|Fort Wayne will celebrate its inaugural observance of World Rivers Day with entertainment, education, boat rides, and the unveiling of the Paddles Aweigh public art project on Sunday, September 29, from 2 to 5 p.m. in Promenade Park.The festivities, which will pay tribute to the city’s three rivers, the St. Marys, St. Joseph, and the Maumee, will be held in the new Park Foundation Pavilion and begin at 2:15 p.m. They will include:
• Mayoral proclamation
• Paddles Aweigh Parade with artists and more than 150 artistically decorated canoe paddles
• Scavenger hunt with prizes
• Community voting for “best” paddle art
• Rides on the Sweet Breeze canal boat begin at 4 p.m.
There will also be music, refreshments, and educational field trip information, along with interactive tables from multiple river organizations.
“Friends of the Rivers is excited to present this new event to our community so we can all learn more about our rivers and how vital they’ve been to the growth and development of Fort Wayne,” says Irene Walters, past board chair of Friends of the Rivers and chair of the Paddles Aweigh project. “We cannot wait to reveal over 150 fantastic paddles to our community so they can admire the creativity of our talented artists. And we’re so grateful to our artists for participating in this project to help Friends of the Rivers raise funds to provide educational school tours on our rivers”
Purdue University Fort Wayne is proud to be the Fort Wayne World Rivers Day event sponsor, along with Friends of the Rivers, Wells Fargo, season sponsor Parkview Health, and media sponsor WANE-TV.
“With the St. Joseph River running right through our campus, Purdue Fort Wayne enjoys the opportunities the river affords our students, faculty, staff, and community,” says Jerry Lewis, Vice Chancellor for Communications and Marketing. “Our Environmental Resources Center has just moved to the banks of the river, the Rivergreenway follows the river through campus, and the Native Trees of Indiana River Walk allows for spectacular views of the river and its wildlife. We’re delighted to be a sponsor for the Paddles Aweigh event in celebration of World Rivers Day.”
World Rivers Day is held the fourth Sunday of September and has been celebrated in dozens of cities and countries around the world since 2005. Last year, several million people in more than 60 countries took part in the event. It is an effort to emphasize the many values of rivers, strives to increase public awareness, and supports enhanced stewardship of these waterways. These values fall right in line with those of Friends of the Rivers, whose mission it is to celebrate the city’s rivers as a source of recreation, community engagement, and economic development.
For more information about the event, contact Irene Walters at 260-341-4586. To learn more about World Rivers Day, visit worldriversday.com.
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