Ring in the New Year – Summit City style

Are you planning to be in Fort Wayne on New Year’s Eve? You’re in for a treat. There is plenty to do and see! Here are a few ideas:

martini 300x166 Ring in the New Year   Summit City style

Make sure you try one of Club Soda’s famous martinis!

For party animals: I always enjoy spending New Year’s at Club Soda. There is always live entertainment, good company–and of course plenty of drinks. If you’re looking to go out but not hit the club, this is a great compromise.

For the kids (or kids at heart): Spend the last day of the year learning about science. Fort Wayne’s own science museum offers an annual family friendly event: Countdown to Noon. Join them for activities and demonstrations, from 10 am to 2 pm,  all centered around New Year’s Eve!

For sports fans: Fort Wayners go crazy for Komets hockey, and it’s easy to see why.  There is always more than enough excitement! Join the Jungle and cheer on the home team as they make another run for a championship.  Come see Icy D. Eagle and the rest of the Komets when they hit the ice for the 2014/15 season at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.

For the romantic types: Looking for a romantic getaway with your beloved? We’ve got you covered. Did you know Fort Wayne has a bed and breakfast/spa in the heart of downtown? Yes,  a couple operates three buildings: the Thomas Snook the Sion Bass House Spa, and the LaSalle house. Each has something different to offer, but we guarantee you’ll feel at home in all of them. Insider’s Tip: If you stay in the Snook House, ask for the Paris room. It’s oh-so-romantic!

For the cultured: Join Fort Wayne’s Heartland Sings for a New Year’s Eve event unlike any other. Heartland’s “Swingin’ Singin’ New Year’s Eve,”  will feature the Heartland jazz vocalists and orchestra. Expect a dynamic, live musical show with dancing, drinks, food and a champagne toast at midnight.  General admission tickets are $60 a person and include admission to the show at the Grand Wayne Center from 9 pm-1 am on New Year’s Eve, as well as hors d’oeurves throughout the evening, one free drink ticket, and a champagne toast at midnight.

Here’s to a happy and safe new year!


Lauren Caggiano was raised in Fort Wayne, and returned in 2007 upon graduation from the University of Dayton. The president of WriteOn LLC, she specializes in writing, marketing, and French translation. In her spare time she enjoys travelling, yoga and volunteering. In the summer you can catch her riding around downtown on her vintage green Schwinn. For more information, check out her website: www.lcagg.com.

Come See a Fairy Tale Classic

One of the joys of watching the Fort Wayne Youtheatre is seeing how the kids work together to present a complete story. Actions and costumes are part of it, but the magic really happens when the stage becomes a window into a new world.

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Artist-in-Residence Harvey Cocks is one of the reasons this stage wizardry happens, and when he is in charge of making a box of children’s plaything come to life, you can bet it will be a quality production.

“The Steadfast Tin Soldier” is a play that will be presented this coming holiday season in the Black Box Theatre, inside the Auer Center for Arts and Culture, 300 E. Main St. This touching fairy tale was originally written by Hans Christian Andersen, the man famous for making other tales, like the Little Mermaid and the Ugly Duckling well-known.

In the tale of “The Steadfast Tin Soldier,” a small toy military member tries to convince a pretty ballerina of his affection. In the original story, a host of trials follows the soldier as he at first attempts to convince, and then, tries to protect the dancer from harm.

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Kids in costume are rehearsing for the Steadfast Tin Soldier play

The Fort Wayne Youtheatre will focus on lending this story a Christmas flavor. There will be holiday carols as well as dancing and plenty of toys to see. With all the music and fun on stage, it will turn the ‘box’ theatre into a living display of playthings. A special dance choreographed by the Fort Wayne Ballet will be a part of the presentation, as will an army of tin soldiers – portrayed by a number of young actors in uniform. On the Sunday performance (2 p.m.), the Fort Wayne Children’s Choir Chamber Singers will also make an appearance.

The Steadfast Tin Soldier was originally presented as the very first play by the Fort Wayne Youtheatre in 1934. Harvey Cocks has revived the play for the Youtheatre’s 80th anniversary and will also be serving as the director. Fear not – the dialogue used for this play will be thoroughly modern, and viewers will have no trouble understanding the plot.

Guests are invited to attend any of the four performances that will take place on December 19 (7 p.m), 20 (11 a.m. and 2 p.m.), and 21 (2 p.m.). Those attending the performance on the 19th are also invited to attend the pre-play party (6 p.m. at Artlink). To learn more about ticket pricing, show times, or to learn more about the play, visit the Fort Wayne Youtheatre webpage and scroll down to “The Steadfast Tin Soldier.”



Louisa is a lifelong Fort Wayne resident. A long-time musician and literature aficionado, Louisa likes to explore the classical music offerings that Fort Wayne has to offer. (She also likes to browse the Allen County Public Library's stacks for just the right book!)

Jam out with Sweetwater Sound

It can be difficult to find something fun to do every night of the week, and quite often Tuesdays get the shaft – not the first day of the week, but not yet the middle either. If you are looking for something to pull you out of your Tuesday slump, or a way to make the most of every day of your vacation, swing by Sweetwater Sound’s Open Acoustic Jam.

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Every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month from 5pm-8pm, Sweetwater clicks on their mics and opens their doors to musicians of all skill levels for a great open jam session. Not only is this a great, FREE venue to hear some amazing live music, it is also an opportunity to swap notes, strings, and lyrics, with other musicians.

While you are there, make sure to check out Sweetwater’s amazing showroom. Browse their amazing selection of guitars, basses, amps, keyboards, studio equipment, acoustic instruments and more. They even have a special Discount Clearance Center where everything is reduced to rock-bottom prices. To top it all off, Sweetwater has an extremely helpful and knowledgeable staff, and they can help you sort out whatever it is you need.

The Open Jam is a great way to spend a Tuesday evening and is complete with great live music, musical support, and fellowship! Don’t miss your chance to try your hand at some acoustic jams and join in the fun!

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.

Have an Afternoon of Winter Fun with the Fort Wayne Dance Collective!

What do belly dancing, taiko drumming, and musical numbers about cold weather have in common?  They’re all featured in the Fort Wayne Dance Collective’s winter show, Nuts and Crackers!

16411 10152789623830199 3620804999947381738 n 300x111 Have an Afternoon of Winter Fun with the Fort Wayne Dance Collective!

In December, the Dance Collective will give a holiday performance at South Side High School that showcases various dance and musical styles, all with a winter theme.  In addition to the belly dancing and taiko drumming, some other highlights will include modern dance, hip hop and jazz dancing, and creative movement.

I personally am very excited about this event because I’ve seen past Dance Collective performances, and they’ve been very professionally done.  Also, I think the talent of young dancers and musicians in the Fort Wayne community is impressive.  Every year at the summertime event Taste of the Arts, the Dance Collective encourages youngsters to join their classes by giving sample performances.  They’re a combination of education plus genuine fun for both the performers and the audience.

So, if you’re looking for a creative way to support the community and get into the Christmas spirit this season, what better way than to come to this show?  I guarantee you’ll be entertained!

Tickets are $13 for adults and $11 for children 12 years old and younger.  You can purchase tickets by calling the Fort Wayne Dance Collective at 260-424-6574.  You can also visit the website here or visit the Facebook page here.

When:  Sunday, December 14, 2014

Where:  South Side High School Auditorium, 3601 S. Calhoun St.

Time:  2:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.

Amanda Reusser


Amanda Reusser is a 2006 graduate from Taylor University-Upland. She has spent the past 6 years living and teaching Drama, English and ESOL in Florida, Indonesia and Austria. While it was fun and insightful, she is very glad to be back home in Indiana. Amanda loves traveling, trying new foods, and learning cultural dances. She enjoys getting to know new people, teaching teenagers, and being involved with her home church.

5 Great Must-Sees While On College Break

Just because the temperatures are getting colder the fun doesn’t have to end. The holidays are full of special events and fun activities for college students in between keeping up with social media as well as their important studies. Students can also access their textbooks online to catch up on a few chapters in between all of the fun activities. Fort Wayne, Indiana is the cultural hub of the northern part of the state and there is a long list of things to do during the holiday break.

Fun on the Ice

Ice skating is a great way to socialize with old high school friends and get in some physical activity. The Headwaters Park Ice Skating Rink opens on November 22, just in time for the holidays.

Headwaters2 5 Great Must Sees While On College Break

If you don’t have ice skates—don’t worry. You can rent some for $2. You can skate seven days a week for $5. There are also extended holiday hours. The rink is located at Headwaters Park East at 311 South Clinton Street.

Participate in a Fort Wayne Tradition

Downtown HolidayFest  continues to the New Year. Check out the 2014 HolidayFest Activities page for a list of the performances, festivals and art events.

High Style Holidays

Looking for unique Christmas gifts and activities on a student budget? High Style Holidays at Fort Wayne’s Botanical Conservatory features a Christmas display emphasizing the era between the first and second world wars.

A throwback to the Roaring ‘20s, you can stroll through the plaza listening to jazz and enjoying the twinkling lights. You can get your picture made at the six foot tall Art Deco reindeer surrounded by colorful poinsettias. During the Night of Lights, the conservatory will have live reindeer.

Botanical conservatory 5 Great Must Sees While On College Break

While you are at the Botanical Conservatory, you can also shop for gifts for the plant lover in your life. The conservatory has extended hours through the holidays and is located at 1100 South Calhoun Street.

Take in Some Culture

Fort Wayne is home to 15 different museums and art galleries and if you get tired of holiday events, Artlink at 300 East Main Street is featuring a unique exhibit. Corrugated is an exhibit of cardboard artwork created by students from the University of Saint Francis and 10 other area artists. The exhibit runs through December 3.

Also at Artlink you can view art created by using markers. Mark It Up features 25 artists in the Freistoffer Family Gallery. In the Betty Fishman Gallery, Charlotte Wehr’s paper dolls made with broken glass and wire will be on display.

Artlink gives patrons a chance to purchase the art they like and classes are offered throughout the holiday season.

See Championship Athletes

For 62 years hockey has been king in Fort Wayne with the Komets winning multiple championships and many players getting their start here before moving on to the NHL. This year the Komets, part of the East Coast Hockey League, are leading their division and play four home games in December in their quest to stay on top of the standings.Kevin St. Pierre 5 Great Must Sees While On College Break

These games are a must-see for sports fans as many of the players and coaches will go on to the National Hockey League. The Komets are affiliated this year with the Colorado Avalanche. You can see the schedule at www.komets.com.

Go Out and Enjoy Yourself

Even the most dedicated college students deserve a break from time to time. With so much to do and see in Fort Wayne, why not go out and soak in some local culture? You may even discover some new inspiration for your next term paper.

Kaila Strong


Kaila is a technology blogger and active online as a writer for over ten years. Her passions include technology, business, travel and much more. She has fond memories of Fort Wayne, spending summers with her grandmother as a child and is also a continued supporter of local businesses in the area.