TRF 2017 wraps up; 50th festival planning underway

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) The 49th annual Three Rivers Festival, more commonly known as “TRF,” wrapped up at Headwaters Park on Sunday. Much as you’d expect for an outdoor event, weather played a role in attendance for the 9-day festival. While the weather was seasonable and relatively comfortable for events like the kickoff parade and fireworks, some days of heavy rain and severe storms did have an impact. On 4 out of 9 days this year, rain fell in Fort Wayne. In particular, the first Friday of the event and the following Monday saw the heaviest rain. In total, nearly 3″ of rain fell over the course of TRF.

Due to the rain and storms, the free river excursions were canceled on the first night. Still, TRF staff estimate that around 3,000 people made it out onto the rivers this year. While that number is a bit lower than last year, that brings the total number of participants to nearly 10,000 over the past 3 years. The raft races were also canceled this year due to the high water levels.

Rain-or-shine, up to 900 volunteers helped to pull this years event off – 300 alone for the river excursions. TRF staff estimate that over 10,000 total volunteer hours were involved for TRF 2017.

Fort Wayne picked up just shy of 3-inches of rain during TRF, especially on that first Friday and the following Monday.Fort Wayne picked up just shy of 3-inches of rain during TRF, especially on that first Friday and the following Monday. But, planning is already underway for the 50th Three Rivers Festival next year. Event organizers say those volunteers will be needed in a big way next year as plans for the 50th Three Rivers Festival call for more music, fireworks, and exhibits.

Three Rivers Festival Executive Director, Jack Hammer, says that the new Promenade Park will still be under construction during next year’s festival, and closures to the Harrison Street and Historic Wells Street bridges are anticipated. He hopes to release more information about the 50th TRF later this year.