Here’s everything you need to know for the Three Rivers Festival

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) – Fort Wayne’s biggest festival is just days away.

The Three Rivers Festival begins on Friday with a variety of events going on downtown, but the unofficial kickoff is Saturday with the annual parade.

Over the course of 10 days, thousands of people from northeast Indiana will check out the fun.

Click here for the full schedule of events.

Here’s a non-exhaustive list of everything you need to know for the festival:


This year’s theme is “The Summer of ’69,” in honor of the first year the festival took place. From the moon landing to Woodstock, Fort Wayne will honor our past with this year’s floats.

The parade is set for Saturday, July 13, at 10 a.m.

More than 50,000 folks are expected to line the streets of Fort Wayne, so expect road closures and heavier traffic.

The parade route starts at Wayne and Rockhill, and ends at Calhoun and Superior.


Junk Food Alley is arguably one of the best places to be during the Three Rivers Festival.

Located at Duck and Barr Street, food vendors will serve up just about everything for the entire festival.

Hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.


Once you’ve stuffed your face with every piece of fried food imaginable, you can head over to the midway at Headwaters Park.

From kids rides to more thrilling rides, there’s bound to be something for everybody.

Wristbands for the midway cost $25, and individual tickets are $1. Each ride costs about 3 to 5 tickets.

Here’s the daily schedule for the midway:

  • Friday, July 12th: 5 – 11 pm
  • Saturday, July 13th: 12 – 11 pm
  • Sunday, July 14th: 2 – 11 pm
  • Monday, July 15th & Tuesday, July 16th: 5 – 11 pm
  • Wednesday, July 17th: 1 – 11 pm
  • Thursday, July 18th: 5 – 11 pm
  • Friday, July 19th: 6 -11 pm, sensory-friendly from 3 – 5 pm
  • Saturday, July 20th: 1 – 11 pm


On Wednesday, July 17, thousands of spectators will watch 5-person teams race their unique beds down Main Street.

Cash prizes for speed and creativity are handed out to the best competitors.

Click here for more details.


Art in the Park is a two-day event located at Freimann Square along Main Street.

More than 100 artists and vendors will be set up offering their goods on Saturday, July 13, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday, July 14, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.


There are more than 80 events going on throughout the duration of the Three Rivers Festival.

Click here for the complete list.


The festival plans to go out with a bang on Saturday, July 20.

Fireworks will shoot off of the Indiana Michigan Power Building at 10 p.m.


Throughout the festival, there will be several road closures. The closures range from a few hours to throughout the festival.

The closures begin on Friday, with streets around the Arts United campus closed for Art in the Park. Main Street from Clinton to Lafayette and Barr Street from Main to Berry will close from 6 am Friday and will remain closed until 11 pm Sunday, July 14.

The left curb lane on Clinton Street will also close beginning Friday. That lane will be closed from 7 pm Friday, July 12 until 11 pm Saturday, July 20.

Several streets will close for the Three Rivers opening day parade on Saturday, July 13. The roads will be closed from 6:30 am until 1 pm. The streets include:

  • W. Wayne Street from Fairfield to Rockhill
  • W. Main Street from Runnion to Lafayette
  • Van Buren Street from Washington to Superior
  • Fairfield Avenue from Superior to Wayne
  • Ewing Street from Main to Wayne
  • Harrison Street from Wayne to Main
  • Calhoun Street from Superior to Washington
  • Berry Street from Clinton to Fairfield
  • Superior Street from Clinton to Harrison
  • Barr Street from Main to Berry
  • Columbia Street from Harrison to Calhoun
  • Rockhill Street from Main to Washington

East Main Street between Lafayette and Clinton will also be closed to traffic on Wednesday, July 17 for the Bed Race. That lane closure will be in effect from 5 pm until 9 pm.

Finally, a few roads will be closed on Saturday, July 20 for the Three Rivers Festival Fireworks. Some of the roads will be closed from 4 pm until 11 pm. The roads include:

  • Calhoun Street from Jefferson to Berry
  • Wayne Street from Harrison to Clinton
  • Washington Street from Clinton to Harrison (10:15 p.m. to 10:45 p.m.)

Police remind people that vehicles found in the closed areas are subject to a ticket and may be towed away.

Kayla Crandall

Kayla Crandall

Kayla Crandall is an Emmy award-winning journalist. She serves as the Social Media and Digital Content Manager at WPTA. Follow her on Twitter @KaylerJayne.

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