Distinctly Fort Wayne – 15 experiences shared by those growing up in the Summit City

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Every city helps form the people who call it home. There are certain experiences in the Summit City that only those who hail from there understand. WANE 15’s Chris Darby shares 15 things that are distinctly Fort Wayne.

Springtime is marked by the return of Zesto’s soft serve ice cream, which comes before kids hit the diamonds as Wildcat Baseball returns to city parks.

Speaking of baseball, those from Fort Wayne remember spending summers at Memorial Stadium watching Amazing Baseball. Across the parking lot, the War Memorial Coliseum used to be a little smaller. The city buzzed the day they raised the roof, back in 2002. Speaking of the Coliseum, we know there’s only one way to spell “comets.” It starts with a “K.”

A drive down Coliseum Boulevard, or “the bypass” as some still call it, Glenbrook Square can be found, or “the mall,” which has seen several changes over the years. Friends gathered at the food court ice rink… and inviting smells filled the Apple Orchard. Things changed when movie theaters became big megaplexes. The city saw the end of cinemas at Glenbrook, Southtown, Coventry and Northcrest.

If you’re not from Fort Wayne, you might have a different definition for the word ‘stoners.’ In the Summit City it means “funny, goofy, crap.” A few steps away from Stoner’s fun store, you experience a hotdog and Coke the best way possible, after walking in Coney Island’s back door.

One annual highlight for kids growing up in Fort Wayne was having something on display at FAME, the biggest art show of the year. Kids also never forget what is learned in field trips, like how to survive alive with the help of the Fort Wayne Fire Department, where babies come from at the McMillen Health Center and the rules of the roads at Safety Village.

One of Indiana’s top tourist destinations calls the city home – the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo. Many childhoods included a few minutes behind the wheel of the African Veldt’s safari cars.

Many kids in Fort Wayne made it a goal to meet a happy hobo, by appearing on Happy’s place to meet Happy the Hobo.

Some people remember spending summer days at Diamond Jim’s. Others, got that waterpark feeling by heading north, to Fun Spot, where you were asked to “bring a friend or two.”

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