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June 4, 2024 | What to know about Middle Waves

June 4, 2024 | What to know about Middle Waves

Hey Locals,

It's a week full of event-related news, from details about Middle Waves Music Fest and German Fest, to an Urban Rodeo on The Landing and a full calendar of things to do.

In Small Talk, we dish on a national study questioning whether Fort Wayne is as "family friendly" as we think. We also talk about a new app coming soon to ease some of your parking pains Downtown.

We have a new deal for you this month, too! In June, we're partnering with Pikoso Burrito Co. inside Union Street Market at Electric Works to bring all paid subscribers a FREE order of chips and salsa. We give our paid members a freebie every month at a local business to cover the cost of membership. See what a paid membership is all about with this 30-day trial, and you can get that chips and salsa.

Now, let's get started!

NOTE: Links to Journal Gazette articles are marked(*) and may be behind a paywall.

Middle Waves Music Festival returns to Parkview Field on June 15.

We share what to expect this summer – and in the future.

Last summer, the Embassy Theatre bought Middle Waves Music Festival and hosted a hype event called “Ripple” at Parkview Field.

What’s happening?

Fort Wayne's destination music festival, Middle Waves, is back June 15 after taking 2023 off to transition to new ownership under the Embassy Theatre.

  • Last summer: the Embassy bought the festival and hosted a hype event called “Ripple” at Parkview Field.
  • This year: the festival is returning to the ballpark for a one-day, five-act experience, headlined by Grammy-nominated Alvvays (indie rock). 
  • To learn more: We spoke with The Embassy’s Chief Marketing Officer Carly Myers who says her team’s focus is on establishing sustainability for Middle Waves and expanding its lineup in coming years.

Here are three quick things to know: 

  • The Embassy plans to preserve Middle Waves original vibe and focus on indie and pop rock. Myers says community input has shaped this year's lineup, and three of the five bands have connections to Indiana, including: Houndmouth (alternative blues), Murder by Death (indie-Americana) and Overlook (rock) – formerly based in Fort Wayne before relocating to Nashville, TN. Along with the headliner Alvvays (indie rock), Middle Waves also features Pom Pom Squad (indie rock/grunge), which has never been to the local region before.
  • Middle Waves will return next year as an annual event and transition to a new permanent location in coming years. Watch for announcements this summer or early fall, Myers says. She notes that her team has seen “overwhelming support” within its organization and across the city. VIP and VVIP tickets are already sold out this year.
  • General admission tickets are still available for advance purchase or walk-ins. Tickets cost $40 for adults, and $10 for kids (12 and under) at the Embassy’s Box Office or at Parkview Field’s ticketing office on-site the day of the festival. Doors open at 3 p.m., and music begins at 3:45 p.m. with the band Overlook. Downtown Fort Wayne is also hosting a (free) “After Waves” party at The Porch Off Calhoun next to Pint & Slice that night (June 15) 11 p.m.-1 a.m., to keep the celebration going.

 Learn more and get answers to FAQs in our full breakdown with Myers.

Why does it matter? We break down the impacts of Middle Waves in our premium newsletter.

  • Fort Wayne ranks in the bottom half of 182 cities to raise a family, according to a 2024 study by WalletHub. While the Summit City has long billed itself as a "great place to raise a family," a new report by WalletHub rates it 119th out of 182 cities in the U.S. based on 45 metrics for "essential family dynamics," including cost of housing, quality of local schools and health-care systems and opportunities for fun and recreation. Fort Wayne scored the highest (60th) in affordability as well as health and safety (63rd). It scored 84th in socioeconomics, and lowest in education and childcare (166th) as well as family fun (168th). The only other city from Indiana that made the list was Indianapolis, clocking in at 158th. "California had five cities in the top 10 – Fremont, Irvine, San Jose, San Diego and Huntington Beach – with Fremont the top city overall," WANE 15 reports.
  • Mobile parking is coming to Downtown Fort Wayne with a new app that allows you to pay on your phone. "The rollout will happen in two phases," WANE 15 reports. "On-street parking payments by app will come first, then app payments for parking garages and lots will follow." Coins and cards will still be accepted. You will also be able to extend your time at a space from your phone (until you hit the posted time limits for that spot). City leaders say updates could come as soon as late-summer, and plans have been in the works for about five years.

Plus: regional housing solutions, a new bridge, a new public art experience and more. Read all about it in our premium newsletter.

New deal: Free chips and salsa at Pikoso Burrito Co. at Union Street Market!

We share menu recs and quick things to know for your next visit.

In June, we're partnering with Pikoso Burrito Co. inside Union Street Market at Electric Works to bring all paid subscribers a FREE order of chips and salsa.

What’s happening?

This month, we're partnering with Pikoso Burrito Co. at Union Street Market to bring all paid subscribers to The Local FREE chips and salsa.

Here are three quick things to know:

  • You might remember: Pikoso is the most recent venture by serial entrepreneur Flora Barrón, whose family owned fresh-fruit juiceries in Mexico before she immigrated to the U.S. with her husband and daughter about 30 ago. She partnered with us last year to offer free pastries at her cafe, Kanela.
  • Barrón's food businesses share her family recipes. She and her sister started Flora & Lily's Mexican Kitchen food truck to sell made-to-order tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and burrito bowls in Fort Wayne with authentic Mexican Chihuahua cheese. Then she and her husband started Kanela, first as a truck, to carry on her family's legacy of fresh juices and smoothies. Kanela now has a cafe Downtown near The Landing, as well as a Kanela II drive-thru in New Haven, offering grab-and-go breakfast, lunch and coffee. She and her husband opened Pikoso as one of the original vendors at Union Street Market at Electric Works.
  • Pikoso offers a mix of traditional Mexican flavors with other types of cuisines. For instance, their pork belly burrito and burrito bowl have toppings often used in Asian cuisine, and their Mediterranean burrito uses vegetarian hummus balls paired with Mexican flavors. Barrón recommends her Pollo al Pastor. “We marinate the chicken for days and pair it with a made-from-scratch grilled pineapple salsa that’s fresh, sweet and spicy," she says. (We tried it as a burrito and as tacos, and both were fresh and delicious! Be sure to spice it up with craft salsas near the register.)

Stay tuned for more news about Pikoso coming soon. Barrón says she has updates on the way!

What else? Learn about more events in our premium newsletter.

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Have a great week, Locals!

-Your Editor, Kara Hackett