FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): The calendar may say September, but plans are already shaping up for one of the biggest holiday season celebrations in the Summit City as the 18th Annual edition of Christmas on Broadway is already taking shape. Beginning its tradition in 2004, the event has grown substantially from a small gathering to crowds flocking to Broadway Plaza in front of the Shine & Hardin Law Offices by the masses.
Event organizer, Steve shine recently reflected on the growth of the event and is often stunned the event has gone on as long as it has. “I can’t believe its been 18 years,” Shine state, “When we started this in 2004, there were 150 people and that has grown over the last 18 years to crowds that have exceeded 5,000.”
This years’ event will feature the nationally acclaimed 41 member Concordia Lutheran High School Marching Band kicking off the event leading a parade down Broadway, which also will include animals from Humane Fort Wayne which will be the featured charitable organization of the event. This year’s parade on Broadway will feature Santa and Mrs. Claus aboard a fire truck decked out for Christmas and greeting holiday revelers along the parade route which will begin at Broadway and Creighton and will travel south to the Broadway Plaza. Attendees of the event are asked to line both sides of Broadway along the parade route before making their way to Broadway Plaza.
The event culminates with the annual lighting of the tree, which this year is a spectacular 35-foot Spruce tree that has been donated by John Palmersheim of Fort Wayne and will command the place of honor in the center of Broadway Plaza. The tree will be lit by one of the dogs from Humane Fort Wayne who will place its paw on the switch which will then light the Christmas tree that will be adorned with 40,000 lights in spectacular glowing colors followed by a spectacular fireworks show.
With the events growth over the past 18 years, Shine is most proud of the activities that have been added to the event, “The fireworks, having a live reindeer on the Broadway Plaza, the holiday treats, and of course the addition of the parade down Broadway.”
The event is a massive undertaking for the staff and personnel involved in making the event happen each year, but for Shine it’s all about the motivation to give back to the community. “To watch the expression of mothers and fathers and their children, as the tree is lit and the fireworks contemporaneously are lit, is a real pleasure and a real joy to watch the excitement.” Shine emphasized.
Christmas on Broadway will take place on Friday, November 18, 2022, beginning at 5:30 p.m. with the tree’s ceremonial lighting taking place around 6 P.M. WOWO will be on hand all afternoon as the “Pat Miller Program” will broadcast live from 3 P.M. to 6 P.M. all leading up to the big moment so many in Fort Wayne have grown accustomed to love over the years.