Savor Fort Wayne 2015

Savor Fort Wayne is a foodie’s dream come true, and it’s back again this year! With over 25 different eateries participating in the 12 days of deals, this year is sure to be better than ever!

This year’s event kicks off on January 14 and spans through to January 25. As part of the fun, each participating restaurant will offer a special three-course meal at a discounted price you can’t beat! And there is a little something for every taste palette.

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Craving Mexican? Hit up one of Fort Wayne’s best spots, El Azteca. Thinking about getting some sushi? Try either of Asakusa‘s locations in town for great food and a great atmosphere. Or if traditional food is more your speed, head to any one of the Hall’s restaurants, Guesthouse, Gashouse, The Factory, The Tavern, or Triangle Park. There are even some great Italian options, as well like  Casa and Toscani’s.

If you need gluten free or vegetarian dining options, Savor Fort Wayne has you covered, too! Try Red River Steak House or JK O’Donnell’s for gluten free options, and hit up Eddie Merlot’s or Bandido’s for vegetarian meals.

For a full list of all the participants and their menus, check out Savor Fort Wayne’s webpage. Check their Facebook page as well as Visit Fort Wayne’s for updates about the event! Join in the action , and let us know about your Savor Fort Wayne experience by using #SavorFW.

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.

Crazy Christmas Houses 4.0

Christmas in our house is all about the traditions. Keeping with that theme, these annual Crazy Christmas House posts have become quite a tradition for the Insider. It seems you all weren’t satisfied with the list from 2011 or 2012, so I’m back with an updated list of all the houses you want to visit to supercharge your Christmas spirit. (Warning: some of the houses I featured in previous posts are no longer featuring displays, but the ones below are all confirmed for 2014!)

Once again, I’ve created a Google map with each house to help you navigate through and around Fort Wayne. The entire route is around an hour and a half but you should factor in time to sit and enjoy the homes. I recommend starting downtown at the Santa display and dinner at Coney Island downtown, but if you prefer to start from home, simply replace the Coney Island address with your starting address. Complete the experience with your favorite people, a cup of hot chocolate from DeBrand’s, and your favorite holiday tunes in your speakers. The hunt for Crazy Christmas Houses is sure to become one of your own holiday traditions.

Highlighted new additions to the list include:

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Nothing Crooked about Christmas

  • Northwest Fort Wayne, 1618 Crooked Creek Parkway
  • Quiet the car and roll your windows down to hear the Christmas music orchestrating the dancing lights
  • Be sure to check it out from all angles as the lights continue around the house

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Corner on Christmas

  • North Fort Wayne, 4015 Kentland
  • This is the address for one of several homes on the corner of Kentland and Louisedale that go all out with Christmas cheer
  • Enjoy the lights, Nativity and classic Christmas decor covering these homes

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Mallard Lakes Merriness

  • Northwest Fort Wayne, Bufflehead Run
  • Be sure to tune your radio to the station indicated to hear the music the lights dance to
  • The drive through the neighborhood is quite lovely as well, with many neighbors displaying Christmas cheer

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Peppermint Stripes

  • Northeast Fort Wayne, 1904 Pebble Creek
  • The peppermint striped roof is visible from Maplecrest Rd near I-469
  • The entire neighborhood has great, classic decorations for you to enjoy as you wind your way back to this stop


If there are any I’ve missed, please leave a comment! Your favorite house might just make the 5th anniversary list.



We’ve listened to your comments and are back with an update on Crazy Christmas houses. We realize this still isn’t all of them, and they aren’t included on the google map above, but here are a few of the houses that our readers have recommended:

721 Pelham Drive off Washington Center Road in Ludwig Park subdivision. This house has a mail box that says “Letters to Santa.” If a child puts a self addressed stamped envelope with there letter they will get a letter back from Santa.

4940 S. Harrison

St. Louis Ave – Waynedale

Corner of Chancery Place and Willow Grove Drive – Fort Wayne

Emerald Lakes off Covington (complete with Santa in the driveway) – Fort Wayne

13525 Plumbago Court in Vera Cruz off of West Hamilton Road (synchronized to music and collecting food for the needy) – Allen County

Crestwood Colony off North Clinton by Holland Elementary – Fort Wayne

1818 Morgan Creek off Bass Road (synchronized to music) – Fort Wayne

Hartzell Road just south of Moeller Road – New Haven

1504 Duesenburg Drive – Auburn

In Blackmen Prairie on the west end of the addition – Fremont

Corner of Bradbury Ave and Koons St. – Waynedale

Cedar Ridge Subdivision off Butler Road….Canbury/Foxcrof cul-de-sac

Electric Ave. off of Taylor St.

Also, don’t forget the Christmas light displays in the heart of downtown. Stop by the big Santa on the PNC building at Main and Berry, and then hit the Merry Christmas Wreath at the Indiana Michigan Power building. Be sure not to miss the light display on the sky bridge above Calhoun St. or Aunt Millie’s Northern lights off Pearl Street. Drive around and see them all, or if the night is nice, grab a hot chocolate and make the trek.

If that sounds like too much walking, drive down to Franke Park for the Fantasy of Lights; it’s back and bigger than ever this year! Even Jefferson Pointe is lit up for the season. Be sure to check out their towering tree, which is synchronized to Christmas music. No matter where you go in Fort Wayne, you are sure to get a dose of the Christmas Spirit!



A Fort Wayne native, Heather is a married with two children and works as a Senior Associate with MKM architecture + design. She's passionate about serving in the community with organizations including Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northeast Indiana, NeighborLink, Junior Achievement of Northern Indiana, and Big Brothers Big Sisters. In her free time, you’ll find her spending time with her family or friends - most often in downtown Fort Wayne or on Sylvan Lake in Noble County. Team Schoegler's favorite activities are cheering on the TinCaps and Komets as well as catching area concerts. What keeps her calling Fort Wayne home are the many opportunities to make memories and create traditions with her family.

View Comments

8 Responses to "Crazy Christmas Houses 4.0"

Matt Ellenwood
December 17th, 2014
How do we add our house to this list. Pelham Drive off Washington Center road in Ludwig park subdivision. Can't miss our house on Pelham
Jane Janovyak
December 17th, 2014
1312 Monte Carlo Drive Huntertown, IN 46748 The whole Classic Heights neighborhood is a pleasure to drive through, but this house in particular is a stand-out.
Sue Grossnickle
December 16th, 2014
Crooked Creek is with the drive! Love it.
Missy Girardot
December 16th, 2014
13525 Plumbago Court, 1818 Morgan Creek and 1618 Crooked Creek Parkway. ;)
cheryl sanders
December 16th, 2014
My neighbor has done over the top decorating for years. I think he deserves this recognition for his work,it is beautiful In Waynedale at the corner Of Bradbury Ave. and Koons St.
December 14th, 2014
It is now working! Thanks for letting us know!
kurt girardot
December 14th, 2014
Think there are a few more to add what about the 3 that hit the newspaper last Sunday 1818 Morgan Creek drive plumbago court and hartzell road
N. Sheets
December 12th, 2014
Heather, I can not get Google maps to show the locations. Could you please ensure it is working correctly? Thank you! I want to go check them out tonight!
December 12th, 2014
I cant get the map to work? It just takes me to google maps?

Treat Your Cells To a Party at Jai Juice Bar

On the afternoon I stopped by the newly opened Jai Juice Bar I was battling some emotional turpitude that accompanies the first frosty tinges of late fall. Icey drizzle and gusty winds? You’ve got to be kidding me. Stumbling through the door, forcing the elements back out of the cheery, bright space, I was greeted with a warm smile from Jai Juice owner Julia Haller. After a fresh pour-over coffee and a invigorating carrot, apple, and ginger concoction my outlook on seasonal change quickly turned into an open armed embrace. Suddenly “Jai”, meaning “celebrate” in Sanskrit, made perfect sense for this place.

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Located in a beautiful, multiuse brick building at the intersection of Douglas Avenue and Lafayette Street, Jai Juice is the combined effort of Julia and Pranayoga Institute of Yoga and Holistic Health founder Dani McGuire. The cozy building hosts a variety of other Fort Wayne businesses including marketing firm One Lucky Guitar, the Fort Wayne Reader, and a private hair salon also associated with Pranayoga. With 1301 Connect, One Lucky Guitar’s concert venue “The B Side,” and now Jai Juice, the building is swiftly becoming one of Fort Wayne’s great business homes.

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Originally an interior designer with a knack for creating, tearing down, and rebuilding, McGuire has since thrown her hat into yoga practice. Today Pranyoga offers classes at a Southwest studio as well as in their “School of Yoga and Health” adjacent to Jai Juice. McGuire’s original interest in juicing came about while researching for the Pranyoga Foundation’s cancer treatment program. Seeing the momentum juicing was gaining nationally, McGuire thought the time was right for introducing a new component to Pranayoga’s already impressive lineup of yogi-based instruction.

Taking a cue from the Gerson Therapy for cancer treatment, Haller and McGuire invested in a cold-pressing Norwalk juicer in order to retain all of the nutrients from the organic fruits and vegetables utilized. This breaking down of ingredients to the cellular level allows for quick digestion that doesn’t require any of the typical internal “fire” necessary to break down whole food. After the fruits and vegetables have given all they can, the pulp is then composted by “Young Urban Homesteaders” in exchange for kale or other produce.

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When asked why juicing and yoga go so well together, Haller and McGuire state that much like a yoga practice that prioritizes alignment and exercise of internal organs, the emphasis with juicing is on internal wellness through a calm, natural cleansing process. Jai Juice’s proximity to the “School of Yoga and Health” studio space also allows for more opportunities for yoga and food events. Just recently the space played host to the “Mindful Family Fair” which provided education opportunities on nutrition and healthy practices for expecting and new mothers and yoga instruction for kids. Fittingly, Jai Juice provided an assortment of alcohol free juice “mocktails”.

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Jai Juice offers a standard collection of juices as well as the occasional seasonal offering such as, “Hydrate” which combines watermelon and jalapeno. Some winter offerings will incorporate pears, cinnamon, turnips, nutmeg, and pomegranate. Juices titled Green (spinach, apple, cucumber, celery, lemon juice), Purify (beets, apples, lemon), Awake (lemon, cayenne, maple syrup), and Uplift (ginger, carrot, apple) make up a cleanse package loaded with flavor. Customers can either grab a bottled juice to go or they can hang out and try juice flights that allow you to sample 2oz flights of the offerings. Subscription packages are also available for frequent buyers.

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If you’re looking for something with a little bit of caffeine Jai Juice also offers an assortment of teas including White Peony, China Green, Lemon Ginger, Jasmine, Earl Grey as well as seasonal coffee offerings from local roaster Utopian Coffee.

Asking Haller and McGuire to describe their experience with Jai Juice thus far they gave much of the credit to their customers and partners. “The people of Fort Wayne enjoy good quality businesses and unique things…they don’t take it for granted…That’s the rewarding part of owning a business in Fort Wayne.”

You can get the scoop on McGuire’s background and Pranayoga check out Holley’s post from this summer and Kaila’s post from September.

Check out Jai Juice Bar daily from 7:30 am -1:00pm and then from 4:00pm – 8:00pm

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Andy Helmkamp


Andy is a recent arrival from Milwaukee, Wisconsin where he studied film theory and cultural criticism and spent time working with the Milwaukee Film Festival. There was also a lot of roasting and buying coffee thrown in there for good measure. Currently working for the Ft. Wayne Museum of Art and the Allen County Public Library, he's looking forward to exploring all the Fort has to offer. Chances are you'll find him at the Cinema Center, biking, writing, and running (from nothing in particular...weird right?), and pretending to know way more about craft beer than what he actually does.

Discover the Magic of West Central

Fort Wayne’s Historic West Central Neighborhood emerged as a prominent residential area on the banks of the city’s canal in the 1830s. Over time the neighborhood grew from a haven of the working class, putting them within walking distance to their jobs to a retreat for the upper and middle classes. The houses began to grow in size and splendor. Pretty soon the neighborhood was home to a variety of styles spanning the 1830s to the 1950s.

Just west of downtown, Fort Wayne’s West Central neighborhood has remained close to the all the action as our downtown continues to grow and regain prosperity. One of the best ways to enjoy the holiday season, is also one of the most simple ways. Rediscover the hidden beauty of our city!

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Sandwich at JK’s

Step 1: Find a traveling buddy! Whether it is your mom, sister, friend, or significant other, it is always more fun to enjoy the crisp evening air with a friendly face.

Step 2: Enjoy a nice dinner to keep you warm. Downtown Fort Wayne is home to some of the best local restaurants. Enjoy classic Italian cuisine at Toscani’s, sample some Irish pub fair at J.K. O’Donnell’s, or treat yourself to an epic grilled cheese and tomato soup like you’ve never had before at The Dash-In. Wherever the place, make sure you get your fill!

Step 3: Get a warm beverage to begin the walk. Fortezza Coffee has a great selection of your favorite soul-warming beverages. Grab a peppermint mocha to really set the mood, or stick to a nice hot chocolate or chai tea if you want to stay away from caffeine.

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home in West Central

Step 4: Set out to enjoy the sites! Head down to the West Central neighborhood and take a stroll back in time, through Fort Wayne’s rich history, as you follow the neighborhood along the river. Many of the homes put out lovely light displays for the season, so those can be your beacons. Allow yourself to just wander along and not worry about directions; bop from lighted house to lighted house. Enjoy the quite of the night and the streets.

Stroll down Berry, Wayne, and Washington streets to see the where the city’s most prominent families used to reside. Some of these homes include the former residences of Ronald MacDonald, the owner of the General Electric Plant, and H.G. Olds, the owner of the wagon and railroad car works.

Pick up a map at the Visitors Center, or download one here. Anyway you decide to do it, Fort Wayne’s West Central neighborhood is a treasure of the city and well worth a visit!

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.

Fort Wayne Youtheatre Presents “Steadfast Tin Soldier”

On December 19, 20 and 21, Fort Wayne Youtheatre will present “Steadfast Tin Soldier,” Hans Christian Andersen’s heartwarming story of a toy soldier’s struggle to win the heart of his ballerina true love.  These performances will be particularly special because the Youtheatre opened its doors with the same show, its very first production, way back in 1934!

The Steadfast Tin Solider 2 300x300 Fort Wayne Youtheatre Presents Steadfast Tin SoldierThe Auer Black Box Theatre will be transformed into a Christmas toy box,  complete with holiday carolers. Patrons will also enjoy an original dance by the Fort Wayne Ballet! As a special treat, Sunday’s show will also include a performance by the Fort Wayne Children’s Choir Chamber Singers.

Performance Schedule
Friday, December 19 at 7 p.m. (Pre-Show Party at Artlink at 6 p.m.)
Saturday, December 20 at 11 a.m. & 2 p.m.
Sunday, December 21 at 2 p.m.

Call (260) 422-4226
Buy online

After you take in a show, why not do something extra special? Hop on a horse-drawn carriage ride and enjoy the holiday lights downtown!

youtheatre 150x150 Fort Wayne Youtheatre Presents Steadfast Tin Soldier

This is a special year for the Youtheatre. 2014 marks its 80th anniversary! This makes it one of the oldest children’s theaters in the United States. Have a look at its history here.

Fort Wayne Youtheatre is located at:

303 East Main Street
Fort Wayne, IN   46802
(260) 422-6900

Wendy Sack


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.