By Emeline Rodenas
For IN|FW Newspapers
FORT WAYNE — The summer may be almost over, but that certainly didn’t stop crowds from having fun Friday night at Georgetown Square at its ever popular Friday concert series.
The series, which has been known to have 1,000 visitors according to Maureen Partee, Georgetown Square events coordinator, is a hit with the nearby communities. Concerts are held the fourth Friday of June, July and August.
“Not everyone wants to go all the way downtown for entertainment. It’s nice to have something in the northeast area. The concerts have been one of our most popular events,” Partee said.
While many residents in the Georgetown area come by, it’s not uncommon to see people attend from as far away as Auburn and Decatur, Ohio. Concerts start at 6:30 p.m. and continue til 8 p.m.
The series is organized months in advance and Partee describes it as a “collaborative effort.” Bands are lined up months in advance, including big names with followings such as Hubie Ashcraft, who will perform Aug. 23 at the final concert of the summer. Businesses such as Biggby Coffee generously give up their parking lot for the evening so participants have a place to set their lawn chairs.
“Bring a chair, join in, it’s free. Enjoy it, invite your neighbors and have a good time,” Partee said.
It’s not uncommon for people to call in advance to see who will be playing each Friday night, she said. The most rewarding part for her is “watching everyone here tonight, looking forward to it.”
Many of the series and vendors involved return every year, including Parkview who’s been a title sponsor for nine years, Three Rivers Federal Credit Union, and the newest stage sponsor and band sponsor Heritage Park.
By having different bands perform and special themed nights, the series keeps attracting a variety of ages, with the goal of “keeping things fresh.”
Friday, July 26, featured The Junk Yard Band as well as two special visitors, Icey Princess and a Puppy Paw Hero for kids to visit and take photos with.
“We’ve done so many things over the years including the Fort Wayne Ballet, The Civic Theater, Snyder band. Blackhawk Junior High School. We used to have a bounce houses, face painting,” Partee said. Other events included car shows and a weekly farmers market.
While the focus of the series is cultural, the event also helps keeps local businesses open, including Georgetown Square’s newest resident, Sweets So Geek, a bakery which had its soft opening Friday. Formerly located on Anthony Street, the bakery specializes in themed-cakes as well as handmade ice creams.
“It gives a real boost to the new restaurant,” Partee said.
For owner Heather Seewald, every little bit of advertisement helps.
“We can’t wait for people to experience us. It took two months for us to open, so having customers is a big deal,” Seewald said.
The bakery is already planning events such as monthly movie night with an upcoming one on Aug. 17, game nights and even cooking classes. The bakery will be open Tuesday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday, from noon to 5 p.m.
“You don’t have to be a geek to enjoy stuff, it just makes it better,” Seewald said.
In the end, the event serves are a way for people to let loose, mingle with their neighbors and spend a Friday night exposed to the cultural arts.