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MAYOR TOM HENRYEach summer, as the weather gets warmer, Fort Wayne sizzles with the excitement of annual festivals, conventions, baseball games, bike rides along the trail and other community events -- and this year is no exception.
This summer, one of our local celebrations will pay tribute to one of our award-winning parks, which is celebrating a milestone anniversary.

You may have already heard that Foster Park is marking its 100th anniversary this year and the City of Fort Wayne is hosting several events on July 6-7 for a community-wide celebration.

Foster Park is near and dear to the hearts of many city residents. In fact, in a recent survey conducted by the City Parks & Recreation Department, Foster Park was listed as our "most visited park." In 2010, the Fort Wayne Newspapers Reader's Picks survey chose Foster Park as the "Best Local Park."

Foster Park was created after the families of Samuel and Colonel David N. Foster donated land to the City of Fort Wayne in 1912. Named after Colonel Foster, the picturesque park, located along the St. Mary's River, has 255 acres. It has attractions for everyone, including a municipal golf course (our city's first public course and one of the best 18-hole courses in the area), pavilions, tennis courts, trails, floral areas, a replica of Abe Lincoln's birth cabin, a playground, and a cable foot bridge that connects to our award-winning trail system.

The Foster Park anniversary celebration kicks off Friday, July 6 with a KaBOOM! Play Day from 5 to 9:30 p.m. Events include a Family Fun Walk at 5 p.m.; a free Community Picnic at 6 p.m.; sports activities from 6 to 9:30 p.m.; a carnival from 6 to 8:30 p.m. and garden walks from 6 to 8 p.m. We urge you to register in advance for the Family Fun Walk by going to www.fortwayneparks.org; however, you may also register on the day of the event.

On Saturday July 7, there will be park tours at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., an Old Fashioned Ice Cream Social from 1 to 3 p.m., and a Florida Scramble Golf Tournament. You may go online to register in advance for the tours and RSVP for the Ice Cream Social at www.fortwayneparks.org. Registration will also be available the day of the events.

Golfers in the fee-based Florida Scramble will have an opportunity to win great prizes including a car, golf equipment and trips! The event is open to men, women and children of all ages. The fee is $180 for a team of four or $45 for individuals. All proceeds will help fund improvements at Foster Park Golf Course. Entry fees include 18 holes of golf, a golf cart, lunch and awards. The event starts at 8 a.m. and features professional golfer Rick Hemsoth and former pro golfer Bill Miller. You must pre-register by calling the Foster Park at 427-6735 or stopping in at the Foster Golf Course Pro Shop. The deadline for registration is Friday, July 6th.

Foster Park is a unique asset in our award winning park system. Fort Wayne has been named Playful City USA by KaBoom! for three straight years. The group recognizes park offerings and accessibility to families.

I hope to see you come out and play at the Foster Park Celebration.


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