Auburn Cord Duesenberg Festival guaranteed to keep you busy

We’ve all heard the old adage, “They don’t make ‘em like they used to.” While you may debate the validity of that statement at times, I think we can all agree that as far as cars go, there is no question. Come out to celebrate the art of classic cars at the Auburn-Cord Duesenberg Festival.

The ACD Festival will run from August 28-31. The world’s greatest celebration of classic cars features a car show, a 5k race, a two giant auctions selling hundreds of collector cards, a beer tent, a parade, three outstanding museums, and more! This event offers such a variety of activities there is no shortage of ways to entertain the whole family.

With so many different goings-on, it can be hard to pick which ones to attend. Here is a list of a few must-sees.

Start the weekend off right with a night at the Speakeasy. Step back in time on Friday night, August 29, from 5:00 – 11:00 pm at the Auburn Moose Family Center on 10th and Main. The event is free to attend but food and spirits are additional. This night promises to be a night of fun, great food, music, fellowship, and even better drinks!

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For something a little more family friendly, come out Saturday, August 30. Start out with a visit to the Club Car Show, which is open from 7:00 am – 1:00 pm at Eckhart Park. The cost is only $5 for adults and $3 for children; children 3 and under are free.

Saturday also offers a special treat for the kids. From 9:30 – 11:00 am there will be kids games and fun in Eckhart Park near the Club Car Show. Or, let them go wild at the Ultrazone Activity Area. The play area will include Euro bungee, a rock wall, and a bounce house! Make sure and grab lunch while you are there too from some of the great local food trucks. Trucks will be parked at Courthouse Square from 11:00 am on.

Another must-hit is the Arts and Crafts Show on Sunday. This is a little more laid back, so walk through the vendors and admire the art and shop at your leisure. The fair will run from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm in downtown Auburn. Nearly 100 vendors will be present from all disciplines including pottery, stained glass, ceramics, wood, and more!

It’s easy to spend the day and even more at the ACD Festival. Head down for some great family fun and a unique experience unlike any other!

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.

The Inside Scoop – A Visitor’s Experience in Fort Wayne

The Fort Wayne Visitors Center greets thousands of guests over the year, and some have amazing stories to share with us! Take James Loker-Steele, a British visitor who returns to Fort Wayne each year for his vacation. His love for Fort Wayne inspired us, and we wanted to share it with you:

James Loker-Steele has been coming to Fort Wayne for vacation for years. Hailing from Bury St. Edmunds, England, near Cambridge, Loker-Steele discovered Fort Wayne by a random coincidence of fate.  In 1998, he was chatting with a woman on AOL instant messaging and decided to come visit her. He thought, “Why not? I love America, and I’ve been loads of places but never heard of Fort Wayne.” While things did not work out as he planned with the woman, his heart was touched, and it was the city of Fort Wayne that he fell in love with that first trip.

Since then, Loker-Steele comes back to Fort Wayne every year he can. “When I came the first time, it was such a good time, I got to know all her family and friends and was treated like part of the family, and I really liked that,” he explains. Loker-Steele was pulled in by our Midwestern hospitality, but stayed for the attractions and opportunities to relax.

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The Loker-Steele boys at Northside pool

One of the reasons he keeps coming back is the laid back attitude here. “It’s really quite relaxing and there’s no pressure to do anything,” he laughs. This kind of freedom is really what Loker-Steele is looking for in a vacation. Still, he admits, there is a lot to do if you want to be busy.

Every time he comes, he tries to make it to a TinCaps game. “That’s a big must-see!” he says. Beyond the great time and classically American experience, Fort Wayne baseball is special to Loker-Steele. Back when the TinCaps were still playing out at the Coliseum as the Fort Wayne Wizards, Loker-Steele attended one of their games; it was the first baseball game he’d ever been to.

Loker-Steele is a fan of all Fort Wayne sports. If you end up making it to Fort Wayne in the winter and can’t visit Parkview Field, no worries. Loker-Steele recommends a Komets game instead. He found  the game has a great atmosphere and enjoyed the excitement of ice hockey.

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Family fun at Putt-Putt Fun Center

Still, summer is his favorite time to be in the city. Since having two boys of his own, who are now two and four, Loker-Steele is discovering more and more to do in the city.  The family enjoys going to Putt-Putt Fun Center for the mini-golf and speedway race track. Loker-Steele only had time to snap a few pictures he admitted as he spent most of his time trying to teach his boys how to golf.

The family also took full advantage of the splashpads and pools in the city. Northside pool and the splashpads proved to be a great place for the family to relax and beat the heat.

If you are here during the summer months, Loker-Steele recommends coming for the Three Rivers Festival or the Fourth of July. “Those are great times to be in America, and specifically in Fort Wayne,” he offers.

Another one of his must-sees was the Courthouse. Not only is it part of Fort Wayne’s history, but it also a beautiful buildings and a feat of architecture and design.

If you want to do something a bit more active and something that may please the kiddies more, then Loker-Steele would say check out Science Central. This hands-on science learning center also made his short list of must-sees.

From the first time Loker-Steele visited Fort Wayne, he knew it was something special. “As soon as I got back after that first time going, I told my boss, ‘I’m going to go back in a couple of months’.” Loker-Steele enjoys Fort Wayne because he feels it is true America. “It’s not a touristy or plastic part of America, it’s real,” he reveals. While raising his family and dealing with the other hurdles life throws, he hasn’t been able to come as often as he’d like to recently, but attests he’s move here in a heartbeat if he could swing it! “You know how they say home is where the heart is, well I live in England, but my heart is in America. Fort Wayne, more specifically. Fort Wayne is my spiritual home.”

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.

Casa’s: The Best Italian Food in Town

Mmm – ask anyone around town what “Casa’s” is, and they will be hungry instantly.

Casa Ristaurante Italiano is a collection of four Italian restaurants, scattered around the Summit City. Started in 1977 by two friends, Tom Casaburo and Jimmy D’Angelo, the restaurants are still run, today, by the same families. Locations are on Stellhorn Road, Dupont, West Jefferson and Parnell. Each restaurant is sit-down casual-formal, with an atmosphere appropriate for a family or for some business luncheons. Whether you order ahead for take-out or decide to sit down and read the menu, the experience will be good.

A favorite dish that you might find if you are asked to a banquet or catered celebration is Casa’s lasagna. The layers of tender lasagna noodles harmonize beautifully with sweet tomato sauce and rich cheese. One serving of lasagna is good for one meal – there will be no leftovers!

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Gluten free pizza at Casa includes some variety in pizza toppings – in this case, sausage pepperoni and cheese.

Another staple of the Casa restaurants is their salad. Called “Insalata Casaburo,” this dish is filled with crunchy lettuce, dashes of red pepper, sliced green onions, cheese and crunchy-rich croutons. Special salad dressing blends all the flavors together into a mild, black pepper Caesar tang.

If you want to peruse the main menu of entre options, Casa offers pizzas, salads, and a whole thesaurus of different pastas. If you’re not into tomato-based sauces, why not try the Fettuccine Alfredo? Meaty fettuccine noodles are swathed in a thick, white cheese sauce that is lightly flavored but filled with staying power. This dish, should you order the dinner portion, is good for at least two meals, if not three. Yes, it does heat up well as a leftover lunch – it smells and tastes just as good the next day.

In the event that you ask for a serving that includes seafood, be warned: the shells come with the mussels. Linguine con Vongole – linguine with baby clams – is loaded with plenty of pasta, light butter or tomato sauce, and tender cooked clams still in the shell. You can ask for the clams to be pre-shelled, so you don’t have to work through a pile of hard carapaces mid-meal.

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Creamy chicken alfredo is one of Casa’s best simple and delicious dishes.

One dish that I’ve known to get especially rave reviews is the Pollo al Griglia – grilled chicken with roasted Italian vegetables. The veggies come in hearty chunks: carrots, summer squash, etc. The chicken is served separately. It’s not a carb-heavy meal, but you will feel satisfied after having had it, since the portions are large.

For the gluten-sensitive patron, Casa offers an entire menu of pastas, pizzas, salads and soups. The vegetarian menu (further down on the list for gluten-free items) is also extensive, including appetizers, salads, pastas and pizzas.

Fort Wayne’s Casa restaurants are a taste sensation not to be missed. Whether it’s a warm platter of spaghetti with a giant meatball, or a prim plate of greens, the food here is good. Its comfort food like you only wish you could cook.



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!)

Five things you need to know about the 2014 Hotel Fitness Championship

The 2014 Hotel Fitness Championship is fast approaching! The tournament—held Aug. 25-31 at Sycamore Hills Golf Club—is one of four Tour Finals events that will determine the 50 players who earn cards for the 2014-15 PGA TOUR season.

sponsor logo Five things you need to know about the 2014 Hotel Fitness Championship

Before you head out, there are a number of things you should know about the tournament that you may not already be aware of:

1. Military and kids policy

The Hotel Fitness Championship is committed to honoring those who serve by offering free admission to military personnel all week. Military personnel must display a valid military ID and visit the Tickets & Will Call office onsite at Sycamore Hills Golf Club. Kids ages 16 and under also receive free admission any day of the tournament when accompanied by a ticketed adult (up to two kids per adult). Come out and enjoy the tournament with the whole family, and don’t forget parking is free!

2. Hometown Team Day

New this year, the Hotel Fitness Championship will be hosting Hometown Team Day on Aug. 30 in partnership with the TinCaps, Komets and Mad Ants. All fans wearing local professional team logos to the tournament (Hotel Fitness Championship gear included) will receive a free Hotel Fitness Championship program at the gate. There will also be an autograph session with each team’s mascot from 12:30-2 p.m. in the expo area!

3. Charity impact

The tournament benefits the Mad Anthonys Children’s Hope House, which provides temporary lodging for families with a hospitalized child receiving critical care at any Fort Wayne community hospital, and the Evans Scholars Foundation, which provides full housing and tuition scholarships to deserving caddies across the country.

4. Main Street Bistro Lounge

The Hotel Fitness Championship and Fort Wayne’s Main Street Bistro & Martini Lounge are teaming up to bring an exciting social element to Sycamore Hills Golf Club this year. Main Street Bistro will manage the upgraded Main Street Lounge pavilions on the 9th and 16th greens, providing sheltered seating with a view of golf, signature cocktails and unique food options for purchase.

Patrons who purchase the tournament’s upgraded tickets will get both grounds access and entry into the lively Main Street Lounge pavilions. Giveaways and prizes will be distributed throughout the day each time a player records a birdie on holes 9 or 16. The upgraded ticket options are:

  • One Day Championship Round Main Street Lounge Ticket ($50): Valid one day of your choice, Aug. 28–31
  • Four Day Championship Round Main Street Lounge Ticket ($115): Valid each Championship Round, Aug. 28-31

5. Autographs

Want to capture a signature from your favorite golfer? Autographs may be requested and given at the player’s convenience during the Pro-Ams or practice rounds, Tuesday and Wednesday. Some players may choose to sign autographs after competition Thursday-Sunday. The practice areas are typically the best locations to seek autographs.

We look forward to seeing you later this month at Sycamore Hills! To learn more or purchase tickets, visit



A native of Fort Wayne, John started with Visit Fort Wayne in June 2012. He serves as the Media Specialist in the Group Sales Department, helping with marketing, public relations, social media and sales strategies. John graduated from Indiana University in 2008, with a degree in sports communication and minor degree in telecommunications. While in Bloomington, he interned at Indiana magazine, writing as a basketball recruiting columnist. He graduated from Bishop Luers High School in 2004. Outside of the office, John likes to exercise, hit the golf course, play the drums and spend time with family and friends. A sports enthusiast, he is a diehard Indiana Hoosiers basketball fan.

Maker Faire Celebrates All Things Creative and Handmade September 13-14

Are you a creative at heart? Did you enjoy crafts as a child? Or maybe your own children are at the age where they are doing crafts themselves. If so, this year’s Maker Faire is the place to be!

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The Fort Wayne Regional Maker Faire is the celebration of creativity and all things handmade. This year’s event takes place September 13 and 14, so there’s plenty of time to save the date and plan a trip to Fort Wayne, Indiana for this special event.

This family-friendly festival will include crafting projects, learning, recycling and building projects and more. All activities are inspired by celebrating the arts and crafts. There will also be food available and live music. In short, here visits will find DIY science and technology projects, bicycles, electronics, alternative energy vehicles, art cars, electronics and much more!

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For more information on the Fort Wayne Regional Maker Faire (including ticket information) visit the event website. The faire takes place at Headwaters Park East, conveniently located downtown.

Insider Tip: Before or after this year’s Maker Faire, take the family to enjoy other child-friendly attractions in Fort Wayne such as the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo and Science Central!


Previously a news reporter at daily newspapers in Indiana and Ohio, Holly Hammersmith now enjoys the lighter side of writing through freelance work. In her spare time, Holly can be found running or practicing yoga. She also enjoys visiting local coffee shops and day-tripping. Holly lives with her husband, dog Lulu and half a dozen houseplants. Find Holly on Twitter @HFHammers and at