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Yay! I love this day! Visit a slew of Fort Wayne’s museums and attractions for free! 10. 3rd Annual North Anthony Corridor Block Party Sunday, September 11 at 1 p.m. Food trucks, beer tent, ice cream tent, kids’ activities, vendors … it’s all great at the North Anthony Corridor! Don’t Forget: Recurring events, such as the YLNI Farmer’s Market and Summer Nights at the Embassy are still happening this summer! For a complete list of events (including the weekly fun) check out our calendar! Remember, this isn’t all Fort Wayne has to offer. Get out and have some fun this weekend! We can’t wait to see you around our city!...

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Three Times a Charm for Ride Green

Posted by on September 2, 2016 | Comments Off on Three Times a Charm for Ride Green

Three Times a Charm for Ride Green

In its third year sustainfortwayne‘s Ride Green has a very different feel than other pub crawls around the city. Its focus on sustainability and community is unique. It’s a relaxed ride, with more emphasis on the journey from one stop to another. A detailed map and arrows along the route keep everyone together, which is half the fun. Personally, I have participated in 2014 and 2015, and will again this year. When I first heard about it, the event sounded like the perfect way to spend an afternoon, and I didn’t want to miss out.  Through Ride Green, I’ve met new friends, tried new local businesses, and become active in the cycling community. More importantly, I fell back in love with my bike. Now, I use my bike to commute to work, run errands, explore the greenway, meet friends for coffee, and get to meetings. Andrew Hesterman is the Northern Indiana representative of The US Green Building Council – Indiana Chapter and the creator of Ride Green.  He and his sustainfortwayne team are our local branch of this nationwide non-profit organization. Their mission is to “promote sustainable, prosperous and environmentally responsible design, construction and operations of Indiana buildings and communities.” The key word here is communities. Beyond using construction and design in a sustainable way, it is an effort to use building to create space for people to connect. Andrew and I sat down to chat about the upcoming Ride Green event on Saturday, September 10. He explained the thought process behind using a pub crawl as a fundraiser and as a vehicle to get the message out. “Sustainability isn’t a sacrifice, and it can easily be integrated into daily life,” Andrew said. A pub crawl is fun. It allows people see how painless it is to ditch the car and still get around town. Community building is another unique aspect of the event. The camaraderie that goes along with having a shared experience is very important. Participants get to feel like they are part of something bigger – and greener.  Make new friends at the top of a hill, or at a bar top. Pub crawlers will meet at Headwaters Park west at noon and pick up their swag. Once everyone is ready, they head out to explore the city by bicycle and visit some great local businesses along the way. The Details: Who: sustainfortwayne What: Ride Green Pub Crawl Tickets: $30 here Where: Headwaters Park West When: September 10 at noon Why: Encourage adding sustainability into everyday...

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Taste of the Arts: Two Day Festival

Posted by on August 24, 2016 | Comments Off on Taste of the Arts: Two Day Festival

Taste of the Arts: Two Day Festival

Taste of the Arts is back and better than ever for the 2016 season. With not one but two days to hang out on Main Street in Downtown Fort Wayne, this is a celebration for every person and every age. Tens of thousands of people partake in Taste of the Arts each year. Brought to you by Arts United, this event is located right in the midst of their downtown art campus at 300 E. Main Street. The festival itself is free and tickets are available to enjoy delicious food from a large amount of local vendors that look forward to this each year. Everything kicks off on Friday, August 26 from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m., and then continues on Saturday, August 27 from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. Enjoy music, food, and more including the YLNI Farmer’s Market on Barr Street, performances by dAnce.Kontemporary, Fort Wayne Ballet, and Pyroscope, a movie night with Living Fort Wayne, and a day of street performance fun from the Downtown Improvement District’s BuskerSquare (the sister to their annual BuskerFest event). There will also be mile runs, KidsARTivities, and unique events at Artlink. If I could give you one piece of advice it would be to come hungry and don’t hold back. Some of my favorite food items are found each year at Taste of the Arts. With unique food portions available from different vendors it’s the perfect opportunity to sample everything without having to choose just one place. I highly recommend the Meatloaf Cupcakes from Waiter on the Way and those awesome sliders from Shigs In Pit! This weekend we are expecting sunny skies and warm temperatures. Bring your friends and kids for an event you won’t forget (or you can help volunteer). There really is something for everyone, and with two days to explore all that Taste of the Arts has to offer, this is something you are going to be coming back to for many years in the future. Make sure to share your photos on social media as you enjoy the fun with hashtag...

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Top 6 Places For A Fancy Ladies Night Out

Posted by on August 16, 2016 | Comments Off on Top 6 Places For A Fancy Ladies Night Out

Top 6 Places For A Fancy Ladies Night Out

Ladies Night is the night that you can leave the stressful work week behind you and really let loose. It also a chance for you to reconnect with friends that you may not get to see that often. Living Fort Wayne understands and wants to give you that fun ladies night to unwind and make some new memories. So we complied a list of some of the best places around Fort Wayne to check out. So get that black dress out you’ve been dying to wear, grab your gals and head out to one of these mighty fine restaurants!   Catablu Grille A contemporary, classy environment with a big-city vibe will guarantee a good time at Catablu Grille! Best times to go are Mondays for $2.00 off all martinis and Wednesdays where it’s 20% off bottled wine. Main St. Bistro Located right on Main Street in Downtown Fort Wayne, this is the perfect location to walk to right after work! I would go there for their Happy Hour special which runs from 4pm-7pm on Thursdays. $5 crafts and martinis with select half-price appetizers? Don’t twist my arm. Hoppy Gnome Also located downtown on Berry Street, this place has newly added craft cocktails that you definitely don’t want to miss out on. Have each person order separate drinks and try them all at once! Also, you can’t go wrong with their signature sangrias loaded with fruit and white wine. Wine Down The name speaks for itself. If you and the girls love wine, this is the spot to venture to on a Friday night! You can try one of their handcrafted cocktails or take your chance on emptying your bank account trying all of their wines! Every wine has a different style and taste so don’t get too carried away (or do) with the wine card they provide you. Club Soda This place has a stunning, classy atmosphere with exceptional martinis. Be sure to be seated outdoors to soak up the last bit of Summer that we have left! Enjoy great food, drinks and company with live music every Friday and Saturday night at Club Soda. Chop’s Wine Bar Enjoy some amazing seafood while perusing Chop’s extensive wine list. Chop’s Wine Bar has a very intimate, cozy atmosphere while still keeping the vibe of a big-city right in our hometown. I would choose this restaurant to host a birthday or bachelorette party.   Check out our Top Picks for the Best Bros Night...

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12 Three Rivers Festival Events You Won’t Want To Miss

Posted by on July 8, 2016 | Comments Off on 12 Three Rivers Festival Events You Won’t Want To Miss

12 Three Rivers Festival Events You Won’t Want To Miss

The Three Rivers Festival is back for their 48th year! I’m sure you have received your booklet and are probably overwhelmed by just how many events are taking place in just one week of the festival. Fort Wayne is so spoiled by the amount of fun we get to have during this festival that I’ve decided to make a list of events that I know are worth visiting. My original plan was to make a Top 10, but I ended up at 18 options. I’ve finally narrowed it down to just 12, and I feel confident that you’ll find fun in at least one (if not all) of these events.   Downtown Midway (July 8-16, 11AM-11PM) The Three Rivers Festival provides multiple rides for the Fort Wayne community to enjoy every year. I love to go on that spin-wheel thingy along with that other thing that whips you through the air. I never remember the names, but I do remember the effects they leave on me after the ride. There will also be games, face painting, kids rides and so much more. You can get your wristbands for the rides early here.   The Emporium (July 8, 4PM-10PM and July 9-16, 11AM-11PM) Located in Headwaters Park West, this area will be home to local artists to sell their merchandise and services. Unique gifts like handcrafted jewelry, soaps, and clothes will be available to buy. The Emporium will also be spotlighting some food vendors this year ranging from Cajun to baked goods! If you love shopping and supporting local, this is the place to be!   Junk Food Alley (July 8-16) Yeah, you can forget your diet plans this week and gorge yourself on the loads of thing to choose from at Junk Food Alley! Elephant ears, chicken-on-a-stick, fried watermelon, and fresh lemon shake-ups are just among the hundreds of things to try here. Don’t forget about $2 Tuesdays at Junk Food Alley! My body is ready.   Three Rivers Parade (July 9, 10AM) Marching bands, floats, free stuff, oh my! Truly a staple in Fort Wayne is the annual Three Rivers Parade and this year’s theme is “Indiana’s Bicentennial: Celebrate History—Ignite The Future”. My favorite thing to do is grab a few friends, drink some mimosas and nab all the free candy I can get my hands on. Parade route can be found here. You can also catch it live on channel 21 if crowds just aren’t your thing.   Chalk Walk (July 9-10, 10AM) Located on Main Street, this will feature area artists turning a square of concrete a piece of art. I love this event for the talent it brings and the fact that you catch watch an artist draw their piece. You can register for your own space of concrete here. Fingers crossed that it doesn’t rain!   Art in the Park (July 9, 11AM-7PM, July 10, 11AM-5PM) This event will host over 100 different artists from across the country and Indiana! If you’re looking for an eclectic piece of art to go with that fancy room you just redecorated, this is the place to be! Art in the Park will take place in Freimann Square on Main Street for their second year of providing Fort Wayne with an impressive art scene.   BedRace (July 13, 6PM-8PM) Every year,...

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