A showcase for Fort Wayne’s riverfront, years in the making, will officially open Friday. City officials will celebrate for three days the grand opening of the $20 million Promenade Park.

Community leaders plan to showcase and market the park as a regional destination for recreation, arts, and culture. City officials hope the park will provide a catalyst for future private development along the riverfront. 

Visit Fort Wayne says the combined project of urban development and community green scape is an attempt to take full advantage of the historic riverfront.

“The confluence of the three rivers was home to the capital of the Miami Nation, hosted several military and frontier forts, served as the summit of the Wabash-Erie Canal, and is now transforming Fort Wayne from an industrial powerhouse to a cutting-edge, creative center in the Midwest,” says Megan Butler, Riverfront Fort Wayne program and events manager.

The four-acre Promenade Park includes a 560-foot treetop canopy trail, offering tree-top views of the park and the city skyline. It also offers an amphitheater, interactive water feature, and accessible playground.

The park was designed to be accessible to people of all abilities, so the paths have tactile surface features for vision-impaired individuals. There’s also a wheelchair accessible grassy areas, accessibility at the water’s edge for easier transfer from wheelchair to watercraft, and a dedicated handicap parking area.

It was in February 2015 when Fort Wayne’s riverfront consultant, SWA Group, recommended building a waterfront promenade as the first phase of enhancements to the downtown riverfront.

In advance of the grand opening, the Promenade Park sculpture was unveiled three weeks ago. It has a prominent placement at the entrance to the park.

Click here to see a full agenda of the weekend events to celebrate the opening of Promenade Park.