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Thieme Drive and Overlook

Size in acres: less than one acre

Since 1911

Thieme Drive, and the Thieme Overlook, is a linear parkway and formal viewing platform between W. Main Street and W. Washington Boulevard along the St. Marys River. For more detailed directions check out the General Park Map, or Thieme Drive/Orff Park and Overlook Map.

History

Thieme Drive and its overlook were designed as a demonstration project by nationally significant landscape architect and planner George Kessler as a model river parkway. The drive and its formal London Plane trees served as a scenic entrance to Swinney Park from W. Main Street. It was an example of the possibilities for river development of the Fort Wayne Park and Boulevard System, also designed by Kessler and completed in 1912. Construction was funded by Theodore F. Thieme, owner of Wayne Knitting Mills. The Thieme Overlook is designed in the “City Beautiful” style. It has a decorative concrete balustrade with a sculpted tribute to Thieme at the center. The Overlook provides a view of the St. Marys River and the City Beautiful style Carole Lombard Bridge.


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WHAT TO DO

The Rivergreenway passes through on Thieme Drive; stop and watch the river flow by at the Overlook. The West Central Historic District is adjacent to Thieme Drive; ride or drive some of Fort Wayne’s best historic residential streets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Powell Park    

Size in acres: 0.18 Acres

Official City Park since 2023

Powell Park is located at 2620 Weisser Park Avenue at the intersection of Pontiac and Weisser Park Avenue.  For more detailed location information, check out the General Park Map


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History: The park like setting was officially renamed in honor of Lester and Hester Powell, who tirelessly maintained the area for the last 20 years. With the park newly refreshed and invested in as a part of the Southeast Strategy Update, City departments will showcase other ways the Southeast Strategy is progressing and some action items that have already been implemented. Read more....


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WHAT TO DO

Scroll down for more information about our park features:


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The newly reconstructed neighborhood park, located in the Renaissance Pointe neighborhood, offers a basketball court, gathering space for families, and areas to rest.


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Promenade Park 
202 W. Superior Street, Fort Wayne, Indiana
(260) 427-6000 

Open: 6 am-11 pm daily

Learn more about the Riverfront
Promenade Park Map
Check out the Riverfront brochure
 

Promenade Park, the first phase of our transformational Riverfront Fort Wayne Project opened in 2019!  Highlights of the opening weekend included the ribbon cutting and various arts performances,  boating and recreation as well as nature and our rivers’ ecosystem activities. 

Follow us on social media and sign up for the newsletter at RiverfrontFW.org to stay current on updates!

Before you visit the park check out the Parking Options

 

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The Grand Opening Celebration was held for Promenade Park August 9-11, 2019.  Approximately 35,000 people came to visit the park that weekend.  Park visitors continue to visit the park and enjoy all the amenities the park offers!  Please check out the Park Amenity list and the Parking Map (Visit Fort Wayne) to learn more about the park.  Feel free to visit daily from 6 am-11 pm! 
 

 

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Thanks for celebrating Dragon Boat Races with us!

Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation and Riverfront Fort Wayne celebrated the fourth year of Promenade Park at the  “Dragon Boat Races” on August 4-5, 2023. Around 5,000 people joined us for the two days to learn more about Dragon Boat Racing, take part in family friendly activities provided by the Fort Wayne Chinese Friends and Family, watch traditional Chinese performances, listen to music by "We are CheckMark", enjoy floating fire pits on the St. Marys River featuring Fire Dancers, participate in Tai Chi, or especially to compete in the 2023 Races!  We are so thankful for the 11 teams that competed this year as well as the Fort Wayne Chinese Friends and Family Association and McDonalds Owners/Operators of Greater Indiana and Southwest Michigan for making this event possible. Want to see more pictures and check out the teams? Check out the Dragon Boat Races link to learn more!

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Mark your calendar to celebrate Dragon Boat Races with us again on August 2-3rd, 2024!  

More information is available at RiverfrontFW.org or 260-427-6000.

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Riverfront IIA officially opened on June 27, 2023!  Pictured above Steve McDaniel, Director (far left), Mayor Tom Henry (in the middle) and the four Park Commissioners. Construction for IIB will be at least a year and a half. Check out additional information on IIA and IIB on this link: Riverfront IIA/11B link


Calendar

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We're lighting up the river with year-round programs.  

  

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Upcoming events include: Sunday Heritage Concert Series, Open Mic Nights WIth Kyla J., Don't Act Your Age: Adult Game Nights,  Yoga on the Riverfront, Dance Promenade!, Winter Cozy, Valentine's Day Doggie Sweater Party, Mocktail Bash, (Lunar) New Year, New Beats: K-Pop Edition, Karoke Jam Nights with Teds Snack + Bar, Holly Trolley Stop at Promenade, Cheers & Cookies, Kickboxing with 9Round, Be Your Own Artist: Colorful Coil Baskets, River Rangrs: Froggy Exploration and much MORE! Check out the on-line calendar for information on all of these exciting programs!

Interested in learning about Urban Birdwatching?  

Learn more....

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Volunteer or Become a Sponsor for a Riverfront Event!

Are you interested in volunteering or sponsoring an event for Riverfront Fort Wayne? We have plenty of great opportunities for volunteers and sponsors to help Riverfront events and programs be successful! Interested? Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (260) 427-6248.

 

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PNC Playground

The PNC Playground is a fully accessible playground to be enjoyed by all! Do you have questions about the PNC Playground?  

 

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Parkview Tree Canopy Trail

The Parkview Tree Canopy Trail is a stunner offering unique views of Parkview Park as well as the ever evolving skyline.  


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Canoes & Kayaks

If you have your own canoes, kayaks, paddleboards  or other watercraft feel free to explore Promenade Park by water!  Fort Wayne Outfitters rents watercraft too and is adjacent to the park! For motorized watercraft please be aware of the New Law Aims to Address Increased River Traffic Safety by establishing the Idle Speed Zone that went into effect on June 8, 2023.


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Sweet Breeze

Ride aboard Sweet Breeze, Fort Wayne’s authentic canal boat replica. Purchase TICKETS next SPRING!


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Doermer Kids' Canal & Rotary Fountain

The Doermer Kids' Canal & Rotary Fountain are popular draws for both the very young and old alike.  This area is now closed for the season.  Check back in the spring for opening information.   

 

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Rental Opportunities in Promenade Park 

Generally, the spaces available for rent in Promenade Park are the Park Foundation Pavilion (inside and outside), Auer Lawn and Sweetwater Band Shell East, Old National Bank Plaza and Sweetwater Band Shell west, and the historic Wells Street Bridge. The only space that is entirely covered, and therefore weather-proof, is the indoor portion of the Park Foundation Pavilion.

Additional information about Rental Opportunities at Promenade Park is now available. 

Please e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to inquire about dates available for your next gathering.

 

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Fun & Games

At Promenade Park there are 3 Ping Pong Tables, 2 Cornhole games and 1 Foosball table for your enjoyment! 


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The new teds snack + bar officially opened in June of 2023!  Guests will be able to grab a convient bite to eat, or a quick snack as well as cold refreshments.

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Learn more about teds snack + bar by checking out their web site: teds snack + bar.   



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The Journal Gazette Foundation Dining Gardens

The Dining Gardens provide a perfect opportunity to either bring your favorite food for a picnic or stop in at a local eatery including teds Snack + Bar (located at the park/opening in May) and then relax at one of the convenient dining areas in the park.


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Sweetwater Bandshell and the Old National Bank Plaza


Looking for inter entertainment?   Go to RiverFrontFW.org to learn more! 

 

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Promenade Park Sculpture

Mayor Tom Henry and Parks and Recreation Director Steve McDaniel officially unveiled the first piece of Promenade Park to the public on July 26, 2019. “Convergence, Linda Howard, 2018, presented by the Waterfield Foundation” sits on the southeast corner of Promenade Park, near the intersection of Superior and Harrison streets. Mayor Henry and McDaniel shared their excitement for the sculpture, especially as it means the opening of the first phase of Riverfront Fort Wayne is getting closer.  Read more...


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Little Creek Bioswale


What is the Little Creek Bioswale? Learn more...
This project is partly funded by:
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Park Foundation Pavilion


The Fort Wayne Park Foundation, Inc. is pleased to announce its support of Promenade Park by raising funds for the construction of the Park Foundation Pavilion. With generous contributions from area foundations and individuals, the Foundation raised $1,000,000 which was generously matched with $500,000 from the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne. In addition, the Park Foundation pledged $150,000 from its unrestricted endowment funds to support the project.  

Check out the
News Release for additional information or the Riverfront web site!

Ready to find out more about how to reserve the Park Foundation Pavilion for your event?  Please e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  


 

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Riverfront Endowment Donations

The Fort Wayne Park Foundation invites families to become a part of local history by supporting Promenade Park. A gift of $500 will be recognized with an inscription on a Greenscape Step within the Park. It's similar to buying a brick. The purpose of this campaign is to create a legacy endowment for Promenade Park. The Promenade Endowment will help support improvements, updates and programming along the rivers, and will be operated by the Fort Wayne Park Foundation, a nonprofit charity. All donations are tax-deductible and can be made securely at the Park Foundation website. Learn more: https://fwparkfoundation.org/product/donate/ 

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Donations

Donations are needed for Promenade Park for an on-going maintenance endowment.  Individual donations may be given on-line.  For corporate donations please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Manager of Development, at 260-427-6026.  

 

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Project Overview

The McKinnie Ave. and South Anthony Blvd. intersection is a highly visible and traveled commercial node.  The excess right-of-way created by the northernmost slip lane along McKinnie Ave. is being repurposed and transformed into a community gathering space for activities and events.  Several input meetings were hosted by the Southeast Area Partnership and the City to help create the design concept for this space.  The space features a bandshell that could have reoccurring or impromptu performances, large urban swings, space for food trucks and pop-up vendors, outdoor dining areas, bike racks,  decorative lighting, and shade sails.  Read more about McKinnie Commons and the history of this project.


Events

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McKinnie Commons (1815 McKinnie Ave.) officially opened on June 28th!  Read more about McKinnie Commons!  

Enjoy some photos of the Opening Celebration:


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Franklin School Park
 
 

Size in acres: 4.25 acres

Since: March 2016

Franklin School Park is located at 1903 Saint Mary's Avenue. 

History

Franklin School Park sits on the site of the former Franklin School building.  The school was built in 1921  and was last used for students in 1981. Fort Wayne Community Schools sold the building to the U.S. Navy, which used it for a U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Center. The Fort Wayne Police Department also used the building until moving out in April 2012, which left it vacant. In 2016, the City demolished the building leaving only the building's entrance arches to be re-used as design elements for the new park. 


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Pavilion:

 

Phase I

The renovation of the arches has been completed.  This phase also includes construction of family restrooms in the pavilion, site work and a new splash pad. 


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Grand Opening of Franklin School Park Phase 1

Phase I of Franklin School Park opened in 2016.  The splash pad is available seasonally from 9 am-9 pm.  The park is open from 6 am-11 pm daily.  Enjoy the below photos of the completed project.

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Phase II

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The photos show the new parking lot and concrete patio with sidewalk as well as the pavilion under construction.  

 

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The inside of the pavilion includes new restroom facilities, a kitchen, and a large multi-purpose room that can now be used as a year-round rental facility.  The renovation also included all new heating and air conditioning so the building can be used all year.  The site work consisted of a new parking lot with lighting, a new concrete patio with trees, seat walls, and a new sidewalk connecting to the street.

 
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The new David Hefner Pavilion and the $1.8 million Franklin School Park is now complete.  Read more about the project and all of the neighborhood advocates and community leaders that came together to make this project a reality. 

 

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