Several thousand out for first Kickstart Festival

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A new festival took place around town Saturday.  Kickstart Fort Wayne was aimed at celebrating an active lifestyle, while enjoying arts and music.  Most events of the day were free of charge.

Several big organizations helped make the day happen.

The streets were filled bright and early for the start of the third annual Fort4Fitness Spring Cycle Tour.

“The weather treated us well today,” said Tadd Boman of Auburn, who rode a tandem bicycle with his wife in the 33-mile portion of the tour.  “The sun came out for most of the ride.  It clouded up near the end, but we were very fortunate to have a good day for a ride.”

In all, more than a thousand people took rode in the tour.  Many people had already finished by the time a little rain shower dampened the mood for a few minutes.

“It’s a fun day,” Randy Bookmiller said.  “The weather could have been a little better, but it was good to get out and ride.”

The festival also allowed IPFW leaders with the Sculpture with Purpose to officially hand over the 50 bike rack sculptures to the city.

“This is us saying, here is your gift,” said Ruth Stone, the project manager of Sculpture with Purpose.  A ceremony was held shortly before noon that officially gave the bike racks to Arts United, which will maintain all the bike racks around downtown.  “We hope to see people use them, and enjoy the beautiful art.”

Click here to learn more about the bike racks, and a contest the university is holding involving the artwork.

Also on display Saturday were 21 bikes that had been converted into art.  It was a project done by the AWS Foundation.

“All the projects were done by individuals with disabilities,” said Candy Pease, who oversaw the project.  “It needs to be acknowledged how many individuals with disabilities can produce amazing art work.”

The bikes were made by 15 different organizations in the region.  They’ll be on display at the Wunderkammer Gallery on Fairfield Avenue until the end of June.

The following is a more complete list of activities at Kickstart:

•         IPFW Sculpture with Purpose Dedication and the kick-off of the find the triangle contest
•         Fort4Fitness Spring Cycle Tour, Family Ride and Expo
•         Arts United theatre, dance, and music performers
•         Trolley Spring Shopping Tour from the Downtown Improvement District
•         Barr Street Market Opening Day by YLNI
•         Visit Fort Wayne 65th Anniversary Open House
•         Tasty food and beverages from the Food Truck Group Association
•         Bike Valet parking provided by Fort Wayne Trails

Those at the event said it was nice to see a festival keep people active, while enjoying the art Fort Wayne had to offer.

“it’s great that they try to do this,” said Adam Shain, who biked in his first Spring Cycle Saturday.  “They’re really trying to build up the downtown and get people out.  It’s nothing but positive for the community.”

“We like the music, and we like the activieies on the bikes,” said Boman.  “You can do it all in one day.”

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