Statement issued Thursday:
It's not an April Fool's joke: there will be fire on the St. Joseph River this summer. Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) Chancellor Michael A. Wartell announced the inaugural IPFW RiverFest will be Saturday, June 26, from 9 a.m. to midnight, on the IPFW campus. Steel Dynamics has agreed to be the event's title sponsor for the first three years of RiverFest.
In remarks made this morning (Thursday, April 1, 2010) near the banks of the St. Joseph River, Wartell said, "IPFW RiverFest 2010 will be a day of celebrating the city's most prominent natural resources: our rivers. There's going to be something for everyone to enjoy here at the river, and along the way, if you learn something about our rivers and how to protect and preserve them, then I think we can say we'll have a very successful event." Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry, Allen County Commissioner Linda Bloom, and Dan Wire of Friends of the Rivers also spoke at the news conference.
What makes this festival different from others is the river itself.
Irene Walters, executive director of university relations and communications at IPFW and the director of IPFW RiverFest 2010, said the river itself will be an integral part of the days' activities.
"There will be fun activities for everyone throughout the day," said Walters. "We'll have flat water races with kayaks and canoes, a water ski show, pontoon boat rides, and much more."
She encouraged all pontoon boat owners to decorate their boats, bring them down to the river, and join the party.
Other events include a 4K walk/run designed for families, a FamilyFest area with interactive games for everyone, and live entertainment. A fine art competition, The Rivers and Bridges of Northeast Indiana, and a fine arts and crafts sale will feature artists from around the region. There will also be river rides, educational river walks, and much more.
Walters noted artists for both the competition and the fine arts and crafts sale are still needed. A variety of concession stands will offer food throughout the day and evening, when adult beverages will also be available. More information about events and how to participate in them can be found at www.ipfwriverfest.org/events.
A significant part of IPFW RiverFest 2010 will be the live entertainment and music throughout the day. A stage in the FamilyFest area will feature music and entertainment for the whole family until 4 p.m. Two stages near the river will be the site of Rockin' the River, from 4 p.m. to midnight. Once the sun goes down, flaming cauldrons of fire will line the river and fireworks, set off from a barge anchored in the middle of the river, will fill the sky. Bands that have agreed to play include Chris Worth, Crush, Urban Legend, Moser Woods and the Marnee Project, and Borrowed Time.
Mark Carboni, IPFW RiverFest 2010 music and entertainment coordinator, announced a contest in which the public will get to pick one band to play at the event. Any band that wants to play at IPFW RiverFest 2010 can enter the contest by submitting an MP3 or video recording from now through April 26. Beginning May 1, the public can begin voting for their favorite band by going to www.ipfwriverfest.org/bandcontest.
Voting concludes at midnight, May 14, 2010. The band with the most votes will be invited to perform at IPFW RiverFest 2010. Complete rules for the contest are posted at www.ipfwriverfest.org/events/rockin-the-river.
An event of this stature can't be done without sponsors, partners, and volunteers. Walters recognized Steel Dynamics, the Indiana–Purdue Student Government Association, the City of Fort Wayne, Allen County Government, Lutheran Health Network, Parkview Health System, the Fort Wayne/Allen County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Indiana Michigan Power, Sweetwater, Tower Bank, Barrett & McNagny, Engineering Resources, and Swiss Re. Media sponsors WANE TV, Majic 95.1, WAJI-FM and Rock 104, WXKE-FM and several in-kind sponsors and partners were also recognized.
For more information on IPFW RiverFest 2010 or how you can get involved, contact Louise Teague, IPFW RiverFest 2010 coordinator, at 260-481-6495 or firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.ipfwriverfest.org.