Summer in Fort Wayne: Best of the Fests
Arab Fest Fort Wayne
June 2-3, Headwaters Park
The 4th annual Arab Fest 2018 ushers in Fort Wayne’s summer festival season! This year we will feature music by world-famous qanun player Ali Paris. The qanun is an Arabic instrument with 72 strings, each three making one note. Arab Fest will also see the return of Ronnie Malley with his Oud (a Mid-Eastern lute). There will also be camel rides, a market with vendors, dancing and lots of delectable food choices from local restaurant Famous Falafel.
June 3-10, Headwaters Park
Admission: $2 from 2pm-5pm; $5 after 5pm
“p1″>Fill your steins, and polka like you mean it. Since 1981, Germanfest has been sharing its culture under the Beer Tent with a hearty celebration of Essen, Trinken und Gemutlichkeit, or “Eating, drinking and having a good time.” Join local officials for the ceremonial tapping of the first keg on Wednesday at 10:30 am. Other festival highlights include: the Germanfest 5K run, the Legs ‘N Lederhosen contest and a chance for car enthusiasts to check out Porsches and Audis. This is the week to get your fill of German food: brats, homemade sauerkraut, potato salad and kuchen (German cake). And you don’t want to miss the Weiner Dog Races!
3rd Annual Hobnobben Film Festival
Lights, camera, action! Celebrate the art of filmmaking with this multi-venue film festival. Hobnobben features screenings of films from local, regional, national and international filmmakers. Awards are given in a variety of categories, including Viewer’s Choice, Best Short, Best Student Work and the Hoosier Spirit Award, for best film by an Indiana native or film shot in Indiana. Screenings are hosted at The Cinema Center, Spectator Lounge and Parkview Physicians Group ArtsLab.
21st Annual BBQ RibFest
June 14-17, Headwaters Park
Admission: $6 adults (13+); $5 seniors; $4 students, military, fire, police
Free Thursday-Saturday until 5:30 pm
Sunday only: $3 all day
Mid-June brings blues, brews and BBQ downtown. Don’t miss Ribfest 2018, where award-winning BBQ teams from across the country bring their A-game and plenty of sauce for brisket, ribs, pulled pork, rib sandwiches and chicken. It’s estimated that 25 tons of BBQ is consumed during the festival, and you won’t want to miss a bite. Besides, Fort Wayne’s Ribfest was voted one of the Top 10 Ribfests in the country by Martha Stewart Living Magazine — and if Martha calls it a good thing, who are we to argue?
June 21-24, Headwaters Park
OPA! Come find the flavor of Greece. Load your plate with traditional favorites like gyros, souvlaki and spanakopita. Cap off your Greek feast with baklava and loukoumades. Greek beer and wines are available at the Taverna. Capture the spirit with entertainment and dancing, and lace up your running shoes for the 7th Annual Greek Fest Olympic 5K run/walk. Authentic Greek souvenirs, apparel, gifts and jewelry are available in the marketplace. New for 2018 is a daily raffle for a 50″ HD LED television. Guests receive one raffle ticket with paid admission, but more are available for purchase.
4th Annual Dragon Boat Races
June 23, Headwaters Park West, 8 am-4 pm
Enjoy this family-friendly event and watch the dragon boat competition. Local food trucks and vendors will be on hand, and there will be plenty of activities for the kids.
Sweetwater campus, 5501 US 30
Get your jam on as musicians from far and wide travel to Fort Wayne for two days of performances, workshops and the latest and greatest in musical gear from hundreds of manufacturers. Workshops and panel discussions are scheduled, featuring the music industry’s top producers, musicians and engineers. Find great deals on equipment at GearFest’s Flea Market, and don’t miss hourly chances to win gear. If you can’t make it out to Sweetwater for Gear Fest, don’t worry — for the first time, this year the event will be live-streamed with exclusive online Gear Fest deals and giveaways.
June 30, 4 -10 pm, Wayne and Calhoun Streets in downtown Fort Wayne
Take to the streets, and spend an evening being entertained by talented street performers. This annual event features artists, living statues, fire dancers, magicians, jugglers, mimes, musicians and balloon artists. Be sure to check out creations by local artists at the Art Market on Calhoun Street.
July 13-21, downtown Fort Wayne/Headwaters Park
Three Rivers Festival is undoubtedly the granddaddy of all summer festivals in northeast Indiana. This year, it’s a Golden Celebration — 50 Years of Fun. The kick-off is the Three Rivers festival parade. Floats and marching bands will usher in the festivities to celebrate the best of Fort Wayne.
July 27-28, Headwaters Park
Friday, 7 pm – 12 am; Saturday, 12 pm – 12 am
$5 per person, 12 and under free
All are welcome to this two-day event, featuring live entertainment, a vendor market, beer tent, food, workshops and tournaments. There will be inflatables, games, crafts and prizes for kids 12 and under. Local bands will provide entertainment. The 6th Annual Pride March begins Saturday at 11:15am at Headwaters Park and makes its way through downtown and back to Headwaters Park by noon.
August 24-25, Arts Campus
Friday, 5-10pm; Saturday 11am-7pm
Celebrating its 10th year, Taste of the Arts is a great way to sample a little of all the arts and culture Fort Wayne offers. Enjoy a diverse array of art, culture, food and drinks. In addition to performances, take time to peruse the Artlink Art Market, and don’t miss the kids’ activities area.
August 26-September 3, Auburn
You don’t need to be a car enthusiast to enjoy the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Festival. In addition to the cars, everyone can enjoy a variety of events, such as The Parade of Classics, the Hoosier Tour, swap meets… even antiques. Don’t forget to visit the Auburn Cord Duesenberg museum for an up-close-and-personal visit with beautifully-restored classic cars.
September 14-15, Headwaters Park
Two days, three stages: this is how the 2018 Middle Waves Music Festival brings all types of music to Fort Wayne — indie rock, pop, hip-hop, alternative, Americana, rock and everything in between. The schedule of thirty acts is comprised of local, regional and national artists. Middle Waves is an all-ages event, so everyone is invited to come out for the music. Performances on the Maumee and St. Joseph stages are free, highlighting regional and local acts. Admission is charged for performances on the St. Mary’s stage, featuring national headliners such as Lizzo and Dr. Dog.
Saturday, September 15, 10 am – 6 pm
Sunday, September 16, 10 am – 5 pm
Johnny Appleseed Park
Step back in time to the mid-1800s to pay tribute to John Chapman, a.k.a. Johnny Appleseed. Smoke from open-air fires and booming musket-shots fill the air as you stroll among food and craft booths, a farmers’ market, antiques, authentic demonstrations and an entertaining children’s area. Be sure to leave room for an apple-filled treat after you sample some of the standby savory favorites: ham and beans with cornbread, grilled turkey legs and piping hot chicken and dumplings and. Enjoy your food at one of the five entertainment stages, and don’t forget to leave an apple at John Chapman’s gravesite.
Parkview Field, downtown Fort Wayne
Get on your feet and join this annual community-wide fitness celebration featuring a full marathon, half-marathon, 10K run/walk and 4-mile run/walk. On Friday night, kids and seniors will complete the final mile of a summer-long marathon program. The Festival Expo brings local and national exhibitors with product demonstrations, health information and giveaways.