Festival season gets a “Kickstart”

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Kickstart festival news conference
Details of the Kickstart festival are announced at a news conference on the campus of IPFW on Friday, March 14, 2014.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE)  Organizers are calling the newest downtown Fort Wayne festival a community celebration of bikes, art and music.  The first Kickstart festival is scheduled for May 17 and details were announced during a Friday morning news conference on the campus of IPFW, one of the event’s sponsors.The festival itself will take place on the Main Street Arts Campus on Main Street.

“Kickstart represents a wonderful example of what can happen when passionate, like-minded organizations and individuals collaborate to make Fort Wayne a more vibrant community,” said Irene Walters, executive director of university relations and communications at IPFW.

The university joined forces with Arts United, the Downtown Improvement District, Fort4Fitness, Fort Wayne Trails, Visit Fort Wayne and the YLNI Barr Street Market to organize the festival.

“IPFW is always wanting to be part of the community and helping the community, and we’re a big collaborator. It just made sense. Instead of presenting our sculptures alone in a vacuum, we wanted to invite other partners to come and make it a more robust day. There’s such a positive energy and a momentum right now to create a robust living room, and the living room is our downtown where everybody can congregate. This is just a natural extension of all the efforts that people are doing and hopefully, it will continue year after year,” said Walters.

Kickstart will highlight the presentation of the IPFW Sculpture with PurposeTM bike racks to commemorate its 50th Celebration. The entire project cost around $400,000 and was all underwritten by sponsors.  Project organizers estimate there will be around $50,000 left over after the sculptures are completed. They hope to use the remaining funds for scholarships for IPFW students in need.

Other events include:

  • Arts United theatre, dance, and music performances
  • Downtown Improvement District’s Spring Trolley
  • Fort4Fitness Spring Cycle Tour, Expo, and Kickstart for Kids
  • Fort Wayne Trails Bike Valet
  • Visit Fort Wayne’s 65th anniversary celebration
  • YLNI’s Barr Street Market Opening Day

“I think it encourages a new mode of thinking- to be more physically active, to take advantage of our wonderful trails system, and to appreciate the art and take advantage of all the quality of life things that we have and the assets that we have in this community, and it’s all free,” said Walters.

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