For the third year, McMillen Park is hosting Fort Wayne’s Summer Community Celebration. It’s a night that people in the area say not only celebrates diversity, but also brings peace to the neighborhood.
“I honestly think It brings peace,” said Jesse Allen who lives in the neighborhood near McMillen Park It brings peace because everybody’s here, and nobody wants to mess it up for anybody, no matter what, not a gang member, not a drug dealer, not nobody. They’re not none of that when they’re here. They’re not drug dealers. They’re not gangbangers. They’re just people getting along with people. They’re not racist. They’re not none of that.”
This year’s event is sponsored by Sweetwater, Parkview Health, the City of Fort Wayne, the Community Foundation, Fort Wayne Metals and Fort Wayne Parks and Rec. Partners include Adam’s Radio Group, Kathy Callen and John Powell, Citilink, Quinton Ellis, Tracy Foster, Jerry Henry, Joshua’s Hand, Joshua’s Temple Church, the Mad Ants, Midwest Supply Services, Old National Bank, WANE TV and Downtown Courtesy Shuttle.
There will be live bands performing, including nationally known groups Zapp and the S.O.S Band. Local groups Sweetwater All Stars and The Funk Thang are also slated to perform.
“Chuck and Lisa Surack decided to support the event because they felt like it was an excellent opportunity to bring an all-star, marquee event to that community,” Thad Tegtmeyer, Sweetwater’s Vice President of Artist Relation, said.
In addition to the band performances, organizers plan to hand out one thousand backpacks. Two scholarships are also awarded to the same two students for four years. Those two students are in their third year of receiving the scholarship and will speak to kids about their experiences in college. Overall, the night has family-oriented and community-oriented focuses.
“That’s the main focus to get men more involved in their kids’ education,” said Summer Celebration Chairman Andre Patterson. “The second is to pull the community together.”
Small businesses will also be involved in the plans for the night.
“We help small businesses and the non-for-profits come,” said Patterson. “So, people can be in one place to know all of the access and opportunities that they have in the city.”
Patterson said there are spots available for people to volunteer. He said if you are interested in volunteering, you can contact him at 260-427-5965. Patterson said people can also meet him at the McMillen Park back parking lot Friday evening at 6 to go over plans for Saturday.
The celebration is set to begin at noon on Saturday. Admission is free.