Fort Wayne & NE Indiana News

The latest positive news written by residents and organizations in our community.

AWS Foundation Hands The Fantasy Of Lights Bulbs Over To Blue Jacket

Northeast Indiana’s most popular holiday event, Fantasy of Lights will have a new host organization; Blue Jacket, Inc. AWS Foundation and Blue Jacket are not strangers to one another. The relationship began several years ago when the former Anthony Wayne Services headquarters on Calhoun Street was gifted to Blue Jacket, helping their programs to expand and flourish. Lynne Gilmore, Executive Director at AWS said “Blue Jacket is committed to maintaining the quality that Fantasy of Lights sponsors and visitors have come to expect, and with their vast network of support will continue the growth of this community event.”

Blue Jacket gladly accepted hosting the long-lasting tradition of the Fantasy of Lights to help fund the hundreds of clients that seek their services annually. “We are excited to manage this major Fort Wayne event, and we are humbled with the responsibility of keeping it great,” says Tony Hudson, Executive Director at Blue Jacket, “Developing our neighbors with barriers to employment through training and the pride of employment is vital for Fort Wayne’s future.” Leaders at both organizations state that everything will remain the same for the foreseeable future with the exception of a few enjoyable display additions.

Launching this important tradition for thousands of families every year, Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus will ride around Franke Park on a beautifully hand crafted carriage kicking off the 6-week event on November 25th and light the night sky with an array of colorful, animated light displays which truly starts putting you in that Christmas Spirit. It continues every night through December 31st, including holidays.

Fantasy of Lights is a drive-through viewing of magnificent local creativity manifest in more than 75 larger-than-life animated holiday light displays. Admission is just $5 per car, $10 per van, $25 for busses and trolleys. Horse drawn carriage rides are available on weekends. Visit for more information.

Make sure you visit the Fantasy of Lights this year and “Light up your Silent Night.”

Blue Jacket is a 10-year-old local nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide education, training, and opportunities to any disadvantaged person who is striving to earn a second chance at gainful employment. Proceeds from the event will support its innovative training program entitled the Career Academy.

AWS Foundation’s mission is to help children and adults with enduring intellectual, developmental and physical disabilities live as independently as possible, be included in the community and function at their highest potential.