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West Central ArtsFest showcases “West Centralities” and more
Annual fest coincides with West Central Home & Garden Tour
By Eddie Torres
Fort Wayne Reader
Building on the success of previous years — including the Downtown Improvement District’s award as “Best Event of 2009” — this year’s West Central ArtsFest is the biggest yet.
Located along Wayne and Union streets between Jackson and Rockhill, the West Central ArtsFest presents 8 performing artists (including the Fort Wayne Ballet) and around 40 artist booths, plus food and drink from some of the area’s leading vendors. The schedule for the ArtsFest performances – which run from 1:00 pm to 10:00 pm on Saturday, September 10, and from 12:00 noon to 6:00 pm on Sunday, September 11 – is listed below.
In previous years, there would be several musicians and art booths set up behind one of the homes on the tour, a very small setup,” says event organizer Ben Porter. “This is the fourth year that the Arts Fest has been a block party style fest, and it’s the biggest one we’ve had so far.”
The Mad Anthony Brewing Co. and other vendors will offer food, drink, and fun to enhance the Tour and ArtsFest experience. All ages are welcome in the food and beverage area, but you must be 21 years old or older to purchase alcoholic beverages from Mad Anthony’s. The ArtsFest is free and open to the public.
It coincides with the WCNA Home & Garden Tour, a popular event that has presented homes with a diverse array of both history and style — no featured home appears on the Tour more than once in at least five years. WCNA provides free carriage and pedicab rides along the Tour route as well as a full-color, souvenir Tour brochure. Proceeds from the Home and Garden Tour are used to support the West Central Neighborhood mission to preserve and renovate historic properties in the neighborhood as well as undertake projects that beautify the neighborhood.
The Tour highlights historic homes and buildings from the 19th and early 20th centuries to highlight historic preservation and to promote neighborhood revitalization. The Tour runs both days from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm. Tickets are $13 in advance and $15 on the days of the Tour. Children age 12 and under are free.
The ArtsFest is free both days.
This year’s Home & Garden Tour features several homes that have never been open for the Tour. The c. 1908 home at 1308 West Wayne Street presents a mix of Queen Anne and Colonial Revival styles, and, the 1919 American Foursquare home at 1122 College Street with many original interior details join the Tour to make their first appearances. Other first-time showings include a charming gable-front home built in 1860 with a completely renovated interior at 807 West Jefferson Boulevard and a c. 1866 Italianate brick home at 1216 Union Street.
The Scottish Rite, also on this year’s Tour, was built in 1914 and is a fine example of the Spanish Eclectic Style designed by local architect and Shriner Guy Mahurin. Among the Tour’s other stops are homes that display an eclectic mix of history, architectural styles, gardens, and art- and antiques-filled interiors. The 1907 Colonial Revival Lewellen House, which the neighborhood saved years ago from demolition by moving it to its current location at 904 West Berry Street, is also on the Tour this year.
In addition West Central hosts many beautiful gardens. Two of those gardens, located at 521 West Washington Boulevard and 1012 West Wayne Street, will be featured this year.
The West Central Neighborhood was named “Best Old House Neighborhood” in Indiana for 2010 by This Old House Magazine.
1:00 – 2:00 FORT WAYNE BALLET
2:00 – 3:30 END TIMES SPASM BAND
4:00 – 5:30 MARK HUTCHINS & THE EXPLODING RADIO STARS
6:00 – 7:30 GROOVE CARAVAN
8:00 – 10:00 LEE MILES & THE ILLEGITIMATE SONS
noon – 1:30 LING-REEVES DUO
2:00 – 3:30 THE KENNY KENNY BERGLE SHOW
4:00 – 6:00 THE BESIDE HERS