The Crusader Newspaper Group

Fest in the First celebrates 20 years

Photo caption Chef Blãque (right) on the Big Bake Halloween

On Saturday, September 16, 2023, 3 to 8 p.m., Gary’s Miller Spotlight’s Education Youth & Child Programming Action Group is teaming up with the Miller Beach Arts and Creative District along with the Reimagine Gary Crew once again to host the 20th Annual Fest in the First.

Fest in the First is a celebration of Gary’s First District Neighborhoods—Emerson, Aetna, Glen Ryan and Miller. Lake Street will be full of fun festivities including live music, horse rides, carnival attractions (Ferris wheel and a 65ft inflatable obstacle course), a self-paced art walk, a community-led Slow Roll (bike tour), a community art project (headed by HAÜS + Hömmegoods team Dork and Erin), local food (including Chef Blāque who has been featured on many Food Network/ Netflix shows, most recently last year’s The Big Bake Halloween) and much more!

We will have 5 hours of live music starting at 3 p.m. at the Nelson Algren 616 Sound Stage on Lake Street featuring The Fabulous Kings, Funky Mojo Daddy and THE NICK DANGER TRIO. Community volunteers are hosting a family corridor in the Marshall J. Gardner Center for the Arts. These nonprofits cater to families in Gary and the greater NWI region. Next to the Marshall J. Gardner Center for the Arts, Gary’s own Illin Entertainment will provide free horseback rides.

In recognition of the 20th anniversary, this year the festival is bigger and better than ever, stretching across three city blocks, from 6th and Lake Street to 3rd and Lake Street. Parking is available at The Miller School Shops (665 S. Lake St., Gary, IN 46403), St Mary of the Lakes (6060 Miller Ave., Gary, IN) or at The Revolution Church, Gary, (301 S. Lake St., Gary, IN).

The festival is sponsored by the City of Gary, Lee Companies LLC, Reeder Companies LLC and Ayers Realtors. Community partners include The Shops on Lake Street, The Miller School Shops, the Miller Beach Arts and Creative District and the Nelson Algren Museum of Miller Beach.

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