2014 Winter Jam Tour Spectacular

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The Winter Jam Tour Spectacular which began in 1995 has highlighted many of the outstanding names in Christian music, such as TobyMac, Third Day, Steven Curtis Chapman and others.  One of its goals was to bring these musicians to different cities at a low cost; therefore, there are no tickets to buy.  Admission is $10 at the door on the day of the show.

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Colton Dixon

The tour – founded by Newsong – is said to be “from a single concert in Greenville to the largest annual tour in the world,” and thrills its audience with its vast repertoire of contemporary sacred music.   

The Coliseum is located at 4000 Parnell Avenue, Fort Wayne, IN 46805, and the phone number is 260.482.9502.  Parking is $5 for the Main Lot and $8 for the Preferred Lot.  Doors open at 6:00 p.m. with showtime at 7:00 p.m. The Tour’s website is www.jamtour.com.

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There is also an opportunity to join Jam Nation which offers Individual Platinum, Group Premium and Group Basic memberships and benefits such as securing select seating, free and early admission to one Winter Jam Show, a Jam Nation T-shirt, and many more.

Come praise God through these incredible musicians and their blessed talents! 



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 . . .

The Embassy Theatre – A Hometown Point of View

What does it mean to live in Fort Wayne? Is there one place – one landmark – in our hometown that best captures our spirit? I think there is. Now, ask a hundred different people that question, you may get a hundred different answers. Heck, some of the landmarks they name may not even exist anymore. Honestly, though, that’s what I think it means to live here – history. We are all of us constantly aware of the through lines that connect us to the past and continue into the future. And to me, there is nowhere in this city that embodies that – and us – better than the Embassy Theatre.

I started training as an Embassy volunteer last August, and although I’ve lived in Fort Wayne my entire life, I had never really appreciated it as the crown jewel of the city that it is. The first event I worked was the Tunnel Tour, the Embassy’s contribution to Fright Night, the city’s annual Halloween celebration. It wasn’t long into that first shift that I could see why this place was so beloved, so…well, sacred. There aren’t a lot of venues like this left in the U.S., and certainly not ones that were saved by a bunch of regular folks who pitched in, who spent their nights and weekends, their blood, sweat, and tears, to renovate and renew a theatre that had fallen into disrepair. But again, that’s what we do in Fort Wayne. We come together when our neighbors need us.

I’ve worked a few events since then – the Festival of Trees, the Indiana Music Education Association (IMEA) Professional Development Conference, Scottish Fantasy. These events have brought so many different kinds of people to the Embassy, but all those people have something in common (especially the people who have never been to the Embassy before): a sense of wonder. I feel it every time I walk in, I feel it when I sit in the audience, and lucky me, I feel it when I stand on the stage. Practice sure never got me there, but at least volunteering has.

So for anyone who’s never had an Embassy experience, create one. Go see a musical, a stand-up comedian, a ballet. Take the tour. Volunteer! That we have this amazing venue right here in Fort Wayne is something so many of us – including me not so long ago – take for granted. The least you can do now is take in a show.



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.

Casting Crowns

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Contemporary Christian Rock group Casting Crowns will bring their “Thrive” tour to the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum

Winter’s a good time to stay home by the fireside while the snowy winds make you glad you’re not out and about.  But you may want to don your Polartec fleece jacket and boots and brave the Great White Wolf called “Winter” along with other area folks at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum on February 21, 2014, and warm up to the sounds of Casting Crowns.

The Florida-based Christian rock group will be showcasing their brand-new album, “Thrive” which will be out January 28, 2014.  Starting as a student worship band in 1999 by youth pastor / lead vocalist Mark Hall, the group flourished and recorded several hit albums over the years, including “Lifesong,” “The Altar and the Door,” “Until the Whole World Hears,” and “Come to the Well.”  Fans who welcomed the contemporary sounds of Mark Hall (youth pastor and founder, songwriter and lead vocalist), Juan DeVevo (guitarist), Megan Garrett (keyboards), Andy Williams (percussion), Josh Mix (lead guitar), Melodee DeVevo (violin) and Hector Cervantes (lead guitar), Brian Scoggin (percussion) and Chris Huffman (bass guitar) will eagerly await the group’s latest songs among their old favorites at the concert.

Be sure to wear your groupie T-shirts in a show of love for the popular rockers!

Casting Crowns will perform at 7:00 p.m. at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum (4000 Parnell Avenue, (260) 482-9502), Fort Wayne, IN on Friday, February 21, 2014.  Doors may be open 2 hours before show time, but it is best to check just in case you’re thinking of going early, or if you’re coming into town from a distance.  Online tickets may be purchased at www.ticketmaster.com, Ticketmaster Mobile App  or charge-by-phone at 800.745.3000 or by TDD at 800.359.2525.  More information is available at 260.483.1111 at the Coliseum Ticket Office.



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 . . .

Best Places to Take Visiting Family in Fort Wayne

I love living in Fort Wayne but sadly I live at least 5 hours away from all of my family members.  This means that when my family comes to visit they’re often here for a few days and we have to find things to entertain them.  Our outings vary depending on the time of the year but here are a few ideas to help you keep family busy and still have fun.

The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo and Science Central

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Enjoy a day at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo – rated Indiana’s #1 “Gotta Do”!

My mom is a big fan of giraffes and there’s no better place to see them up close than at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo.  She can feed the giraffe’s and get up close and personal.  The zoo is great fun for children and adults alike.  You don’t want to miss this world class attraction.

When my nieces and nephews are in town we take in Science Central.  It’s a great place for kids to run and explore indoors while learning lots of cool stuff about science.  Science Central is sure to teach the adults a few things too.

Allen County War Memorial Coliseum

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The Memorial Coliseum is a great venue with a lot going on throughout the year!

The Allen County War Memorial Coliseum is home to many special events throughout the year including concerts, Expos, and much more.  A family favorite among the women in my family is the Vera Bradley Outlet Sale.  This year it will take place April 9-13 with thousands coming from around the globe.  Be sure to plan your fun in advance.

Summer Festivals

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Venture out to one of the summer’s great festivals downtown.

Fort Wayne is know for it’s festivals at Headwaters Park and throughout Downtown Fort Wayne.  Whether you’re taking in German Fest, Taste of the Arts, Pride Fest, or Three Rivers Festival you’re sure to find something the entire family will enjoy.


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The Fort Wayne Komets are in season from October – April.

We love our semi-professional sports here in Fort Wayne.  Depending on the time of year, take in a Tincaps baseball game, a Komets Hockey match, or Mad Ants basketball game.  Tickets are reasonable often start at under $10 per person in some cases and all venues provide great up-close access you wouldn’t get at major league stadiums.


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Enjoy the fresh air and shop outdoors at Jefferson Pointe.

With retailers like Vera Bradley and DeBrand Fine Chocolates headquartered in Fort Wayne you can bet we love to shop.   Whether you enjoy Glenbrook and Jefferson Point Mall or opt for local delights like the Creative Women of the World Store downtown, spend a day looking for bargains and enjoying time together.

For even more great ideas of what to do with your friends and family from out of town, check out these ideas from Visit Fort Wayne!



Michelle Merritt moved to Fort Wayne in 2008 and has found it to be one of the most warm and welcoming cities she's ever lived or worked in. She and her husband Jason live and work in downtown Fort Wayne. Together they are blending their big city urban experiences into life in America's biggest small town. Michelle writes and manages The Momish Blog and the Merrfeld Manor Blog. She is also a contributor to Moms Fort Wayne and The Paperblog where she writes about the joys and challenges of step parenting. Michelle also works as a professional career coach and recruiter.

Get your fix of local music at Down the Line: Legends from Locals

If there’s one show I look forward to every year it’s Down the Line: Legends from Locals. I enjoy this event for two reasons. First, it features some of Fort Wayne’s best musical acts in a one-of-a kind venue. Second, and perhaps most important is the fact that it’s a benefit for the historical Embassy Theatre. So that means you can help ensure one of Fort Wayne’s landmarks stays around for years to come.

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The Hope Arthur Orchestra is a compelling, ever growing (roughly 25 members currently) ensemble of Fort Wayne, Indiana based musicians performing the intriguing, heart wrenching, and overall entertaining original compositions of Hope Arthur.

One notable thing about this event is no two shows are the same. Local acts cover well-known acts across a variety of genres. For example, last year we heard covers of The Talking Heads juxtaposed with the music of Journey. Each band put its own twist on the music of these legendary bands. It’s also neat to see several generations enjoying the music together. They say music unites us, and this show is proof of that.

So what’s on tap for this year?  Experience David Bowie as performed by the Hope Arthur Orchestra. Rock with Van Halen by the Little Green Men. Encounter Lou Reed and the music of the Velvet Underground from Heaven’s Gateway Drugs. Relive the music from the Allman Brothers Band from Phil’s Family Lizard and rock the house to AC/DC performed by the River Bottom Nitemare Band with special guest, the O-Tools Bagpipe Brigade.

I’ve had the fortune to see most of these bands play before, and I can ensure you’re in for a treat. And the venue is a treat in and of itself. There is not a bad seat in the house, you’ll discover.

Tickets for this all-ages show on Feb. 22 are $12 in advance and $15 the week of the show. A limited number of early entry tickets are also available for $20. Tickets are on sale now at the Embassy Theatre box office, all other Ticketmaster locations and Ticketmaster.com.


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.