News release from Shine & Hardin:
Christmas on Broadway celebrates 10th anniversary
Tree Lighting and Fireworks to Highlight Holiday Event
(November, 2014) – On November 21st, the best of summer meets the best of the winter for the kickoff of the 10th annual Christmas On Broadway holiday celebration.
Christmas On Broadway began a decade ago with 150 people in attendance. It has grown into one of Fort Wayne’s largest holiday traditions, an attraction that last year drew 1,700 people to the Broadway Corridor on opening night alone. In 2014, Christmas On Broadway kicks off the holiday season again with lights, families, fun, holiday delights and this year, for the first time ever, a fireworks display to mark its 10th anniversary.
Located on the Broadway Plaza outside the law offices of Shine & Hardin (Beaver Avenue at Broadway, just south of downtown), the celebration brightens the city’s center core with a forty (40) foot Norwegian Spruce adorned with over 20,000 lights. This year’s tree was donated by Robert Tew of Fort Wayne.
“Since it began, Christmas On Broadway has been a source of joy for everyone who has experienced it,” said Steve Shine, partner in Shine & Hardin. “We have celebrated families, we have celebrated the Christmas season and this year, we celebrate the sense of renewal the event has brought to the Broadway Corridor for a decade. This is going to be the biggest and most jubilant Christmas On Broadway ever.”
Melrose Pyrotechnics, led by Fort Wayne’s Matt Loraine, stages the city’s most prominent fireworks shows each summer, including the Three Rivers Festival and July 4th fireworks, as well as the post-game shows put on by the Fort Wayne Tin Caps. This year, Loraine and his company will bring a taste of summer to the holiday skies over Broadway. The lighting of the tree, ordinarily a spectacular all by itself, will be simultaneously lit along with a Yuletide fireworks show launched from atop the Shine & Hardin building.
Christmas On Broadway is a key element in welcoming the start of the holidays and adds excitement and fun to the Downtown Improvement District’s HolidayFest. The lighting will occur at 6 p.m. on November 21 and will air live on WANE-TV NewsChannel 15 and 95.1 Best FM.
The tree was delivered by Mudrack Tree Services, hoisted into place and secured by crews from Michael Kinder & Sons Contractors and Harold McComb & Son Construction. Electrical service to the tree will be supplied by Summit City Electric, with the tree itself decorated by A Yard Apart. Other grounds preparation will be undertaken by Vision Scapes.
Sponsors for this year’s event include Frontier Communications of Indiana, Horizon Christian Academy, WANE-TV, Lake City Bank, Lutheran Health Network, 95.1 Best FM, Mudrack Tree Services, Michael Kinder & Sons Contractors, Harold McComb & Son Construction, Summit City Electric, Vision Scapes, A Yard Apart, Asher Agency, the Downtown Improvement District and Shine & Hardin, LLP.
This year, Frontier Communications of Indiana signed on for the first time as one of the four corporate sponsors of Christmas On Broadway. In addition to helping the other sponsors underwrite the cost of the celebration, Frontier is solely underwriting the costs associated with the fireworks display.
“Frontier Communications prides itself on making a difference in the communities we call home,” said Greg Stephens, Senior Vice President of Frontier Communications of Indiana. “There is no better time than the holidays to bring families and neighbors together, and certainly, Christmas On Broadway is an important part of Fort Wayne’s holiday spirit. We are proud to help bring an added sense of wonder and awe to the 10th anniversary of Christmas On Broadway.”
In addition to the lighting of the tree on the evening of November 21st, visitors will be able to take part in other family friendly activities, all free of charge, including a visit and photo opportunity with Santa and Mrs. Claus, refreshments, rides on the Polar Express train, performances by the Holiday Jazz Ensemble and the Horizon Christian Academy chorus, and the chance to see and pet a live reindeer. Hall’s Restaurants will provide hot chocolate and Ellison Bakery will provide cookies for all in attendance. Children can also take part in a coloring contest in which they can color their own Christmas tree for the chance to win prizes.
The coloring contest form is available on WANE.com and 951bestfm.com, as well as on the opposite page from this article. Entries must be received at WANE-TV by December 16, 2014. The winners, who will receive Visa Gift Cards from Lake City Bank, holiday CDs from 95.1 Best FM and DVDs from WANE-TV, will be announced between 6:30 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. on Friday, December 19, 2014, simultaneously on WANE-TV and 95.1 Best FM.
The Christmas tree will remain illuminated nightly from November 21st through the first week of January, giving the neighborhood and the community a chance to enjoy the beauty of the holidays through the New Year. “The tree not only reflects the joy of the holiday season, but also, it reflects the pride and sense of renewal evident in the south side neighborhood the celebration calls home,” said Tom Hardin, partner in Shine & Hardin. The area is represented by many of Fort Wayne’s longest-lasting and dedicated neighborhoods, including the Creighton-Home, Historic South Wayne, Historic Oakdale, Fairfield, Illsley Place, Williams-Woodland and the West Rudisill neighborhood associations.
This holiday tradition has grown significantly over the past ten years since the inaugural Christmas On Broadway celebration, as families have made the lighting an annual tradition. Each year, as the crowd grows, so does the neighborhood pride. Christmas on Broadway has become a centerpiece of Shine and law partner Tom Hardin’s long-term commitment to revitalizing the Broadway corridor, located just south of downtown Fort Wayne.
Clips of the Christmas On Broadway tree lighting ceremony will be included as part of the telecast of Steve Shine’s Annual Holiday Marathon, to be broadcast on Christmas Day from 9:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. on Antenna TV, Digital Channel 15.2. The program features classic holiday programming and interviews with local celebrities who share with the viewing audience how they spend the holidays with their families. The Holiday Marathon will also be telecast on December 25, 2014, on Comcast Channel 250, Frontier/Fios Channel 463 and Mediacom Channel 106.