A Night out in Fort Wayne

Sometimes it can be overwhelming trying to decide where to go out on the weekends in a new city. There are bars around the corner and across town, but it’s hard to know which one will be able to give you the night out you are looking for. But you’re in luck; Visit Fort Wayne has got you covered! Check out our Nightlife guide to see which fits your idea of a great night out!

If you like Dancing: 

Check out Flashbacks on the Landing. Fort Wayne’s only retro night club, Flashback plays the best hits of the 70s, 80s, and 90s for your dancing pleasure. With two full service bars and two levels of dancing, Flashback is always a good time! They also have Ladies’ Night on Friday, where ladies get in for free, and drink specials on Friday and Saturday nights, they make sure the weekends are not only fun, but affordable.

If you like Karaoke:

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Arena Bar and Grill

Hit up the Green Frog Inn on Friday nights for American Idol karaoke starting at 9:30 p.m. Stop in early for some of their great eats, and check out a little Fort Wayne history – their walls are covered in it! One of the favorite haunts for locals, the Green Frog is a friendly place with a fun, upbeat atmosphere. On Saturday nights, sing your hearts out at Arena Bar and Grill. Starting at 10:00 p.m., this sports bar’s got it all! Sing some karaoke, play a game of pool. and check out the big game. This bar is sure to give your whole party a night they won’t forget.

If you want a chill night out:

head to JK O’Donnell’s. This local neighborhood bar offers the best in drinks, company, and atmosphere. This relaxed Irish pub is a great place to go and grab a drink and catch up with friends. It isn’t too loud to talk comfortably with your party and the food and drinks won’t disappoint. If you’re feeling adventurous, go up to the bar and roll the die to determine your drink!

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JK O’Donnell’s

If you want something new and exciting:

try Fort Wayne’s dueling piano bar, Rum Runners. The only dueling piano bar in town, Rum Runners offers great music, a fun and exciting atmosphere, and weekend drink specials, it is sure to be a great time!

For the summer, if you want somewhere to enjoy the weather:

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The Deck

grab a seat at The Deck at Don Hall’s Gashouse. On the banks of the St. Mary’s river behind the Gashouse, this is the place to be in the summer months. Not only do they have great food, but they also have a great drink selection and welcoming atmosphere. The Deck is a great place to go with friends for a chill summer night.

No matter what you are looking for in a night out, Fort Wayne’s got you covered. Check out all the different places to go at our Nightlife page!

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.

25th Annual Allen County Fair Runs July 22-27

The 25th annual Allen County Fair is set to open Tuesday, July 22 at the Allen County Fairgrounds, 2726 Carroll Road in northwest Fort Wayne.

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The fair runs July 22-27

Home to Allen County 4-H, the Allen County Fair showcases a multitude of animal showings and events throughout the week-long event. That’s in addition to all of the traditional fair fun like food (a full food court!), rides, a parade, fireworks,  live music and Kids’ Day!

Some special events include:

  • Team Pig Wrestling
  • Hot Air Balloon Flight/Glow
  • 4X4 Truck Pull
  • Demolition Derby
  • Mud Bog
  • Donkey Races
  • Youth Talent Contest
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Wrestle a pig. You know you want to!

A bonus to all of the week’s activities, there are also a couple of pre-fair events to check out. First, come and hear Hubie Ashcraft & the Drive as they perform from 7-10 p.m. on Saturday, the 19th. Tickets are $10, and food and drinks will be available. Second, the 2014 Miss Allen County Queen Scholarship Pageant is on Sunday, the 20th at Carroll High School. It starts at 6 p.m. and tickets are $5 each (kids under five get in free).

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Hubie Ashcraft and The Drive took home the award for “Best Country Performer” at the 2014 Whatzup Entertainment Magazine Whammy Awards Show.

Click here to access registration forms and more information on all of the different events. And click here for a detailed calendar of events and prices.

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Think you can hold tight to a greased watermelon through the whole obstacle course?

Particulars

July 22-26 (Tuesday-Saturday)
General admission is $5 daily. (Additional cost for some events)
Children 5 and under get in free.

July 27 (Sunday)
Sunday is Discount Day— $2 discount on admission with the donation of a non-perishable food item.
$1 carnival rides

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.

Three Rivers Festival done right!

As a longtime Fort Wayne local, growing up in the Summit City, I’ve been to my fair share of Three Rivers Festivals. Just around the corner, July 11th-15th, it is not too early to start planning your plan of attack. Over the years I’ve learned some of the do’s and dont’s of festival going – some of them the hard way – and I’ve decided to share my knowledge with you! Some of these things may seem obvious, but their importance cannot be overstated; all of the pieces fit together perfectly to combine for one awesome festival experience you will want to duplicate for years to come.

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1. “My mind on my money” – Even though we live in a day and age where checks and cash are starting to seem superfluous, paper money is very much the currency of the Three Rivers Festival. It is important to come equipped with enough cash to sustain you through the whole night. My personal strategy for this includes making a mental list of the items I may want to buy once I arrive. How many food items will I realistically want to eat (it’s Junk Food Alley, so I will want to eat everything), and how many items will I allow myself to buy? Moderation is key. I like to bring enough money that I have some wiggle room, but not so much that I will be able to devour an entire truck’s worth of food.

There are also games to consider. How many game tickets am I going to use – the word use is important. It is always better to buy too few tickets and have to go up for more, then to buy more than you need and end up with leftovers. Parking is also something to consider when packing a purse for the night. Some lots around the festival grounds charge a few dollars to park for the night, so it’s not a bad idea to allot a few extra dollars to that.

There are ATMs on site at Junk Food Alley in case you run out of funds. Still, I like to go in with the mindset that I’m allowed to spend only what I have on hand; that makes my decisions easier and helps me avoid those annoying foreign ATM fees.

2. Buddy Up! A lot of the festival activities are easier and more enjoyable with a buddy. Traveling with a buddy provides you with a few securities. For one, partnering up on food items will allow you to save some money while still getting your share of fair food. My sister and I are longtime festival buddies, and we work well together. We like the same foods and have it down to a tried and true system – a corn dog each as a sort of main course, then a heaping plate of spiral spuds (smothered in ketchup of course) and an elephant ear both to split. Sometimes we even get one large drink (with free or $1 refills) to share. We both leave satisfied and with some cash to spare.

Buddying up also makes the rides more fun. Just in case there is a ride where people sit two to a seat, you’ve got a riding partner, no worries. And with two people, one person is able to go to the bathroom while the other waits with the stuff (prizes, food, bags, etc.) and then visa versa.

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3.   The Double Back – This shopping technique is perfect for anyone who is on a budget or as indecisive as me. Essentially, it is just a foolproof way to make sure you are getting what you really want. It’s easy; just do a once-over cursory look at all the food options first. Don’t buy anything on the first walk around, just take a good look at the options and remember which ones sounded most appetizing. Then, after you’ve completed the first go-around, you are ready to bring out the wallet and start the feasting. This technique allows you to see everything all at once first, and then prioritize what you MUST have.

The same technique can be applied to  the festival games as well!

4. Come prepared! Okay, so this one seems like common sense, but really there is a lot to overlook when packing for the festival. Depending on the time of day you chose to go, sun screen or bug spray is a must. Most of the festival is in open field area, so there isn’t too much shade from the sun. Another good thing to bring along is water bottles. It’s a small thing, but it can be a great way to save some money – then you avoid buying multiple drinks, or buying any at all. For the 21 and over crowd, an ID. This seems simple too, but often times I will only bring cash and nothing else from my wallet to avoid having the temptation of using the ATM, but this also means my ID sometimes gets overlooked. While it won’t by any means ruin your festival experience, it will prohibit you from entering the beer tent.

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Artists work on their squares at the Chalk Walk.

Also dress for the weather, but wear proper shoes. It can get pretty hot in Fort Wayne in the summer, so plan accordingly. Still, the festival can be a lot of walking, so more than anything you want to be comfortable.

In addition, it  can be useful if you are coming with children who are going to play the games to bring a bag to store their loot. Most of the games offer prizes, and carrying all that around can become difficult quickly.

5. Plan Ahead! I can’t say it enough. There is so much to do at the festival that it can be hard to fit everything you want to do in in one day. My sister and I like to split our events up. We always go to the chalk walk earlier in the morning, before the sun is beating down in full force. Depending on our stamina, we can usually combine this with a perusal of the art fair. But that is pretty much enough for us for one day, or at least for the morning. Junk Food Alley is usually tackled in the evening and the food serves as our dinner.

Some of the events are day long events in and of themselves; the kick-off parade (July 12th) features over 150 floats and will take much of the afternoon. Further, some of the events are spread out across the city, like Children’s Fest (July 18th and 19th) which is held at the IPFW campus. There are lots of ways to do it, but no matter what you chose, be sure you consider the amount of walking and the duration of time you’d like to spend in one outing.

 

No matter what way you do it, the Three Rivers Festival is not an event to miss. It is always a fun time and definitely promises a weekend to remember! And if you are making it  a weekend and looking for other things to fill the time, check out Visit Fort Wayne for all the hookups.

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.

Enjoy authentic Mexican food at the original Salsa Grille

Who wants affordable but authentic Mexican food?  If your answer is “I do,” then I need to introduce you to Salsa Grille – one of Fort Wayne’s little-known secrets!

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Salsa Grille is a relatively new taqueria located inside George’s International Market, on the corner of Broadway and Taylor streets, just a few minutes away from the city’s downtown district.  I revisited George’s twice last week after a long hiatus, and I was thrilled to find this tasty café inside.

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What’s not to like about a beautiful restaurant that serves fresh Mexican food in nearly record time?  The speed of my food preparation was impressive – less than five minutes!  Nurses from nearby St. Joseph Medical Center popped in for a quick lunch break, and many other people came in to grab food to go.

My meal of quesadilla and accompanying tortilla chips cost slightly less than it would have at a sit-down style Mexican restaurant.

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I even jazzed it up by getting some cinnamon churros at the panaderia (bakery) next to the Market!  Yum!

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Mmm! My quesadilla carne asada was light and filling, but it didn’t taste as oily as quesadillas I’ve had elsewhere.

Salsa Grille is small but savory, and it’s one of my go-to places when I’m on a budget and am tired of eating ordinary fast food.  Come check it out, and explore what George’s, has to offer, too!

sign 300x189 Enjoy authentic Mexican food at the original Salsa Grille

Salsa Grille (inside George’s International Market) is located at 2021 Broadway.  Find it online here. You can also eat at Salsa Grille on the north side of town at 7755 Coldwater Road.

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.

Fort Wayne’s food trucks offer something for everyone

FT 8 300x222 Fort Waynes food trucks offer something for everyone

Bravas Foods is just one of the many delicious food trucks you’ll find out and about.

Over the last couple of year’s, Fort Wayne has experienced a food revolution of sorts. There has been an abundance of locally owned eateries, farmer’s markets, natural and organic groceries and food trucks popping up around the area, creating fresh and new options when looking to grab a bite to eat. While all of our new food options are exciting additions to the Fort Wayne food scene, none have gotten quite the excitement that food trucks have gotten. Fort Wayne’s food trucks offer a little something for everyone, and promise a gourmet experience without paying gourmet prices. You can find everything from a burger and fries, to fresh Italian creations, to dressed up hot dogs and everything in-between! The best part? You can find your favorite food truck out and about nearly everyday! Check out the list below for all of the food trucks in Fort Wayne – find your favorite and get to eating!

JumBy’s Joint

  • Contact Information: jumbysjoint@yahoo.com, 260.440.1779
  • Menu: Changes daily, but features burgers, hot dogs, cold cut sandwiches, pork, pizza and more.
  • Website: www.jumbysjoint.com
  • Social Media: Facebook and Twitter
  • Event Request: fill out form on website

Whip & Chill

  • Contact Information: anconcessions@aol.com, 260.413.1788
  • Menu: Atz’s Ice Cream, shaved ice, milkshakes, sundaes, floats, malts, hotdogs and brats.
  • Social Media: Facebook
  • Event Request: email, call or visit www.foodtrucksin.com/whip-chill

Bravas Food

  • Contact Information: bo@bravasfood.com, 260.445.3747
  • Menu: variations of hot dogs, tacos and occasionally burgers. Also features sides.
  • Website: www.bravasdogs.com
  • Social Media: Facebook and Twitter
  • Event Request: email, call or visit www.foodtrucksin.com/bravas-hotdogs-bravas-food

Affine

  • Contact information: bacon@affinefoods.com
  • Menu: sandwiches – grilled cheese, veggie, duck, beef, chicken, pork, bacon and sometimes tacos
  • Website: www.affinefoodtruck.com
  • Social Media: Facebook and Twitter
  • Event Request: fill out form on website

Jimmy Ray’s

  • Contact Information: jimparker@jimmyraysbarbq.com, 260.446.7444
  • Menu: Barbeque – ribs, grilled chicken, pulled pork, potatoes, coleslaw and baked beans
  • Website: www.jimmyraysbarbq. com
  • Social Media: Facebook
  • Event Request: fill out form on website, call or request them through Angie’s List

Sol Kitchen, Getaway Grill Food Cart

  • Contact Information: jpz10864@gmail.com, 260.438.0602
  • Menu: Changes the featured culture each months, but some features in Cuban food, tacos, beef, chorizos, chicken, fish and shrimp
  • Website: www.solkitchenfood.com
  • Social Media: Facebook and Twitter
  • Event Request: fill out form via website

Wise Guys Ice

  • Contact Information: tasty@wiseguysice.com, 260.310.3700
  • Menu: Up to 120 flavors of Italian ice
  • Website: www.wiseguysice.com
  • Social Media: Facebook and Twitter
  • Event Request: email

Ragin’ Cajun

  • Contact Information: ugmax7@gmail.com, 504.289.5080
  • Menu: Cajun food including fried or blackened crab, crawfish, shrimp, catfish and jumbalya
  • Website: www. ragincajunfortwayne.com
  • Social Media: Facebook and Twitter
  • Event Request: call or fill out form on the website

Rigatony’s

  • Contact Information: rigatonysfoodtruck@gmail.com, 260.466.0886
  • Menu: Variations of classic Italian foods like meatballs, pasta and sausage
  • Website: www.rigatonysfoodtruck.com
  • Social Media: Facebook and Twitter
  • Event Request: comment form on blog

Spicer’s

  • Contact Information: spicersfoodtruck@gmail.com, 260.414.0795
  • Menu: Changes daily with burgers, pork, fries, lemonade and ice tea.
  • Website: www.spicersfoodtruck.com
  • Social Media: Facebook and Twitter
  • Event Request: email or contact form on website

Pizza Bomba

  • Contact Information: 260.415.8345
  • Menu: New York style gourmet pizza
  • Social Media: Facebook and Twitter
  • Event Request: call

 

For more information on Fort  Wayne area food trucks, visit the Fort Wayne Food Trucks Facebook page.

Katie

About

Katie Robinson joined the Visit Fort Wayne staff in March 2013 as a Marketing Assistant. She recently graduated from Ball State University with a degree in public relations. Katie is a Fort Wayne native and enjoys exploring the city when she can. She is a coffee junkie and is often found with her coffee cup in hand. She enjoys baking, and is especially fond of cupcakes. In her spare time Katie enjoys shopping, curling up with a good book, spending time with friends and family, relaxing with her husband Joseph, and playing with their adorable Shih Tzu, Gidget.