An angry-looking Donald Trump piñata in the front window of Laredo Mexican Restaurant in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Laredo is owned by Mexican immigrants, and has been in this tiny brick building on the corner of Broadway and Stophlet Street as long as I can remember. When I was young, the building was painted blue and there were more traditional-looking piñatas hanging in the windows of the otherwise plain, unadorned building.
Piñatas are a traditional party game in Mexico. The paper mâché sculptures are filled with candy and small toys, then hung from a tree. Children take turns trying to break open the piñata with a stick while blindfolded. Traditionally, they were shaped like stars or animals. Today, piñatas made to look like cartoon characters are popular with children.
Effigies of disliked politicians are often purchased by adults. Donald Trump is the Republican Party nominee for the 2016 Presidential election in the United States. He has angered many Mexicans with stridently anti-immigrant rhetoric aimed largely at Mexicans.
The Tilt-A-Whirl is one of the more interesting carnival rides. The seat pods spin back and forth, changing directions rapidly as they move up and down around a circular path.
I have photographed them at other carnivals in both Fort Wayne and in New Mexico, but this was the first year that I had seen a Tilt-A-Whirl at the Three Rivers Festival. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to photograph it. It was undergoing repairs, and didn’t open until the last night of the festival.
The sun had set when I began photographing the ride, and the sky quickly darkened in the few minutes I spent shooting it!
A child inside a Zorb at the 2016 Three Rivers Festival.
A Zorb is an inflatable ball that a person can get inside and roll around, like a giant inflatable hamster ball! They’ve been part of the festival for the last few years.
Two kids slide down the Fun Slide, a giant three-lane slide at the 2016 Three Rivers Festival.
I couldn’t help but notice the “I Love SPAM” bumper sticker that someone has affixed to the sign on the fence in front of the Fun Slide. During the first weekend of the festival, the manufacturer of SPAM was giving out free food made with the processed meat product.
The name SPAM has long been associated with unwanted advertising emails. Now, the real world has been Spammed!
This young man is wearing a rainbow colored hat shaped like the Poop Emoji, complete with the emoji’s eyes and smiling mouth, at the 2016 Three Rivers Festival.
He works for a company called Good To Glow, which has had people selling novelty hats and toys at the festival for the last several years. He mentioned that they had the Poop Emoji hat in brown, but the more realistically poopy-colored hats sold out quickly!
The Three Rivers Festival takes place for 10 days in July at Headwaters Park in downtown Fort Wayne, Indiana.
More photographs from the 2016 Three Rivers Festival. The 10 day long festival takes place every year in July at Headwaters Park in downtown Fort Wayne, Indiana.
The “Spamerican Tour” trailer was giving out free food made with SPAM, the canned pork mystery-meat product, at the 2016 Three Rivers Festival. They even had “Sir Can-A-Lot” the SPAM Knight to attract visitors to the free SPAM.
A carny leans against the pole holding up the tent over his balloon-dart game at the 2016 Three Rivers Festival. Players win a toy by throwing darts at the balloons.
The man running this game was one of the more interesting carnival workers that I have met over the years. He had traveled all over the United States working in carnivals, and claimed to speak nine languages!
This is the Super Round-Up ride at the 2016 Three Rivers Festival.
Riders stand inside the circular metal cage as the ride spins rapidly. Once it reaches enough speed that centrifugal force will hold the riders against the wall of the spinning cage, it tilts upward!
This is a popular carnival ride. I have photographed them at previous Three Rivers Festivals, and at several carnivals in New Mexico during my time in the southwest. Some of them are simply called the “Round-Up” without the “Super.” I don’t think there is any difference, aside from the name!
People watch the Fourth of July fireworks from locations all over downtown Fort wayne and the surrounding neighborhoods, but the largest crowd gathers on the Courthouse Green.
The tall building in the background is the Lincoln Tower. When it was completed in 1930, it was the first skyscraper in Indiana. The 22 story building remained the tallest building in the state until 1962, when Indianapolis finally built a taller building. It is currently the third tallest building in Fort Wayne.
The tall building behind the Lincoln Tower is Fort Wayne’s tallest building, the 27 story Indiana-Michigan Power Center (formerly known as One Summit Square). The fireworks are fired off from the top of the building.