Summer Fest offers fun and games in New Haven, Indiana


New Haven, Ind. – – The 4th annual Summer Fest is set to take place June 30 and July 1, 2023. The fun takes place at historic Schnelker Park, 956 Park Ave., New Haven. The schedule is packed with events that attendees might miss at festivals in larger cities. However, the focus is on fun, and it seems there will be plenty of that.

According to the website, Summer Fest’s first day takes place at night. And, it is “geared toward adults.” From 6 p.m. until 9 p.m., summer kicks into gear in New Haven. To achieve that goal, the festival will offer a beer tent, food trucks, live music, and “the weigh-in for Saturday’s Strong Man contest.” Strong Man contest? The name of the event connotes old-fashioned fairs. This is one such event that probably will not be seen in festivals and fairs around the state.

Summer Fest: a unique prelude to July 4th celebrations

The scheduled running dates of the festival are close to the Fourth of July. The celebration of Independence Day typical bring parades, barbecues, and of course, fireworks. A two-day festival that hypes the coming holiday is likely to simmer with anticipation, as people look forward to the commemoration of the United States’ freedom from British rule.

But Summer Fest comes with its own anticipation, especially for people who have not gone before. It is likely to garner comparisons with that other New Haven event, Canal Days. However, the two events have their own purposes.

What to expect: day two of Summer Fest

If the first day of Summer Fest is for adults, then day two offers a longer span of time to celebrate and more activities for all ages. July 1, the second day of Summer Fest begins at 10 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m. Festival goers will be treated to a parade, a variety of vendors will offer food and shopping. Contests featuring children, dogs, and strong men, will take place.

Both nights of Summer Fest will feature live music. On Friday night, Fort Wayne Funk Orchestra is set to perform. Saturday’s soundtrack will be provided by Trevor & the Sleepers.

Summer Fest is proving to be a small festival with a big heart, and a little something for everyone. Now in its fourth year, Summer Fest is a celebration worth attending in the small city east of Fort Wayne. For more information, visit

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Dodie Miller-Gould is a native of Fort Wayne, Indiana who lives in New York City where she studies creative nonfiction at Columbia University. She has BA and MA degrees in English from Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne, and an MFA in Fiction from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Her research interests include popular music and culture, 1920s jazz, and blues, confessional poetry, and the rhetoric of fiction. She has presented at numerous conferences in rhetoric and composition, and creative writing. Her creative works have appeared in Tenth Muse, Apostrophe, The Flying Island, Scavenger's Newsletter and elsewhere. She has won university-based awards for creative work and literary criticism.

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