News release from the Downtown Improvement District:
International Blast Festival Adds to Last Saturday Activity
Downtown Fort Wayne has been bustling with activity on the Last Saturday of every month this year. Started in January as a new program in the Fort Wayne Cultural District, Last Saturdays entices residents and visitors to experience the diverse social, arts, and cultural opportunities in our community.
The September line-up of events is sure to please a wide audience. Fort For Fitness starts the day at Parkview Field. Later enjoy discounts at many museums including the History Center, Botanical Conservatory and Science Central or special activities and exhibits at galleries. International Blast begins at 3 p.m. and for evening fun, George Jones performs at the Embassy Theatre and Arena Dinner Theatre offers the play Busy Body. Last Saturdays is a program of the Cultural District, a partnership with Arts United, the City of Fort Wayne, Downtown Improvement District and Visit Fort Wayne.
Citilink is offering a Free Fare Day citywide on September 29, so riders can access these events or take advantage of public transit to go anywhere in the city free all day. In the evening, Citilink and CTN will also have free Last Saturday shuttle service connecting activities from 4 – 11. Riders can come downtown for free and then take the evening shuttle between activities and restaurants.
The Downtown Improvement District will celebrate culture and diversity in Fort Wayne with International Blast, putting a new spin on a block party that was held for several years by JK O’Donnell’s Irish Ale House in downtown Fort Wayne. The event will take place Saturday, September 29, from 3pm to 6pm on Wayne Street at One Summit Square. It is a family friendly, free event.
The event will feature live performances, artist booths, display booths from cultural organizations, and ethnic foods from various vendors. Scheduled acts include the Mon traditional Burmese dances, bi-lingual band Practice at 5, guitarist Skip Calvin, martial arts demonstrations, Amaneceres de Mexico dancers and the Fort Wayne Youtheatre. A variety of artists will be selling their work and display booths will share information about various cultures and international programs.
International Blast will also include some foods from around the world. A half dozen restaurants and food vendors will be on hand serving special menus for the festival. JK O’Donnell’s will offer a beer and wine tent as well.
Nearly two dozen WOW (World on Wheels) garden wheelbarrows celebrating multicultural awareness are on public display at Parkview Field and will be auctioned at International Blast. Showcasing 21 ethnicities living in Fort Wayne, the wheelbarrows have been decorated by local artists and each represents a country with plants in the wheelbarrows corresponding to the culture. Proceeds from the auction will go to Catherine Kasper Place for their refugee and immigrant programs to help those new residents grow food in our environment.
International Blast kicks off National Diversity Week which begins on October 1 and runs through October 5. The festival is sponsored by Fort Wayne Metals, JK O’Donnell’s, Hanning & Bean and Metro, the Metropolitan Human Relations Commission.