Convention on the road again: Navigating to Fort Wayne
Farm Bureau members who attend the organization’s annual convention this year will return to Fort Wayne in the northeast corner of the state rather than Indianapolis, where the event is held most years.
“We had a great experience there in 2009,” said Chris Fenner, director of field services and chairman of the convention committee. “The convention center is a perfect size for our group, and the city offers other experiences for members to enjoy.”
One element that returns from the last convention in Fort Wayne is a show with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic on Friday night. Holiday Pops, the philharmonic’s seasonal performance, features traditional holiday standards as well as newer musical traditions.
Proceeds from Farm Bureau member ticket sales will go to the Community Harvest Food Bank. While the lowest price for someone off the street buying a ticket is $28, Farm Bureau tickets start at $10, with premium seats available for a greater donation to the food bank. Tickets will only be available on-site during the convention.
“We’re excited to once again make a donation to the food bank,” said Fenner. “Farm Bureau members are known for their generosity and this gives them an opportunity to help those in need while seeing a great show.”
While the philharmonic show is during the convention, there are many other activities in the Fort Wayne area that are worth traveling early or staying late for:
- DeBrand Fine Chocolates, www.debrand.com: DeBrand is a must-stop for chocoholics. High-quality truffles, creams, caramels and gifts are available from the company’s three locations around the city.
- Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory, www.botanicalconservatory.org: Plant lovers, this is the place for you. Seasonal displays, gardens and events are featured. The conservatory is within walking distance of the convention center.
- Jefferson Pointe, www.jeffersonshopping.com: If you need to do holiday shopping while you’re in town, outdoor mall Jefferson Pointe features many of the stores you’re looking for, including Vera Bradley, the purse and accessories company headquartered in Fort Wayne.
- The Genealogy Center at the Allen County Public Library, www.genealogycenter.org: Fort Wayne has one of the largest genealogy collections outside of Utah. Staff is on-site to help you explore where you came from.
- County Heritage Winery, countryheritagewinery.com/: Just north of Fort Wayne near LaOtto, this winery opened in 2011. Its tasting room is open seven days a week and wines range from dry to sweet.
IFB state convention runs Dec. 13-14 at the Grand Wayne Convention Center in Fort Wayne. Keep reading The Hoosier Farmer for more information. Online registration begins Sept. 1 at www.infarmbureau.org/convention.