FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): Governor Eric Holcomb will turn on the 35,000 lights that cover the 40 foot spruce during this year’s Christmas on Broadway, according to the Journal Gazette. Christmas on Broadway has been going on for 14 years and will become an even bigger event having Governor Holcomb light the tree for the first time and incorporating a concert at the newly renovated Clyde Theatre. According to Steve Shine, one of the organizers of the event, invitations have been extended in the past to the state’s governors but there were usually scheduling conflicts. Shine was pleased to get the confirmation that he would make it this year. “My jaw dropped when they called,” and goes on to say “I think it shows his support for neighborhoods and families.”
Christmas on Broadway, located at Broadway Plaza on the corner of Broadway and Beaver Avenue, started 14 years ago with 150 people in attendance. Now around 4,000 people attend the annual event. The event will include the tree lighting, a fireworks display, many family-friendly activities free of charge, rides on the Polar Express train, refreshments and a chance to pet a live reindeer.
Sweetwater Sound is one of the new corporate sponsors this year and is behind the addition of the Clyde Theatre event this year. Shortly after the tree is lit, the Tower of Power 50th anniversary tour will appear at the Clyde which is located at 1808 Bluffton Road with the Sweetwater All-Stars to be special concert guests. Jeff Ostermann, vice president of performance improvement at Sweetwater and interim executive director of the Clyde, is excited to be a part of the “visual magic of the tree lighting and fireworks.”
The annual event is possible due to many sponsors including Frontier Communications. The year’s big Spruce tree is being donated by the Craig and Patty Beyer family of Fort Wayne. Organizers of the event are local law partners, Steve Shine and Tom Hardin. Christmas on Broadway will be on November 16th at 5:30 p.m. located at Broadway Plaza.