AP NEWS

“Mad” Anthony Wayne Day organizers announce events

April 10, 2019

The group in charge of planning for the newly declared Gen. “Mad” Anthony Wayne Day announced events Wednesday for the first celebration, despite criticisms from Native American tribes.

Councilman Jason Arp, R-4th, was joined by members of General “Mad” Anthony Wayne Organization, Inc., the nonprofit created to promote the local holiday. Those present Wednesday included Michael Skeens, senior district executive of the Boy Scouts of America and Barbara Harris of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

The group has met three times since March 9, Michael Loomis, a local attorney involved with the planning, said at a news conference. Events being planned include an entry in the July 13 Three Rivers Festival Parade that would consist of a float and a horse-mounted patrol. The group will also dedicate the Anthony Wayne statue in Freimann Square on July 16 and give a presentation at the Old Fort about Wayne.

“We’re looking at this more of an education for our future children, future youth so they can understand the background of Fort Wayne and how we’ve come about,” Skeens said.

The group is also looking for reenactors to play Wayne and his wife Mary Penrose. The Downtown Fort Wayne Optimists Club has will also hold an essay contest featuring kids’ writings about Wayne. The contest is for children ages 8-10 and will include prizes of 200 and $100 for the top essayists.

Members of the Miami Tribe have raised objections to the creation of Anthony Wayne Day, describing the history included in the resolution “socially contemptable and historically inaccurate. Tribal leaders wrote a letter to Fort Wayne City Council members last month asking the resolution be rescinded.

Loomis said he has reached out to Miami Chief Douglas Lankford and other tribal leaders about participating in planning for the event, but has not received a response.

dgong@jg.net