Column: festivals, rage rooms and tributaries attract tourists and secure capital status

Welcome to Fort Wayne, the second largest city in Indiana, bested only by the four-times-larger Indianapolis.  

Our biggest bragging right is that we often like to intimidate Indy with threats of state domination. Alas, we never truly commit. 

Fort Wayne is the only town worth mentioning for miles around. Can you name a town that you can drive to in under two hours, going the legal speed limit, that isn’t surrounded by endless rows of corn and has its own zoo? 

One of the biggest attractions in Fort Wayne is our zoo. That’s right, Indy. We have lions too! The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo was ranked Trip Advisor’s 7th Best Zoo in the U.S. Take that Indy! 

The zoo is nice, but if you aren’t an animal lover, why are you visiting Indiana?  Maybe you’re here for the plethora of parks to visit if you still want to be active in the great outdoors. There’s Kreager Park, Promenade Park, Lawton Park, Foster Park, Shoaff Park, Head Waters Park, Metea Park, Franke Park, Lions Park, Klug Park, Vesey Park, Gren Park, Lakeside Park, Noll Park, Buckner Park, Highland Park, Parkview North Family Park, International Park. There are others, but I have a word limit here. 

Point is, here in Fort Wayne we have a lot of parks for our residents to run, jog, swing, play basketball, play tennis, climb trees, build a snowman in July, do hot outdoor yoga in December, slide down a slide or anything else you could do at any other park.  

Fort Wayne also holds many festivals at our many parks. Our festivals include our Pride Festival, where you see more rainbows than in India during monsoon season; our German Heritage Festival, even though most people here have no German heritage; our spring music festival named Electric Spring for all the electricity it requires; our Johnny Appleseed Festival, where we celebrate a literal pot head who traveled the country planting apple trees (talk about a tree hugger); and our Halloween festival, Fright Night, which is annually rained out. 

Our biggest festival by far, however, is our Three Rivers Festival, celebrating the only river in Fort Wayne and its two tributaries. Nobody here knows what a tributary is, so we call the Maumee river and its two tributaries three different rivers, but let’s not get caught up on  technicalities. 

Some people are allergic to the outdoors, and we here in Fort Wayne acknowledge this. If you are allergic to being outside, take a trip to one of our many indoor attractions. Such activities include dropping in at the bowling alley called Crazy Pinz, where you can be engulfed by a swarm of children screaming and running around with bowling balls that weigh more than they do. Or go to Combat Ops, where if kids running around with bowling balls didn’t scare you, how about kids running around in a dark environment with laser rifles? 

If you want to stay away from the kids, how about going to the county-famous Roller Dome North where, instead of being trampled by little children, you can get run over by hormonal teenagers on roller skates. 

After going to one of these places you will probably have a lot of pent up frustration from constantly dodging the city’s youth and will probably want to drop kick one from a forty-one foot building. Good thing for you we have a rage room here in Fort Wayne.  

“What’s a rage room?” you might ask. It’s a place you can go and pay to (il)legally break stuff to let off all of that testosterone-induced rage. Or you could go to any alley downtown and chuck a couple glass bottles at the wall like everyone else apparently does. Don’t forget your black clothing and your abundant collection of fractured Juul pod cartridges to leave behind as DNA evidence. 

Fort Wayne is the place to be if you want a plethora of activities at your disposal, or if you want to be in the new capital of the state when we take over Indianapolis. If you want to plan a trip here in Fort Wayne seek out or 

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