The place I live features a great event each September: Be a Tourist in Your Own Hometown. On this day, anyone can visit any of about 15 local attractions, all free. I’ve been many times, and this year was no exception. In years past, the girls enjoyed going along with me. As they’ve gotten older, their enthusiasm for this has waned. But perhaps it’s the teacher in me that takes me downtown every year for this.
This year, I went to a place I’d never been before: Fort Wayne’s Riverfront. If you didn’t know, Fort Wayne is built at the intersection of three rivers: the St Marys, Maumee, and St Joseph. The city is now planning to built a really neat area at the confluence of these rivers. They’re calling it the Riverfront, and while most of the things aren’t yet built, they were offering walking tours of the area along with talks about what to expect.
There will be lots of neat things, many of them for kids: a kids’ canal, play area, and treewalk canopy trail. Lots of areas to sit and picnic, or just to view the beautiful trees and rivers. The rivers and landscaping had been cleaned up and looked quite nice.
We got to see and look at a boat on the St Marys. It is a replica of an 1840s “packet boat” that actually traveled the Erie Canal near here, years ago. You can go for a ride on the canal boat, although you couldn’t on this particular day.
The weather was beautiful for a stroll through the area. This building was interesting, although I don’t know its purpose (nor did the tour guide).
Eagle Marsh Monarch Festival
I still had some steam left after this, so I decided to take in another community event: the Monarch Butterfly Festival at Eagle Marsh. I’d attended this before with the girls as well, and I was surprised by how it had grown. An entire road was blocked off for parking, and I had to walk probably a half mile from my car to the festival itself. Unfortunately, I forgot my comfortable shoes, so my church shoes had to suffice.
At the festival, I could observe butterflies being tagged before they head south to Mexico. I got a close-up look at a blue heron on a pond, thanks to some great viewing equipment set up by bird watchers. I took home a milkweed plant and some seeds that will attract butterflies next season too. There were lots of educational displays, and many things for kids, but since I had none of those along, my trip was pretty brief. Still, it was a nice day and a great way to spend an hour or so.
I learned that Fort Wayne is often referred to as the “summit city” due to its location at a continental divide. Part of the city (where I live) drains into the Gulf of Mexico. Other parts drain to the Great lakes. Interesting!
Thanks for coming along with me. I hope you enjoyed your armchair version of these events.