Adaptation is the key to survival in 2020, and one annual event in particular is making some tweaks to provide safety for all. 

The Fort4Fitness Winter Wonder Dash 2K and 5K are taking place this year on Nov. 20 and 21. Participants receive a long-sleeved tee featuring the Fort Wayne skyline and Santa and his reindeer flying overhead.

For the first time they will also receive a Fort4Fitness neck gaiter (which should come in handy for this winter’s masking) as well as a commemorative Christmas ornament. 

Runners/walkers will be sent in waves to allow for spacing. 

Especially exciting is that, since the event takes place annually at Franke Park, the path is lighted from the popular Fantasy of Lights which this year will feature 120 lighted displays in honor of the holidays. 

Of all of the fun holiday traditions in our area, none is better suited to social distancing than Fantasy of Lights which is always enjoyed from the warmth and safety of family vehicles. 

The untimed Family 2K Walk (1.2 miles) will begin at 5:45 p.m. Nov. 20 while the 5K begins at 6 p.m. Nov. 21. Virtual versions of both races are also being offered. 

For more information on fees and registration, visit

Van Wert Groundbreaking

One of the area’s most beautiful and popular venues for shows and concerts is the Niswonger Performing Arts Center in Van Wert, Ohio. Thanks to some generous funding from patrons and foundations, the Niswonger Annex is about to take shape with groundbreaking ceremonies taking place on Friday, Nov. 6, at 11 a.m. on the grounds of the future Annex. 

Although the fundraising and planning of this began pre-pandemic, the shutdown of the venue this year has allowed more focused attention to the project which features upgrades to backstage amenities. Such comforts will likely make the venue even more attractive to traveling performers who always seem to enjoy the audiences the Niswonger attracts. 

More details will come as the project evolves, but here’s hoping there will be some excitement in Van Wert in 2021.