Ready to Run – 2014 Fort4Fitness Fall Festival

Unlike most people, the end of summer is the time I’m most focused on getting into shape, not the beginning. Why, you ask? Well, during the summer, I get a decent amount of exercise just working in my yard; by the time late August rolls around, I’m mowing and weeding a lot less, so I have to make a more concerted effort to work out. August is also the time when we watch a lot of tennis, and the athleticism of tennis players always motivates me to work harder. Finally, it’s right about now that I remember Fort4Fitness is only about a month away (!), so I have to hustle up and get ready to run. The 2014 Fort4Fitness Fall Festival will be held Friday, September 26 and Saturday, September 27 in beautiful downtown Fort Wayne. Like I said, it’s almost here.

logo Ready to Run   2014 Fort4Fitness Fall Festival

It’s hard to believe, but this is the 7th Annual Fort4Fitness Festival. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to run in a couple years, but I’ll definitely be out there this year. You can sign up for one of three races (or new this year, one of several multi-race packages): the 4 mile, the 10K, or the half marathon. I know not everyone’s a runner – heck, I’m barely a runner – but at the very least, get out to the Festival Expo on Friday to check out all the vendors touting healthy living or sign up to volunteer.

Here’s the thing: getting fit starts with a single step. It doesn’t have to be a big step or a quick step. A baby step will suffice. The great thing about Fort4Fitness is that people of all fitness levels, including baby-steppers, will be downtown early that Saturday morning at the Baker Street Station ready to go. It’s not too late to sign up – you can do so at



Apart from spending his college years in West Lafayette, Indiana, and Dayton, Ohio, Mike Flohr is a lifetime resident of the Summit City. Today he divides his time among his wife, Megan, his job as a college librarian, and his many geek obsessions.

Cher in Fort Wayne!

Cherilyn Sarkisian is coming to the Fort!

Cher 2 Cher in Fort Wayne!

Better known as simply, “Cher,” the contralto is on her 49-city D2K [Dressed to Kill] tour, and will grace the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum’s stage at 7:30 p.m. on October 27, 2014.  Two popular special guests will perform with her – mezzo-soprano and four-time Grammy Award-winner Pat Benatar and her songwriter / guitarist husband Neil Giraldo.

Cher first made her mark in the folk-rock scene in 1965 when she was known as half of the popular Sonny & Cher duo.   She subsequently shone in TV, film, music and acting by constantly re-inventing herself.

She has taken a plethora of honors, including Best Actress Academy Awards, Best Musical or Comedy Actress Golden Globe Awards, Emmy Awards, Grammy Awards, and many more.  One of her many hits – recorded with Rod Stewart – was “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered” and she has sold more than 100 million solo albums, earning her the designation of one of the best-selling music artists of all time.  Her most recent album “Closer to the Truth,” came out last year and was her highest-charting solo album in the US thus far.  This tour includes the No. 1 catchy hit, “Woman’s World,” and was described by the Houston Chronicle as, “a stunning vocal showcase; an eye-popping extravaganza.”

Lady Gaga, Madonna, Marianne Faithful and Nancy Sinatra are just a few of the many singers who have been inspired by Cher, and movie buffs may remember some of her abundant films including “Silkwood,” “The Witches of Eastwick,” and “Mask.”

Cher is the only artist thus far to have a No. 1 single on a Billboard chart in each of the past six decades.  Currently, a Broadway musical of her life is in development, and she may play herself when the script is completed.

Tickets can be purchased from Ticketmaster (1.800.745.3000; or at the Coliseum box office (4000 Parnell Avenue, Fort Wayne, IN 46805; 260.483.1111).  Reserved tickets are $127; $77; and $41.50.  Parking is $5 at the main lot, and $8 at the preferred lot.



Barb Sieminski is a freelance writer and photographer for several magazines and newspapers. She received her B.A. and M.S. in art and English, from the University of St. Francis. When not chained to the computer, she follows her passion of fishing, believing that all good things come to she who baits . . .

Eagle Marsh – Fall Program Guide

Eagle Marsh, a part of the Little River Wetlands Project,  is a 716-acre wetland preserve located on the southwest border of Fort Wayne. Eight miles of trails allow hikers to access the preserve’s varied habitats of shallow-water wetland,with almost 200 kinds of birds and numerous other wild creatures including bald eagles.

If you haven’t had a chance to get to the Marsh this summer, don’t worry. The fall schedule is packed with opportunities. Below are some highlights.

monarchfestival2014 300x191 Eagle Marsh   Fall Program Guide

The Monarch Festival will be here soon!

2014 Monarch Festival

Saturday, September 13

11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Do you love getting up close with beautiful butterflies? This may be the event for you! Grab your kids, your friends or anyone else so-inclined and meet at the Eagle Marsh barn. The festival is family-friendly, with lots of educational and hands-on activities.  There will also be hikes, live demonstrations, crafts and games.  As a bonus, you can choose to plant a milkweed (Monarchs love them!) at the Marsh or take one home to plant in your own garden.


Fall 300x200 Eagle Marsh   Fall Program Guide

Fall Woods of Eagle Marsh

Fall Woods of Eagle Marsh

Saturday, October 4

9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Again starting off from the Eagle Marsh barn, this fun fall program is for kids of all ages, even the youngsters in their seventies. Do you know why leaves change colors in the fall? Why they’re sometimes more vibrant? Come find out! Also, learn how exactly the animals know that winter is approaching.  There are signs you can spot, if you know what you’re looking for!  And no trip to the Marsh is complete without a nice hike.

Tip: Boots are recommended, and depending on the weather, a jacket might be good.


caterpillar 300x227 Eagle Marsh   Fall Program Guide

Speaking of short legs…

The Short Hikes for Short Legs programs are especially for the little ones ages three to five.

Wednesday, September 17 – Why Wetlands are Amazing!

Sunday, October 5 – Fall Changes

9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.


Ramblers 300x200 Eagle Marsh   Fall Program Guide

Some Ramblers caught in the act

For those of us just a little bit older who would like to hike around the Marsh from time to time, think about becoming a Little River Rambler! Ramblers meet at the Marsh once a week, on Tuesdays, and can choose a morning or evening hike, or both.


9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. (March and July meetings will be at Arrowhead Prairie.)

5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.


img 13127845 300x177 Eagle Marsh   Fall Program Guide

The Fifth Annual Frogapalooza is October 24.

Fifth Annual Frogapalooza Benefit

Friday, October 24

6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

“The mission of the Little River Wetlands Project is to restore and protect wetlands in the watershed of the Little River, a major tributary of the Wabash River, and to provide educational opportunities that encourage good stewardship of wetlands and other natural ecosystems.”

Eagle Marsh is a treasure for Fort Wayne and the surrounding communities, and those of us who enjoy it are called to support it, as the Marsh survives by our generosity and the generosity of others.

This year’s Frogapalooza will be the fifth annual for the Little River Wetlands Project.  Details are still being finalized, but the benefit will be held at the Fort Wayne Country Club and  will honor Jay Jorgensen and Rick Phillips as “Hidden Heroes of Conservation.”  Guests will enjoy an auction, dinner and more. Check here for updates as they become available.

logo Eagle Marsh   Fall Program Guide

Support the Little River Wetlands Project

Eagle Marsh is located at 7209 Engle Road, Fort Wayne, Indiana, 46804.

Click here and check out a great overview video.

Bookmark this page to keep up-to-date on all of the goings-on year-round!


Wendy Sack


Born and bred in Alabama, Wendy has lived in Fort Wayne for just over 12 years, calling historic Williams-Woodland Park home. Asked to describe herself, Wendy is quick to throw out the terms grammar geek, voracious reader, Jim Gaffigan nut and Alabama Crimson Tide football fanatic. Often found with a Diet Coke in one hand and a book in the other, Wendy’s true passion is her family. She is a wife, a mother of two and is always looking for new and adventurous things to do in and around Fort Wayne. Wendy finds humor easily in any situation and is a true believer that laughter really does cure anything.

Country Fest ’14 brings exciting headliners

This year’s Country Fest is stacked with talented musicians guaranteed to please. The seventh annual K105 Country Fest will take place on Saturday, September 20. Doors will open at 1:00 pm and the first singer will take the stage at 3:00 pm. For the second year in a row, Parkview Field in the heart of downtown will play host to this music festival.

Billy Currington CountryMusicIsLove1 300x199 Country Fest 14 brings exciting headliners

Billy Currington

Headlining the concert this year is none other than Billy Currington. Singer of the number one hit released last year, “We Are Tonight,” Currington hit the music scene in 2003 with a bang. He won a CMT Award in 2006 and was nominated for a Grammy and Academy of Country Music Award in 2010.

This year features a few up and coming artists in the genre as well, and will bring to the table a host of different sounds and styles for your listening pleasure. Also performing in the concert this year are The Swon Brothers, Brett Eldredge, Parmalee, Craig Campbell, and Kelleigh Bannen.

IMG 4515 x600 300x200 Country Fest 14 brings exciting headliners

Kelleigh Brannen

Tickets are on sale for the concert now. While there’s not a bad seat in the house, if you’re looking for the VIP treatment, there are still some Harrison College Pre Show VIP Experience Tickets for sale. For just a little more, enjoy a special beer tasting at the Tree Tops at Parkview Field beginning at 11:00 am. You will also be served lunch and receive a commemorative as well as early admission to the show.

The stage will be set up on center field to ensure the best viewing area for those in attendance. Pick your seat, whether its up in the stands or down on the lawn, and get your ticket while you still can!

Make a day of it, and head out to some of the great downtown restaurants and bars after to keep the party going! Check out all Fort Wayne has to offer at Visit Fort Wayne.

Holley Taylor


Holley is a student at Albion College in Michigan studying English with a Creative Writing Emphasis and History. She is excited to be back in her hometown this summer working as a Marketing Intern for Visit Fort Wayne. Holley enjoys reading, writing, dancing, and spending time with family and friends.

Oakwood Resort in Syracuse delights

As wonderful a place like Fort Wayne is to live and visit, there will be times when you want to go someplace special with your family or friends just for a change of scenery, perhaps at “the lake.”

One of my favorite places over the last 4-plus decades has been to the Oakwood Resort in Syracuse.  Fronted on beautiful Lake Wawasee, Indiana’s largest natural lake, the gorgeous rebuilt hotel offers panoramic views not only from its 80 rooms but also from its 10 vacation homes, and 8 airy cabins – and a lovely gazebo on the front lawn for weddings and other special occasions.

boat Oakwood Resort in Syracuse delights

For many years I have been coming to Oakwood (, often spending the weekend fishing and attending its inspirational Boat-in Worship Services on Sundays.

These unique services are very popular with varied watercraft gathering around the front of the inn Sundays from Memorial Day through Labor Day for half-hour services conducted offshore at the Inn at 8:30 a.m.  Houseboats, paddleboats, fishing dinghies, Jet Skis, canoes and other watercraft come from all around and drop anchor. Shore-bound folks relax on the spacious lawn in front of the Inn to hear the Word, in all venues of dress, from suit and tie to bathing suits and flip-flops.  It’s a “come as you are” spiritual gathering.

An offering is taken onshore at the end of two long piers with long fish nets while boaters slowly cruise by to drop in their offering. Each Sunday a different music group provides the songs and the area churches take turns facilitating the homily in a pontoon anchored offshore with pier-mounted speakers so that all may enjoy the soaring music and God-preached sermon.

What a beautiful way to celebrate Matins, among towering shore-bound pines and aspens, sunshine, lifted voices in praise, and sparkling blue waters!  Such a consecrated setting brings to mind, 2000 years ago at the Sea of Galilee, after directing His disciples to cast their nets one more time, which resulted in a miraculous catch, Jesus said, “I will make you fishers of men….”

The new Inn, which rose from the ashes of the old hotel, features The Pier, a full-service restaurant where one can hoist a glass in toast to the happy couple, or just enjoy a leisurely meal with a splendid view of the lake.  The food is top-notch and drool-worthy!

hotel Oakwood Resort in Syracuse delights

There are daily boat tours ($10 per person or complementary for hotel guests) now through August 30, 2014 that begin at 7:30 p.m. Enjoy frequent Lake View Concerts – check the website for more details.  Also, on September 6, 2014, the Chautauqua Wawasee Oakwood Fine Arts Festival ( will be held, with juried artists displaying their work.  October 11, 2014 the OAKtoberfest @ Oakwood Resort will be celebrated.

Come stay at the Inn and take advantage of swimming, sailing, fishing, canoeing and many other activities at the lake.  And let’s not forget winter – there is ice fishing, sledding, ice boating and lots more to enjoy in or around Syracuse!

Have we whetted your appetite for the lake life at Oakwood?  For more information, call 855-WaWaSee(929-2733).



Barb Sieminski is a freelance writer and photographer for several magazines and newspapers. She received her B.A. and M.S. in art and English, from the University of St. Francis. When not chained to the computer, she follows her passion of fishing, believing that all good things come to she who baits . . .