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The Journal Gazette

  • Courtesy This year's “Christmas on Broadway” will incorporate the former General Electric campus into the festivities.

Sunday, October 29, 2017 1:00 am

Electric Works joining 'Christmas on Broadway' party

Journal Gazette

The former General Electric campus where developers plan to invest millions over the next several years will be included in this year's “Christmas on Broadway,” a pre-Thanksgiving event that attracts thousands.

“Christmas on Broadway,” entering its 13th year, will be at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 17 in front of the Shine & Hardin building on the Broadway Plaza. The event will include the lighting of a donated 35-foot Colorado spruce adorned with more than 30,000 colored bulbs and a simultaneous fireworks display, according to organizers.

This year's celebration will feature two new additions, including the first public event for Electric Works, the former GE campus north of the Shine & Hardin building. RTM Ventures, the development team that agreed to buy the 39-acre property from GE, plans to redevelop Electric Works as a mixed-use district in a public-private partnership.

About 7:30 p.m., representatives from the city of Fort Wayne and RTM will flip the switch on a holiday-themed light display that will cover several buildings on the west campus and remain lit throughout the holiday season, organizers say.

“Guests will enjoy a mini block party-style celebration with a pop-up public plaza in the street at Swinney (Avenue) and Broadway in front of the former G.E. Club, with outdoor games, music, a photo booth, and beer and food from neighborhood vendors,” according to a news release. The launch event and after-party is free to attend with food and drink available for purchase.

About 150 people attended the first “Christmas on Broadway,” but last year it attracted more than 3,500, according to Steve Shine, who started the event with his law partner, Tom Hardin.

“We are grateful to Steve Shine and everyone associated with his incredible event for this opportunity to partner with them,” Jeff Kingsbury of RTM Ventures said in a statement. “We can't think of a better opportunity for our first public event than to extend the holiday cheer Steve's event creates all the way down the Broadway corridor and throughout the community.”

The second new feature this year will be the participation of Trinity English Lutheran Church's choral group, which will sing traditional Christmas carols throughout the festivities.

“This wonderful occasion has grown far beyond a celebration of the Broadway Corridor, having become a source of pride for all of Fort Wayne and the surrounding area,” Shine said in a news release.