Blue Jacket making final preparations for annual Festival of Lights

Holiday News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A long-time holiday tradition returns to Fort Wayne on Tuesday night with Blue Jacket’s Fantasy of Lights at Franke Park.

Director of Marketing Brad Saleik describes the last few days as a sprint to the starting line, with the light show running from Nov. 16 – Dec. 31.

An act of vandalism slowed down setup back in November. However, thanks to the help of the community, groups like Neighborlink Fort Wayne stepped in to help crews catch up in time for Tuesday’s opening night.

“We’ve gotten used to the fact that the community surrounds this event like no other,” said Director of Marketing Brad Saleik. “they take pride in it like they do in their own events, so that’s what strikes us is that the community steps out.”

Over 140 light displays will be up this year, which includes more than 300,000 LED lights. Returning this year is the Christmas Village, which debuted last year. The village includes unique craft food vendors, Christmas music and plenty of photo-taking opportunities.

“That village is going to quickly become a fan favorite,” Saleik said. “The vendors who participated last year were excited about coming back this year. The vendors who are new this year are really excited about participating for the first time this year.”

Blue Jacket will kick off the Festival of Lights with a “Flip the Switch” event that is scheduled to start at 5:45. Community leaders like Mayor Tom Henry will be in attendance. A local family with an inspiring story has also been invited to flip on the lights for the first time this year.

The annual Festival of Lights is open from 6 – 9 p.m. on Sunday – Thursday, and 6 – 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays through the end of the year. More information on this year’s event can be found on their website.

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