Rick Heard of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, got an early jump on his Three Rivers Festival Art in the Park sales.

Heard, 75, set up along Main Street in front of Freimann Square on July 12, a day before the two-day art event began.

"I can't stand the heat, so they gave me permission to set up early," said Heard, who sells rain gauges, bird baths, fountains and other decorative items made from metal and glass through his Garden Originals.

The highs over the weekend were expected to be 90 and 91. By noon July 12 Heard was shaded by his tent and sitting in the 70-degree heat with an occasional breeze touching off his spinners.

Heard traveled 460 miles to get to Fort Wayne. This is his 10th year at Art in the Park, one of about 25 shows he attends each year. That's about half what he used to do.

However, he's not into the shows for money. He made plenty long ago in real estate, he said.

He does it because he wants to stay alive, unlike some retired people he knows.

"I have friends who sit on the couch, drink whiskey and die," he said.

He keeps active, each day making a different item, whether it's fountains on Mondays or turtles on Tuesdays. He uses found items and recycles them into his garden art.

"I recycle whatever I can," he said.

Art in the Park is 11 a.m.-6 p.m. July 13 and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. July 14 at 200 E. Main St., Fort Wayne. Admission is free. Vendors sell a variety of items including jewelry, pottery, paintings, and decor. For more information about Three Rivers Festival events, go to  http://threeriversfestival.org/events.

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