The Journal Gazette
Friday, July 13, 2018 1:00 am

TRF through the years

COREY MCMAKEN | The Journal Gazette

Sunny skies and temperatures in the high 80s awaited spectators for opening day activities for the first Three Rivers Festival on July 12, 1969.

Richard Nixon was president, Apollo 11 was set to lift off for the moon in just a few days and something called Woodstock would soon become a phenomenon.

And on the banks of the St. Joseph River in Fort Wayne, more than 10,000 people gathered to watch a river parade.

“It was great!” said Kevin McCarthy, 8, about the boats making their way down the river. There was also a mock battle between Native Americans and settlers. The Native Americans won, according to a Journal Gazette story about the day.

The 50th Three Rivers Festival begins today and runs through July 21. Here are some photos from our archive from each decade of the festival, as well as details about some of this year’s events. For the full schedule, go to

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