From hiking boots to heels

And smiles sent right to your doorstep

Riverfront Fort Wayne
Alison Gerardot, director of programming and events for Riverfront Fort Wayne, is passionate about this city’s rivers, and she’s spreading the good word by scheduling a full slate of multi-dimensional events for residents and visitors to enjoy. Under Gerardot, there have been some fantastic events already, many that I’ve attended with friends and family. The Wells Street Bridge has been used for concerts, yoga classes and other events. The rivers themselves are consistently dotted with kayakers and boaters, and Middle Waves Music Festival, the first of which is happening this month, will take place at Headwaters Park, highlighting just how much fun can be had in and around our rivers. Also this month, Gerardot is hosting a private dinner event on Stevie’s Island, located within the St. Joseph River, to help guests change their perspective of the rivers and show different ways these areas can be used. While Gerardot says most people associate hiking boots with the river, this private dinner will put forth a “heels” association. Another upcoming event is an immersive theater experience Gerardot has named Surprise Cinema. On Thursday, Oct. 13, Riverfront Fort Wayne will host an interactive movie screening that will feature guests in costumes, live performances and other surprises I can’t reveal. I cannot wait to attend! Thanks to Gerardot’s hard work and vision, from hiking boots to heels, and everything in between, Fort Wayne’s riverfront has so much to offer now and well into the future. To learn more about current and future events and how you can get involved and help support our rivers, go to RiverFrontFW.org. And when posting on social media, be sure to use the hashtag #riverfrontfw to share and promote the positive message of our rivers and our city.

Confetti Post
In the course of hunting, searching and exploring Fort Wayne (and beyond) to find cool, unique and interesting things to bring to you, dear reader, I often become incredibly inspired. I’m grateful for this task of mine because I come into contact with some amazing people, ideas and businesses. When I first clicked on The Confetti Post website, perused the products and read about the founder, Leitia (pronounced Lay-shuh) McHugh, I found myself smiling from ear to ear. The Confetti Post “send(s) smiles to doorsteps” (and I imagine to anyone who finds themselves on the site – it’s downright cheery!) from her Fort Wayne home. The Confetti Post curates adorable, themed “party in a box” care packages, for a variety of recipients in various sizes and price points, delivered directly to the recipient via snail mail. Who doesn’t love a surprise package in the mail? The company is committed to using goods from small, made-in-the-USA businesses to help support indie makers and to offer unique, interesting, not found in the big box stores goodies. And 10 percent of profits are donated to two nonprofit organizations, The Confetti Foundation and Box of Balloons, “whose missions are to ensure every child’s birthday is celebrated.” I’m telling you, The Confetti Post absolutely radiates joy and shoots sunshine directly from Indiana to recipients around the globe. This is an easy-peasy way to send unique and thoughtful gifts to friends and family with just a few clicks. I’m grinning just writing about it. Check out The Confetti Post, and send some smiles to a loved one by going to www.TheConfettiPost.com.

Fort Wayne Photo Walk
With all this excitement about our three rivers, there’ve been some great ideas floated (convenient pun) about how to properly develop and utilize them. My pal Kevin Mullett is proposing a thoughtful and impactful approach to the layout and function of potential riverfront features that could help further transform downtown into a desirable destination. His proposal is to identify optimal spots for pictures along the riverbanks that emphasize the beauty of Fort Wayne by maximizing what we have access to. Setting up artistic elements and features to create interesting backdrops for photos by visitors and residents, which will ultimately be shared on social media, can help blast positive images of Fort Wayne out to the region, nation and world. When I visit a new city, I do a little online research in advance so I know where to find all the cool places, people and things. Searching appropriate hashtags of my destination on Instagram is the No. 1 way I create my itinerary, so I agree this intentional photo walk could be a great way for Fort Wayne to boost its visibility. Mullett has done his research and has made his proposal available for all to see on a group Facebook page called Fort Wayne Photo Walk (click on the Files tab). Join the group and be part of the discussion, share with your friends and family and if you support the idea, let your representatives know. Our riverfront is a valuable asset, and this innovative proposal could be a key component in its rebirth.

First appeared in the September 2016 issue of Fort Wayne Magazine.

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