City celebrates park improvements
Promenade hosting comedy, dance classes; JK O'Donnell's plans outdoor seating
Jen Poiry Prough
The city of Fort Wayne recently announced that it invested about $3 million to complete more than 70 projects to improve parks in 2022.
Among the improvements were 30 new pickleball courts at Foster, Lakeside, Hamilton, Kettler, and Tillman parks; playground upgrades at Jennings Center Playground and Kreager Park; chess tables at Freimann Square; a mural installation by Andre Portee at Reservoir Park; replacement of decorative knee portal components in truss of the Historic Wells Street Bridge; and maintenance at Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory, the Community Center, Foellinger Theatre, Foster Park, McMillen Park Golf Course, the Gen. Anthony Wayne and Gen. Foster statues, and Salomon Farm Park.
“I’m encouraged by the comprehensive, ongoing commitment to enhance our parks with quality, low-cost programming and recreational opportunities,” Mayor Tom Henry said. “Our parks are an essential component of the outstanding quality of life we enjoy in Fort Wayne and it’s important that we invest in them.”
The city plans to invest another $3 million this year.
“Our department is dedicated to enriching the quality of life for the citizens and visitors to Fort Wayne,” said Steve McDaniel, director of parks and recreation. “We can do that most effectively as we hear from community members.”
To see what is in line for improvements this year, go to fortwayneparks.org/invest
Comedy coming to Promenade Park
Riverfront Fort Wayne and the Maumee Mary and Joseph Comedy Festival will present For Real Comedy Stories on Thursday, Jan. 12, and Thursday, Feb. 9, at the Park Foundation Pavilion at Promenade Park.
Some of the best local and regional comedians will tell true stories certain to keep the winter evenings warm and full of laughs.
You must be at least 18 years old to attend, and tickets are $10 in advance at fortwayneparks.org or $15 at the door.
If you’d like to be a storyteller, email your name and a summary of story to ForRealForRealStories@gmail.com.
Dance classes at Promenade Park
Get on your feet as the Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department continues their series of Wednesday night dance classes at Promenade Park.
Sessions, which are 6-9 p.m., are $10 each in advance or $12 drop-in if space allows. All ages and abilities are welcome to learn the hustle on Jan. 18, swing on Jan. 25, and two-step/line on Feb. 1, with a dance party slated for Feb. 8.
Register at fortwayneparks.org or by calling (260) 427-6000.
JK O’Donnell’s planning outdoor space
JK O’Donnell’s plans to build a pergola behind its restaurant, 121 W. Wayne St., allowing more customers the chance to enjoy a brew and other pub activities with lounge-type seating.
The planned 2,700-square-foot retractable awning in the back of the downtown restaurant would cover a refurbished parking lot covered with artificial turf. Because the lot would no longer be used for parking, traffic would be reduced, allowing a more pedestrian-friendly space.
Cari Bean, the restaurant’s owner, said the addition had been in planning before the pandemic halted “alley activations” that had just begun downtown.
The backdoor addition would connect with an alley that runs east to west from Calhoun to Harrison streets.
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