‘Open Streets Fort Wayne’ returns July 14

Free fun in the streets will return for the third annual Open Streets Fort Wayne, which will close Calhoun Street to vehicle traffic on Sunday, July 14, so the community can come togeter to walk, bike, skate and play in the street. Parkview Health is the presenting sponsor of this year’s event, which will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“Open Streets is becoming a popular summer tradition in Fort Wayne that offers residents, neighborhoods and visitors unique opportunities to enjoy our community,” Mayor Tom Henry said in a statement. “As a point of destination city, we’re committed to providing quality of life amenities that make our City attractive and a place where people and businesses want to be. Events like Open Streets highlight how Fort Wayne is experiencing positive momentum and excitement like never before.”

This year’s Open Streets Fort Wayne directly connects the neighborhoods of West Central, East Central, LaRez, Hoagland Masterson, Historic Williams Woodland, Fairfield and Williams Park with the Central Business District on Calhoun Street. The route is 22 blocks, stretching from Superior Street to Pontiac Street.

“While you can use your skateboard, roller skates or blades, or even walk, we are encouraging people to bring their bike and ride the entire route of Open Streets this year,” stated Amy Hartzog, program manager for Open Streets Fort Wayne. “Last year, it was great to see an increase in bicycle use both from individuals and families. This year, there is added incentive to bring your bike, as we begin the first annual bike parade.”

Residents of all ages are encouraged to decorate and join in the fun for the Open Streets Bike Parade. Multiple awards will be presented to children, adults, businesses and organizations for best theme, use of color, originality, and design. Attendees may visit openstreetsfw.org for decorating ideas and some of our partners will help with decorating on the day of the event.

About 100 free activities will be available along the route, including live music, golf, roller derby, soccer, pickleball, giant-sized board games, Pokémon Go, dancing, baseball, basketball, bubble machines, and much more. The route also offers access to the Three Rivers Festival Art in the Park and Chalk Walk. Visit openstreetsfw.org for activity hub updates and all the latest information.

The Summit City Match program will connect attendees to the entrepreneurs to activated “pop-up” retail and art spaces. The shops will be open throughout the day. Based on suggestions from 2018 attendees, this year’s event will have an after-party from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. near the intersection of Calhoun and Masterson Avenue. The joint event offered by Open Streets and Summit City Match will allow attendees more time to connect, celebrate, socialize and visit the pop-up shops that are opening for the event.

The city’s Public Works Division started Open Streets Fort Wayne as a way to encourage residents to increase their walking and biking on the city’s Active Transportation network, which includes more than 1,600 miles of sidewalks, a trail network of 116 miles, 20 miles of bike lanes and bike routes, 350 bike racks, and more visible and accessible countdown signals, crosswalks and ADA ramps.