DasFort Media

"Fall in the Fort" Photo Contest

The ArtsDasFort

This contest was sponsored by Chappell's Coral Grill. The winner received a $100 gift certificate.

Congratulations to @mamas.tribe for snapping the winning photograph for our "Fall in the Fort" photo contest. Open for interpretation, we were looking for someone to illustrate the city of Fort Wayne with an autumnal theme. Pumpkins, flowers, " I 💛 FW," and an adorable citizen fit the bill and made us smile.

We appreciate all the wonderful submissions, and it was hard to just choose one winner. The photos reveal a cozy little midwestern town full of golden light and fall foliage, from different perspectives, and many paths.

Take a look at how your fellow Fort Waynians see this city. 

We are pretty happy with how our pumpkin turned out 🌻 #fwpumpkinpatch @visitfortwayne

A post shared by Candis (@mamas.tribe) on

Special thanks to runner-up @journeymei for all her submissions, it was hard to pick just one to include! Be sure to check out her page for some truly seasonal shots around town. 

Love taking walks after a long day of work downtown. 🍂🍁 #FortWayneAutumn #DasFort

A post shared by Journey (@journeymei) on

Comfy clothes, and crunchy leaves by @shopmelimei.

The comfiest dress you will wear this fall💜🍂

A post shared by Meli Mei (@shopmelimei) on

Well-lit branches guard this cemetery by @yarblesss. 

Black and gold feature from @ourcountrybungalowlife. Perfect fall colors, and a cornfield in the back to boot!

This downtown view features the Botanical Conservatory and just the faintest hint of changing greenery from @bartlett_travis.

"Good leavening everyone," from @matt.hakey.

A post shared by Matt Hakey (@matt.hakey) on

Since we started with a jack-o-lantern, we thought it'd only be fitting to end with one, and not just any one: The Great Fort Wayne Pumpkin from @brettgauger. 

The Great #FortWayne Pumpkin. 🎃❤️ #FWPumpkinPatch #DTFW

A post shared by Brett Gauger (@brettgauger) on

Thanks again to everyone who participated, we love seeing the city through your lens! 

Thanks also to our sponsor, Chappell's Coral Grill. Slinging steaks, seafood, and serving up a killer 60+ item salad bar. 

From photographs and videos, to content creation, DasFort media can help you build and maintain an attractive web presence. Stand out from the crowd of the digital age with custom material highlighting your unique business. 

Content & Copywriting Packages


Want more Fort Wayne photos?

March Photo Contest Winner & Honorable Mentions

Around the Town with Keri Garcia: Festival Fun

Featured, FoodDasFort

What's better than the Three Rivers Festival in the summer, and the Johnny Appleseed Festival in the fall? They're hard to beat and staples of Fort Wayne family fun.

As always, filming with Keri was a blast! Get to know Fort Wayne a little better:

"Today I’m taking you to two of my favorite Fort Wayne festivals. One of the most famous —The Three Rivers Festival — is also the oldest, running since 1969. Let’s take a look!

Recently featured on The Cooking Channel’s ‘Carnival Eats,’ Junk Food Alley is Fort Wayne Famous — here you’ll find award-winning funnel cakes, chocolate covered goodies, and deep-fried everything."

Click here for the full text.  

Or check out her previous videos: 

Around the Town with Keri Garcia: Farmers Markets

Around the Town with Keri Garcia: Parkview Field 

A post shared by Keri Garcia (@kerisells4u) on


Video series produced by DasFort Media

Commune with Nature at Fox Island

Featured, Real EstateBrad Reuille

by Brad Reuille

Encompassing 605 acres in Southwest Allen County, with 270 acres dedicated as a State Nature Preserve, Fox Island County Park hosts a variety of seasonal attractions for its visitors. 

The park itself contains over seven miles of marked trails, while six miles are available during the winter for cross country skiing. However, the cross skiing course’s availability during this time depends on there being four or more inches of snow.

A post shared by Nicole Williard (@yarblesss) on

Fox Island also hosts many different species of animals and plants. These species thrive in the park in a vast multitude of habitats, including marsh, seasonal ponds, and wetland forests. Also, the park contains a glacial sand dune. The dune, which formed from the retreat of the Wisconsin Glacier over 14,000 years ago, rises forty feet above the marsh located in the park.

The available amenities that the park features includes the Nature Center, which hosts classrooms, a conference room, a gift shop, and education offices. Another amenity available for visitors of the park is Bowman Lake, which features a swimming beach, and at its deepest point is 18 feet deep. Also, there is a beach where visitors can bring their dogs, and they are allowed off leash to go swimming. 

Head on out and experience the wildlife of Fort Wayne!

Keep reading:

Take the Road Less Travelled, It Makes All the Difference

Around the Town with Keri Garcia: Farmers Markets


Shooting this little video was a blast, especially as the Barr Street Market/YLNI Farmers Market is one of our absolute favorite things to do on a summer Saturday morning.

Hope you enjoy, and be sure to support the local farmers markets!

"As a realtor, I’m not just helping my clients find the perfect home; I’m helping them settle into a community where they will create memories. My video series, 'Around the Town,' showcases the incredible community of Fort Wayne.

In my last video, I took you to the cheering crowds of the Tin Caps stadium. In this episode of 'Around the Town,' we’ll be exploring the local farmers markets of Fort Wayne. Let’s check out two of my favorites: the first is located at Salomon Farm Park, and the other is downtown at Barr Street, the YLNI Farmer’s Market, hosted by the Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana."

Click here for the full text.

A post shared by Keri Garcia (@kerisells4u) on

Around the Town with Keri Garcia: Parkview Field

Video produced by DasFort Media 

Around the Town with Keri Garcia: Parkview Field


Introducing our latest video series with Keri Garcia. Join us as we highlight Fort Wayne's incredible community!

Around the Town

"In my new video series, 'Around the Town,' I’ll take you around the city and show you the incredible community of Fort Wayne. What better place to find community than in a stadium of locals cheering on the TinCaps?! Let’s check it out!

Parkview Field, and the TinCaps, have been great for Fort Wayne since they moved downtown in 2009, contributing to the revitalization of the city. The field was designed to complement the downtown neighborhood, even basing its architecture on the nearby Firefighters’ Museum."

Click here for the full text. 

A post shared by DasFort (@dasfort) on

Video number two:

Around the Town with Keri Garcia: Farmers Markets



Video produced by DasFort Media

Freshii—Your New Favorite Place [Video]


If you're looking for a healthy restaurant to try in the downtown Fort Wayne area, Freshii is a must! Serving up fresh salads, wraps, bowls, burritos, juices and more, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Specializing in natural ingredients, Freshii caters to all ways of eating from vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, and meat eaters too.  

Locally owned by the Hay family (Christina and her two sons, Kelly and Kevin), Freshii is also an eco-conscious dining option with biodegradable containers and dining utensils.

We caught up with Kevin Hay to find out a little more about the restaurant and what they offer. 

"My name is Kevin Hay, and my family and I opened this Freshii location in the Harrison, Fort Wayne last year on February 1, 2016.

We first heard about Freshii when my brother and my mom were on a shopping trip down in Indianapolis at the Keystone Fashion Mall; they have a Freshii there as well. They tried it out and liked the uniqueness of the brand, the fact it caters to everybody—vegetarians, vegans, meat eaters—just everybody as a whole. They liked the quality of the food and the health benefits associated with it, and just fell in love with the whole concept.

We offer salads, bowls, burritos, and wraps. As far as the bowls, the Pangoa is pretty popular—it’s got brown rice, corn, black beans, avocado, cheese, and tomatoes. It’s something that is more popular with people who are giving this a first-time type of try. You are always surprised by the knowledge other people have, and a lot of times it will be people who come from out of town, and they say, 'Oh this is great this is here, this is what we do in our city as well. You remind me a lot of a certain restaurant in my hometown.'  

Here in Fort Wayne as well, people are always commenting, 'It’s great you guys use these bags, I’ve never seen them used before. I see that you guys are trying to minimize your waste and your energy, that’s excellent ... and taking care of the environment—that’s awesome.'  

It’s a daily thing that new people come in, and even people that have come in before, say, 'I can’t stress enough how thankful I am to see a restaurant like yours that is conscious of the environment.'"

Freshii is located at 301 W Jefferson Blvd, open Monday-Friday from 11-8 and Saturday 11-4.

10/10 👍🏽👏🏽

A post shared by em-uh (@emkbrowning) on

A post shared by freshiifw (@freshiifw) on

March Photo Contest Winner & Honorable Mentions

The ArtsDasFort

This month, we were happy to have Specialized Printed Products as a Fort Wayne photo contest sponsor. The guidelines? Fort Wayne photos tagged with #DasFort.

The prize? An oversized custom canvas print, 24 x 36 inches—a $150 value. 

Once again, we were honored and amazed by all your beautiful snapshots of the city. It was hard to pick just one winner, so we decided to include a post with all of our favorites.

The winner of the March contest is another small business, @TheTinyShedFW. We just love the sunlight through the trees, the size of the little shed, and—especially on this snowy Saint Patrick's Day—the bright green grass.

First runner-up, although not a photo of the actual city, was taken in Fort Wayne by a previous contest winner, guest Instagram take-over professional, and #LightUpTheFort instigator, @MollieShutt. We are simply in love with her black balloon series: "Gerascophobia: The Fear of Growing Up."

A post shared by Mollie (@mollieshutt) on

Second runner-up is man about town, @BrettGauger. The lines, the mysteriousness, the shadows—there's still new views to be found in the Fort. 

A post shared by Brett Gauger (@brettgauger) on

The rest are in no particular order, but all deserve some recognition.

Just when we thought spring was almost here (only 3 days away!), Fort Wayne was blessed with ... more snow. Beautifully captured by @EmilyKayRichardson.

Talk about vibrant colors and beautiful murals! @NativeOfTheFort's downtown shot is picture perfect.

Who doesn't enjoy a little long exposure? Night lights and the courthouse captured by @RyanBurson.

A post shared by Ryan Burson (@ryanburson) on

That bike riding shadow though! Perfectly timed capture by @JonathanWKaufman.

And, finally, what's a Fort Wayne photo contest without a skyline shot? Love the dreamy twilight hues by @EmKBrowning.

A post shared by em uh (@emkbrowning) on

Thanks again to everyone who participated, we appreciate you!

Stay tuned for more contests and giveaways.


But wait! Are you a business, or business professional located in Fort Wayne? Consider joining our DasFort.Guide—an online directory of all things Fort Wayne. Registration is free.


Check out previous winners from: Photo Contest Fusion: Yoga + Fort Wayne


Inside the Fort Wayne Indoor Skatepark [Video]

Social GoodDasFort
The Fort Wayne Indoor

The Fort Wayne Indoor

Once summer has faded away, many outdoor activities end, leaving limited options for physical exercise. This is especially true for bikers and skateboarders, as snow makes these sports almost impossible in the winter. The only one of its kind in the surrounding area, Fort Wayne's indoor BMX and skateboard park is truly a special place—a safe and warm haven for kids of all ages to wait out the cold. We caught up with The Fort Wayne Indoor's BMX director Rich Hoppe to learn a little more about this unique institution.

Our mission is to provide a safe, legal, and positive recreational opportunity for multi-aged locals to grow their BMX/Skating skills, while building self-confidence and enriching their lives by becoming a part of a unique community. — The Fort Wayne Indoor

Open seven days a week, October - April, the skatepark has been around for five years, originally as a church youth group extension known as New Republic Skate Park. Over time, all the volunteers disappeared except for Hoppe and skateboard director Dan Butler. They were able to raise $10,000 via a GoFundMe over 21 days in 2014 "to keep the spirit alive," and rebranded as a local 501(c)(3) nonprofit. After that, they ripped everything down and rebuilt, essentially creating a $200k park all with donated labor and wood. 

An entirely volunteer and community based skatepark, there are events every other weekend throughout the winter. Although broken bones come with the territory, Hoppe views these setbacks as time off, and assured us that it's still "10,000 times more fun than injury." Guests are required to sign a liability waver and ride at their own risk, with available lessons for both skateboarding and BMX. There's a designated area for beginners, and the minimum age requirement is eight years old, unless accompanied by parents and depending on how busy it is. With cameras in the building, there's always a watchful eye and never any fights. 

Skateboard director Dan Butler

Skateboard director Dan Butler

"The highlight of the park is just having it exist, it's a very difficult thing to keep open," Hoppe said. "We're a regional hub at this point, there's literally not another skatepark till Cleveland, a BMX park in South Bend and small skateboard park in Kokomo. Indianapolis and Chicago have no indoor parks." The combination of both groups at The Fort Wayne Indoor brings even more people in from the surrounding areas. 

Skateboarders outnumber BMX riders almost five to one in the city, so they get a little more time at The Fort Wayne Indoor. Usually the time is split between the two groups, with a mixed session on Sundays. While skateboarders have Lawton Park, it is against the rules for bikes to be there. Franke Park has a BMX track although there is no freestyle, just racing. Still, once the weather turns, everyone heads outside.

BMX specifically has allowed Hoppe to travel around the country as a stunt rider and announcer. Growing up, he was off his bike all winter long because there was nothing around, so he would go to racetracks instead. Today kids have more options—all ages of kids. It's really a passion project for Rich, as he fell in love with BMX and can't get enough. From shows at schools (mainly Midwest), public speaking gigs, to a specialty podcast (The Bill & Rich Oddcast B.R.O.A.D.D.C.A.S.T.), Hoppe lives and breathes BMX. 

On January 7th, The Battle for Midwest BMX begins with the first stop of the contest series at The Fort Wayne Indoor, then Detroit, South Bend, and Butler, Ohio. All levels are welcome, and the winner gets a free week at Ohio Dreams Action Sports Camp. This the fourth year for the contest hosted by Hoppe. 

BMX director Rich Hoppe

BMX director Rich Hoppe

What lies ahead for The Fort Wayne Indoor? The goal is to get things going even more, gain a stronger foothold in the community, make it a training facility, and hold summer camps. This is not currently possible because of size constraints. Hoppe and Butler hope to grow, save some money, and move to a new building.

If you'd like to support the park, you can donate here, or attend the annual summer fundraiser, an action sports and music festival in downtown Fort Wayne called: "Rock The Ramp" (est. 2015).

Up Next:

Friday Night: BMX 6-10pm - ALL NIGHT SKATE 10pm-6am

Sunday: 12pm-4pm

($10 one time fee per year, $10 for each 4 hour session, 7 days a week)

Looking for something to do with a good cause on NYE? Consider a fundraiser for The Fort Wayne Indoor hosted by Skeletunes Lounge which will include live music, prize raffles, and snacks:

Riding in the New Years for The Fort Wayne Indoor


There's other ways to help the community as well, check out:

Lutheran Social Services of Indiana



Photos & video by Tony Frantz

Keri Garcia: "Helping People Find Homes in a City That I Love" [Video]


Recently, we had a chance to sit down with one of our clients and find out a little more about what she's doing to help the people of Fort Wayne.

Her bright personality, and bubbling energy make her extremely approachable—and quite frankly, a joy to work with. Fort Wayne, many times, is a small "big" city. Networking is crucial, and you'll often be surprised to find out how many people know the same people that you know. 

In this close knit community, word of mouth travels fast, and we're honored to share Keri's mission with you. Hopefully, by spreading the word, even more people will be able to find new homes in a city that we love.



"To show people who I am, let them know what I can do for them, and also why they should work with me."

Why did you get into real estate?

"I love to help people transition from one place to another, whether it's making them feel good about leaving the place that they raised their children—or making them feel great about the new chapter in their life."

What's next?

"Well, our new Mike Thomas corporate office is complete, and we'll be moving in this month. We're located off of Coldwater Road and we're super excited about this new building. 

Also, I'll be doing an "Around the Town" video series which will highlight some of my favorite Fort Wayne hotspots; featuring dining, entertainment, and even things to do with the kids." 

Our new building is almost complete. More details here! #FortWayne

A post shared by Keri Garcia (@kerisells4u) on

We're excited to be a part of Keri's upcoming "Around the Town" video series and can't wait to spread Fort Wayne awareness to all corners of the digital world. 

With Northeast Indiana's "Road to One Million" initiative underway, the plan is to increase the population of the region from about 780,00 to one million residents by the year 2031. The number one goal is to attract population growth and talent, and of course, these new people need places to live.

We have a vision of becoming a region of 1 million people by developing the quality of life needed to attract top talent and expand our business landscape.
— Road to One Million, Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership
We're number one!

We're number one!

Earlier this year, Fort Wayne was ranked as the number one place to raise a family. This is not the only list Fort Wayne has made in terms of housing. Fort Wayne ranked in the top ten for both places "where millennials are buying homes," and "cities with the biggest housing shortages." 

But don't worry, this is a fantastic time to buy or sell, and yes, Keri can sell for you. 


Follow along with Keri on Instagram and Facebook.



Photos and videos by Tony Frantz