The Moody Blues Come to Town

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The Moody Blues will take the Embassy stage on August 22nd.

Prepare to be invaded by the English in August when the Moody Blues waltz into the Embassy Theatre at 8 p.m. Friday, August 22, 2014.

The guys who made that gorgeous single, “Nights in White Satin” famous, were known for their fusion of classical music with rock, and have sold more than 55 million albums to date.  Their awards and honors include the NARM Number One World Group Award 1972, 18 platinum records, The Playboy Vocal Group of the Year Award and the Golden Ticket Award for the sale of 100,000 tickets at Madison Square Garden, ASCAP and Performance Awards, Platinum Sales Award (2000) and the Ivor Novello Statue (1984 Outstanding Contribution to British Music).

Some of the Moodies’ most popular songs include “I’m Just a Singer (in a Rock ‘n Roll Band),” “Never Comes the Day,” “Voices in the Sky,” and “Ride My See-Saw.”

They have made videos, CDs, DVDs and television appearances as well as their prolific concert tours worldwide. The harmony and charisma of the group has inspired writers and columnists of many publications to wing continual kudos to the musicians.

The Dallas Morning News, for example, wrote:  “The band showed in its performance why it has endured almost half a century…the harmonies between John Lodge and the band front man Justin Hayward created soaring drama punctuated by the interplay between smoke and light ray.”

According to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, “It all came down to the melodies, which ranged from gorgeously seductive to simply catchy and punchy….the Moodies depend on nostalgic memories of their fans’ youth, but they also know that in the present, these songs can still move the listener.”

Come to the Fort August 22 and let your three favorite English guys – Justin Hayward, Graeme Edge and John Lodge – take you away with their songs of loveliness.

Tickets can be purchased by contacting the Embassy Theatre box office (260.424.5665; 125 West Jefferson Blvd Fort Wayne, IN 46802) or Ticketmaster (1.800.745.3000; www.ticketmaster.com).

Barb

About

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 . . .

Fort Wayne Pride Fest back for its 18th year

Pride has been celebrated in Fort Wayne for decades, but the festival we know today was born in 1997. Since then, Pride Fest has grown in size and popularity. This year, there is even more to enjoy with a week of events! Pride Fest will host events from July 23 – July 28.

Stop by Snickerz Comedy Club on Wednesday night, July 23,  for Pride night. Headliner Kristen Key is sure to keep the audience in stitches. Best known for being a fan favorite on season four of NBC’s “Last Comic Standing,” Key employs music, scripted comedy, and her spontaneous sense of humor to make each one of her shows unique and staggeringly funny. There will also be a silent auction taking place at the comedy show to benefit Fort Wayne Pride’s year-round youth programming.

Then, on Friday, July 25, the real festivities begin. The Kick-off party will start at 7:00 p.m. at Headwaters Park. Admission is just $3 and that earns you entrance to a night long concert, which includes performances by two local bands and a DJ dance party at the end of the night. There will also be food available, vendors’ booths, and a beer tent on site.

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Make sure not to party too hard, though, because the fun begins again bright and early Saturday, July 26.  Beginning at 11:30 a.m. the Pride March will take over the streets of downtown Fort Wayne. The march is open to people of all ages and is free to join; supporters will walk through the streets of downtown and end back at Headwaters in time for the beginning of the festival fun.

Saturday is the day you won’t want to miss. There will be vendors set up from noon – 6:00 p.m., a food and beer tent, a cornhole tournament from 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., and a free KidSpace for children under 12 from noon – 5:00 p.m. The KidSpace will include games, prizes, a moonwalk, and crafts. There will be live entertainment all day with a little something for everyone. Check out some of the best local, regional, and national bands/singers. Saturday night will conclude with Fort Wayne’s finest drag show. Many people’s favorite part of the festival, this show is the largest in Fort Wayne and features some of the area’s best kings and queens. It promises to be a great show and a fun and memorable experience.

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The fun doesn’t stop there, either. Come out to the Fort Wayne TinCaps game on Monday, July 28, for Pride Night. Wear Red and look for the Pride section. You can even purchase your tickets during the festival the weekend before.

Come out to any or all of the Pride Fest activities and help to promote tolerance and equality. Check out Fort Wayne Pride’s webpage for more details about their other events and their organization.

Holley Taylor

About

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.

Fort Wayne for Millennials

Usually defined as people born in the 1980s and 1990s, Millennials recently usurped Baby Boomers as the largest generation. Despite our overwhelming presence in the world, we are often still a bit of an overlooked group. We are often deemed as antisocial (constantly on our phones) or still shoved at the children’s table. There has been so much debate recently about what millennials do and don’t like to do, what we are or aren’t into, and whether we are a more aware generation or just a bunch of selfish brats.

I can’t speak to most of that, but as far as what millennials do and don’t like to do, I know for myself, most of what I do is determined by cost. Going to college is expensive and even if you work it can be difficult to get by. I also know this isn’t likely to change any time soon after graduation because like many of my fellow millennials, I will be paying off my school for a long time.  That is not to say I won’t spend money, but when I do, I want to be sure it is going to be worth it.

So, if you are looking for something to do and are in the same boat as me, here are some things that are either free or worth the money.

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Swinney Park

One of the most often overlooked ways to spend your time in Fort Wayne is out on the trails. Fort Wayne has great parks and over 80 miles of walking, running, and biking trails. Totally free of charge, the trails allow you to enjoy the summer weather and give an interesting perspective of our city. Take a trail you’ve never taken before, find the Japanese garden in Swinney park, or try walking from destination to destination.

It’s especially easy to find things to do in the summer. Fort Wayne has about six different free summer concert series. With so many options, it’s likely that on any given weekend you can find a concert with a band playing music you like. It’s a great way to widen your music horizons and discover some cool new bands. Or, if outside concerts aren’t your scene, a lot of bars in town feature live music. Check out the Acme, the Brass Rail, Club Soda, and the Phoenix.

Summer is also time for farmers markets. There are so many markets that there is one open almost every day of the week, and there is guaranteed to be one close your neighborhood. Even if you don’t spend anything, it is always fun to browse. Still, the prices are usually affordable and it is nice to know that whatever you purchase is locally grown and supports local business. Grab some fresh produce, pack it in a cooler, and have a picnic in one of the many parks.

Going to museums is also a great way to spend the day, but admission prices can be steep. Fort Wayne has over 20 art galleries around town. If you want to see some great art, take a trip to some of our galleries and browse the art for free. One great place to go is Orchard Gallery; run by local artists, every time you stop in, there will be an artist working. Ask them questions about their work and hear about their processes and inspirations.

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Orchard Gallery

If you are willing to spend a little money, check out a movie at the Cinema Center. An art house theater in downtown Fort Wayne, Cinema Center shows great indie and foreign movies and it’s a non-for-profit, so all the money goes back into providing the community with a chance to see films they wouldn’t otherwise have the chance to see. Hit up a matinee to make it even a little easier on the wallet as well.

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Columbia Street West

As another money-needed option, check out some of the great nightlife in downtown. JK O’Donnell’s offer great prices on quality beer, the Deck is a great place to enjoy the weather, the Dash-In has a chill environment and great live music, and Columbia Street has unique charm and a fun atmosphere.

 

There really is a lot to do to occupy your free time in Fort Wayne even on a budget. In a city like ours, there is no excuse to be bored, you just have to think outside of the box. When you are at a loss for what to do, check out Visit Fort Wayne’s Calendar of events.

Holley Taylor

About

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.

Local production of “Hairspray” set to impress

In its 16th year, the Fort Wayne Summer Music Theater will be putting on a production of the classic hit, Hairspray. The musical will be held at IPFW’s Williams Theater Thursday, July 10 – Saturday, July 12 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, July 13 at 2:00 p.m.

The story itself is not new, and in fact has had quite the journey of its own. It made its debut in 1998 when John Walter’s film production of the same name was released. Later, in 2002 Hairspray became a Broadway musical. The  musical was a smashing hit, winning eight out of its 13 Tony nominations. The 2007 film remake was no different. With a star-studded cast, the film did extremely well at the box-office and became the sixth highest grossing musical after Chicago and Grease. 

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Set in 1962 Baltimore, Hairspray tells the story of Tracy Turnblad, a slightly overweight teenager obssessed with the Corny Collins show. Turnblad and her longtime best friend, Penny Pingleton, race home each night to watch the Corny Collins show and are nearly delirious when they discover a spot has opened on the show and auditions will be held. With the help of her friend Seaweed, Tracy manages to make it on the show, though it isn’t a walk in the park. Tensions run high as places on the show suddenly don’t seem so set in stone, and it isn’t long before Tracy makes some enemies. The longer she is on the show, the more Tracy become disillusioned with the way things are running. She decides it’s up to her to make a big change.

Hairspray tackles the racial tensions of 1960s America is a new and exciting way. It’s got love, suspense, drama, and a great soundtrack. Full of wild characters, this musical will have you in stitches.

The Fort Wayne Summer Music Theater’s production will feature students of all ages from all over the city. Founder Kirby Volz will be directing the production. This summer theater program is designed to challenge interested actors and push them to achieve even more.

With a talented cast and crew, this year’s production is sure to be a hit! Don’t miss your chance to see this classic story in living color on stage. Admission is only $15 for adults and $12 for students. Tickets are on sale now, so snag them while you can!

Holley Taylor

About

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.

Chalk Walk 2014 – The Beauty Beneath our Feet

With the Three Rivers Festival fast approaching, that also means this year’s Chalk Walk is just around the corner. One of the favorite events in the festival, the Chalk Walk, brings tens of thousands of visitors to the streets of Fort Wayne to watch the artists creating mind-bending masterpieces right beneath their feet. This year’s Chalk Walk will be held Saturday and Sunday, July 12th and 13th, in the heart of downtown Fort Wayne on main street, just in front of the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, which is hosting the event.

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Chalk Walk 2013

Fort Wayne’s version of street paintings, the Chalk Walk is inspired by the Italian street painters of the sixteenth century. The Madonnari, as they were called, hailed from all over the country; many came into the cities to work on the cathedrals there. Once the churches were complete, the painters looked for other ways to earn a living and found the ground beneath their feet served as endless canvas space. Recreating images from the churches, like the Madonna, (hence their names) during certain holy days soon became a way to earn a few coins. The practice grew until soon many artists were coming together in the streets and creating blocks of impromptu masterpieces. Fast forward to the twentieth century and not only had the practice not faded away, it had begun to be endorsed by local governments and celebrated with festivals.

Here in the twenty-first century, Fort Wayne’s own Chalk Walk is not limited to professional painters and boasts a variety of subjects, styles, and artists. Local, regional, and even national artists of all ages will work diligently all day to create their own once in a lifetime masterpiece for visitors to enjoy. Visitors get the unique experience of watching the artists work and seeing the picture take shape before their very eyes.

Once all the works are completed, prizes will be awarded. This year’s awards are:

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Artist works on her “Despicable Me” submission

  • Trompe l’oeil – French for “fool the eye”
  • Fort Wayne Museum of Art’s 30th Anniversary in Downtown Fort Wayne
  • The Golden Age of American Bicycles
  • Depictions of Fort Wayne Museum of Art Outdoor Sculpture
  • Best Use of a Street Blemish (only for those with cracks and manhole covers in their square)
  • People’s Choice (voted by the attending public)

Be sure to vote for your favorite piece for the People’s Choice award! The Chalk Walk is enjoyable for people of all ages, so bring the family and come watch the streets transform into beautiful works of art before your eyes. While you are there, stop by Art in the Park, the popular juried fine art show and sale going on just further down Main Street.

Holley Taylor

About

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.