In honor of fashion designer Bill Blass, Bill Blass Legacy Inc. is continuing to share his story with his native Fort Wayne as well as the rest of the world. To mark the life of Blass, who would have turned 101 this year, the Summit City is planning a number of projects. 

 Working with Alex Hall from Art This Way, Bill Blass Legacy Inc. selected an Indiana artist and will invest in a Bill Blass Mural. The mural will be in Bill Blass Runway, part of the Double Plus alleyway network in downtown Fort Wayne. 

Working with Eric Johnson from the Veterans National Memorial Shrine and Museum, a Ghost Army interactive exhibit featuring Blass was recently unveiled at the War Museum, 2122 O’Day Road.

A feature in the Allen County Public Library’s Community Album highlights Blass, his Fort Wayne childhood, WWII Ghost Army service, and a 50-year fashion career. Look in the “research” tab on the ACPL website.

At South Side High School, an entrepreneur contest was held. In May, the Legacy awarded six students, recognizing their dreams. 

Blass was born and raised in Fort Wayne. He grew up on South Calhoun Street and graduated from South Side High School in 1940. While in high school, he dreamed of being a fashion designer and sold his sketches to a dress manufacturer in New York. 

Blass served in the Ghost Army in World War II, a U.S. Army unit that used inflatable tanks, sound effects, radio trickery, and imagination to fool the Germans on the battlefields of Europe. Blass and other members of the Ghost Army were officially recognized with the award of a Congressional Gold Medal in 2022. 

Blass went on to become a world-famous fashion designer. During his 50-year entrepreneurial fashion career, he designed clothing for celebrities, first ladies, and men and women around the globe. 

PFW music alums welcomed to retreat

The Purdue Fort Wayne School of Music will host the third annual Alumni and Friends Summer Chorus. This two-day retreat will take place July 28-29 on campus.

The retreat is open to all IPFW and PFW alumni who sang in the choral program and local choral singers. This event will culminate in a fun concert for family and friends. 

Under the direction of Dr. William Sauerland, director of choral studies, the purpose of this free event is to bring together choral alumni and singers for two days of singing and socializing. All music will be provided by the PFW School of Music. 

For more information, contact Sauerland via email at or call (260) 481-6712.

 Party Princess hosting carriage rides

Your Party Princess will host carriage rides with Cinderella, Prince Charming, and the step-sisters on Saturday, July 1, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. 

Launching at First Presbyterian Church, 300 W. Wayne St., characters will reportedly reveal the secrets of becoming true royalty, coronate each child a royal prince or princess, share their favorite dreams and stories, sing a song, and pose for photos after the ride. 

Ticket price includes four guests (1 adult with 3 children or 2 adults with 2 children). Limited spots are available and are reserved on a first come, first served basis. Slots will continue to be made available as they fill up with a potential to extend until 2 p.m. 

Storytime at the Park

Join the Allen County Public Library and Riverfront Fort Wayne on Wednesday mornings from 10-10:30 a.m. through Aug. 30 for fresh air, sunshine, and children’s literature at Promenade Park. 

Most dates will be held under the awning of the Park Foundation Pavilion. No pre-registration is required.

News and Venues covers Northeast Indiana’s music and arts organizations, venues, and colleges, from large to small. Send your news items to