Downtown events draw crowds to South Bend


It seems like luck was on South Bend's side Friday night as the rain stopped just in time for all of the city's festivities to go on as planned.

The 2013 "On the River" fest kicked off, First Fridays was going on and a dodge ball tournament was held right outside the former College Football Hall of Fame.

“It’s really been a great summer and it’s a little unusual that we are still busy heading into the August months,” says Visit South Bend Mishawaka Director of Sales, Carolyne Wallace.

Thousands poured into South Bend Friday as they participated in some fun, family friendly activities the city has to offer.

“Tonight, we have a dodgeball tournament taking place here out on the Gridiron. We are partnering with Allegiant Airline, of course the South Bend Airport and the National Dodgeball League,” says South Bend Airport Marketing and Development Director, Julie Curtis.

And if you aren't interested in dodgeball, how about a little beach time fun?

“This is our 6th annual “On the River" downtown South Bend. We are, tonight as you can see behind me, we are hosting a teen night. It started at 5 and goes to 11. “Battle of the Bands” is currently going on right now and we will have fireworks at 10:45 p.m., good clean fun downtown South Bend,” says “On the River” Executive Committee Member, Matt Money.

Those that came out played bags, volleyball, listened to music and of course mingled with their friends.

While these events are very different, there is one thing they all have in common. They both support local charities.

“The end of the day we have six teams that are out there right now. We will have one winner, that winner will get to choose what charity is going to receive 50 percent of the entry fees. The remaining 50 percent, the charities will split equally,” says Curtis.

“In this event, we hope to raise $50,000 for Center for the Homeless. Most of the stuff you see behind me is all volunteer and in kind donations that we have received,” adds Money.

Now, Wallace says, what is really great about these events are that they get people talking which in turn makes people want to host more events in the city.

She says about $450 million come in annually with visitor spending and events like these employ 6,000 people in the area.


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