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.

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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 www.fort4fitness.org.

Mike

About

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.

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.

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

Tuesdays

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.

 

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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.

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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

About

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.

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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.

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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

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.

Mark Your Calendars for the 2014 Johnny Appleseed Festival!

A child clasping a bunch of dried corn husks, a glitter of sunlight on antique glass and the mouthwatering sight of dozens of Dutch ovens bubbling away over open fires – this must be the Johnny Appleseed Festival. It’s on September 20 and 21, this year.

Women in long, calico dresses, men in straw hats, and kids with all sorts of nineteenth-century gadgets will be at this event, which was created to celebrate the life of American frontiersman Johnny Appleseed. This man with a tin pot on his head planted dozens of apple trees throughout Midwestern America, and legend has it that Appleseed spent his final days here, in the Fort Wayne region under the care of local settlers.

In recognition of one of Fort Wayne’s most famous folk figures, the Summit City holds a festival in September, when the apple crop is at its peak. Everything ‘apple’ is here at the festival, along with a ton of other wonderful goods and finds.

Like music? Stroll over to one of several stages set up on the festival grounds. You’ll hear everything from Suzuki violin and cello players to banjo and voice combos. Cloggers kick up their heels to tunes like “Buffalo Gals Won’t You Come Out Tonight” and “Old Joe Clark.” Story tellers gather kids and their families to tell tales about animals and pioneers – with a fair amount of story stretching in the process.

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These are some of the colorful fresh flowers for sale at the Farmer’s Market at the Johnny Appleseed Festival.

But don’t think that this is only a performance-based event. No – if you like to shop, then put on your good shoes and prepare to be outside in the woodsmoke and sunshine for hours. There is a little bit of everything here. Want to find a pot of fresh mums to decorate your doorstep? Check out the Farmer’s Market. You can also purchase fresh vegetables, apples, cut flowers and pumpkins by the dozens.

Or maybe you like hand-crafted goods – well, step up to the rows of artisan booths, where hand-beaded necklaces, painted glass, silverware-turned-jewelry, and cute cabin night lights are all waiting to find a home. Potpourri, soaps made from goat milk, and a plethora of other household products can be found here, too. And don’t forget about the pottery and hand-fashioned metalwork – everything from shining copper to ebony cast iron is there, with the workmen and women present, to tell you how they completed each project.

Historical re-enactors camp out on the banks of the St. Joe River, where they routinely fire their cannons on the hour. For the most part, the re-enactors demonstrate Civil War practices and costumes, but you’ll also find some Revolutionary War and 1812-era costumes. Don’t forget to look for General Lee from the South – his gray uniform stands out strikingly against the dark blue of the many Union troops.

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Calico pioneer dresses at one booth, where customers are welcome to explore and purchase just the right frock.

And then there is the food. For some folks, this is the main draw of the festival. Giant containers of root beer are for sale – check out the keepsake blue and brown glass bottles.  Turkey soup, pork chops, barbecued sandwiches, lemonade, and caramel popcorn are some of the offerings. You have to browse along the rows of tents and perhaps ask the person ahead of you to find out what’s being made. If it smells good, undoubtedly, there will be a line – a long one. But it’s the Johnny Appleseed Festival – and coming to explore the event is free. Why not sample one of the best festivals that Fort Wayne has to offer?

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Mmm – smell the food cooking? These chefs use open fires and Dutch ovens to produce delectable dishes in the pioneer style.

Louisa

About

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!)

TekVenture’s Maker Faire is a Creative Delight for Everyone

Question:  What do puppets, rockets, and musical therapy have in common?

Answer:  They all entertained audiences at last year’s Fort Wayne Regional Maker Faire!

This year’s Fort Wayne Regional Maker Faire will be held on September 13 and 14 in Headwaters Park, downtown, and these forms of entertainment are likely to reappear!  The Maker Fair is supported by TekVenture, a local program that encourages people of all ages to share their invention ideas and engage in experiments.

In my opinion, this Faire is definitely one of the COOLEST attractions to visit the city, and I plan on attending it for several reasons.

As an educator, I think it is necessary to see the natural, coherent blend of science with the arts, math, technology, and even athletics.  At the Maker Faire, local and regional Makers educate and entertain guests with their inventions – from whimsical pieces of art, to functioning, giant puppets, to rocket launches and electric demonstrations.  These remind us – especially kids – that we can make inspiring and useful creations using more than one subject area.

pig plane TekVenture’s Maker Faire is a Creative Delight for Everyone

It’s a pig – it’s a plane – it’s…a pig plane!

As an adult, I myself am mesmerized by new inventions.  The Makers at the Faire captivate and engage both adults and children in their work, such as in demonstrations for using tools, assembling aircraft, and blowing glass.  I appreciate the Faire because it promotes creativity, hands-on techniques, and patience, which I think are great reminders for everyone.

Kids are encouraged to come and explore the Faire.  This is a beneficial experience for them, as some Makers are kids themselves, giving their own demonstrations and teaching others about their techniques.

Lastly, the Maker Faire is an excellent way to support artisans in the local and regional community!  Fort Wayne is filled with many talented minds, and this is one of the best ways to showcase them.

Check out TekVenture’s Maker Faire 2014 yourself and learn something new!

You can view last year’s schedule here to see other activities at the Maker Faire.

Info for Maker Faire 2014:
Saturday – Sunday, September 13 & 14
10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Headwaters Park Lincoln Pavilion (map)

Ticket and parking information can be found here.

Amanda Reusser

About

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.