Kickstarting the fun

This year's Kickstart Festival is bigger and better than ever!

This year's Kickstart Festival is bigger and better than ever!

The Kickstart Festival Planning Committee is pleased to present Kickstart Festival 2016 in May in Fort Wayne.  The Kickstart Festival is a month-long celebration of bikes, music, art and theatre, ushering in a summer filled with activity in our community.  Responding to an increasing interest and demand for events related to biking, this year the Kickstart Festival added nine events.

Kickstart Festival 2016 is presented by Parkview Health and participating organizations include the City of Fort Wayne, Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation, Parkview Trauma Center, Parkview Sports Medicine, Fort4Fitness, Turnstone, Fort Wayne Trails, Arts United, Visit Fort Wayne, Fort Wayne Youtheatre, Bicycle Friendly Fort Wayne and YLNI Farmers Market.

All of the events presented through the Kickstart Festival are either free or carry a very modest ticket or registration price.  The events are listed on the Kickstart Festival Calendar attached and are described in more detail at the Kickstart Festival website,

Kickstart began in 2014 as a one-day event held in conjunction with the unveiling of IPFW’s “Sculptures with a Purpose” bike rack sculptures in honor of the University’s 50th anniversary.  In 2015, the Kickstart Festival became a month-long celebration of bicycles and the arts, marking the end of winter and the beginning of a summer filled with exciting events and activities throughout our community.  Kickstart Festival 2016 marks the third year for the bicycle-centric celebration.

Here a few highlights:

•    NEW!  On May 6, the Plassman Athletic Center at Turnstone will host the first-ever bicycle show in northeast Indiana, Bikefusion.  The event will feature several local bike shops showing their wares, as well as local health and fitness exhibitors.  Attendees will have a unique opportunity to test ride bikes on the Plassman Athletic Center track, as well as sample great food and craft beers and listen to local music.

•    On May 10, the City of Fort Wayne and Fort Wayne Trails, Inc. will host a grand opening celebration for the summer-long Trek the Trails series at Salomon Farms Park.

•    On May 14, Fort Wayne Youtheatre will host the Third Annual Fairy Tale Fest and Kickstart 4 Kids, which will include a costumed bicycle ride, called the Fairy Trails Family Bike Ride, brought to you by the Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation Department and Operation Fight for a Fitter Fort, and a kids’ obstacle course brought to you by Northeast Indiana Trail Riders Organization.

•    On May 21, the Fifth Annual Fort4Fitness Spring Cycle tour will begin on Main Street on the Arts United campus and will include a post-race celebration followed by the Kickstart Block Party with food, drink and live entertainment at the Headwaters Park Pavilion. There will also be three bicycle giveaways through the month with details to follow.

“Fort Wayne is a leader in providing unique activities for residents to enjoy,” said Mayor Tom Henry. “I continue to be encouraged by the commitment of community leaders to come together to develop innovative programs to showcase our bicycle-friendly City and the positive momentum we’re experiencing.”

“The Kickstart Festival provides a great opportunity for area residents to take part in events aimed at improving their health and well-being,” said Mike Packnett, President and CEO of Parkview Health.  “We’re proud to support the festival and encourage area residents to participate in the many bicycle-related activities available throughout the month of May and to continue that commitment to physical activity and wellness throughout the year.”

Leslie Hormann of Fort Wayne Youtheatre stated, “Our Third Annual Fairy Tale Fest will be bigger and better than ever on Saturday, May 14.  Families and children can look forward to the best in children’s theater on stage and you never know what fairy tale characters will be wandering around downtown that day.  With face painting, arts and crafts, a costume playground, and four different performances, you’ll be able to enjoy the ever growing Arts United campus!”

Kickstart Festival 2016 in May in Fort Wayne is an ongoing collaboration between government, medical, health and fitness, and arts organizations to provide a month-long bicycle-centric celebration of our active and healthy community, a testament to our community’s physical and cultural fitness.


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