“Sweet Breeze” sets sail in Fort Wayne

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE)- A new canal boat hit Fort Wayne’s rivers for the first time. “Sweet Breeze” is the name and city leaders say it’s the next big thing in riverfront development.

Friends of the Rivers (FOR) hosted the Christening and revealed the name of the new boat, Tuesday evening. Following that ceremony, a group of about 30 people took a tour of the city in the canal boat.

The 54-foot boat is modeled after an authentic 1840’s canal boat. The group, FOR, said this is the first step in making the rivers more accessible to the community.

The boat holds up to 40 people and can be rented for a private parties. On weekends it is accessible to anyone.

Individuals would pay about $35 dollars for an hour-and-a-half ride, according to Don Steininger, an FOR Board Member. He said patrons will have an opportunity to see the city and learn a little bit about it from the captain, too.

Leaders said this new initiative will allow people the opportunity to experience the rivers and the potential they offer for development, recreation, and educational programming.

FOR asked for the community’s help to choose a name for the canal boat. The three finalists were “Sweet Breeze,” “Kekionga,” and “Big Chief.” The name “Sweet Breeze” was ultimately chosen as the winner.

This ceremony was originally scheduled for Wednesday, May 31. It had to be rescheduled due to the high water levels of the Fort Wayne Rivers.