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Downtown comedy festival returns to Fort Wayne

Maumee Mary & Joseph Comedy Festival

The Maumee Mary & Joseph Comedy Festival makes its return to Fort Wayne today, after losing a few years to the pandemic.

The festival began in 2017 with a downtown improvement grant, but the COVID-19 pandemic shut it down only a few months before what would have been its 2020 festival.

This year, it’s making its return with a weekend full of stand-up, improv and silly events. Festival co-chair Anthony Racic, who helped develop the festival back in 2017, says it's all about bringing something lighthearted to downtown Fort Wayne.

“Like, I would love to make money, but I don’t really care if I make money," he said. "I just want to have a good time, have fun shows and, yeah, do something just fun for the city.”

This year, the event includes a .5 K Silly Walk, inspired by a Monty Python sketch. A spoof of a 5K run, the walk encourages people to dress up in silly outfits and use their best silly walk to make a lap around Promenade Park.

The registration fee for the walk goes towards the Harry Baals Memorial Grant for the Comedic Arts, which one performer at the festival will win to help advance their career.

Up and coming comedians from all over North America are coming to participate in events and perform their routines downtown throughout the weekend. Find a full list of performers and events at the festival's website.

Ella Abbott is a multimedia reporter for 89.1 WBOI. She is a strong believer in the ways audio storytelling can engage an audience and create a sensory experience.