Christmas in July 25-27

Put-in-Bay’s downtown restaurants and bars will be hanging tinsels for this weekend’s annual Christmas in July, Friday July 25 through Sunday July 27.
By far the busiest weekend of the season on the island, Christmas in July is a themed time period rather than an event. Christmas in July began more than 25 years ago as an employee party and grew among island businesses until regular island visitors looked forward to joining in the fun every summer.
The Round House Bar and others have decorated for the Christmas weekend.

Put-in-Bay Village Docks dedicated August 5

Put-in-Bay Village officials, Ohio DNR and US Fish & Wildlife officials will gather at Put-in-Bay on Tuesday, August 5, to dedicate A and C Docks in the village’s downtown marina.
Put-in-Bay received a $2.24 million BIG grant in 2007 to help fund the $5.6 million project. ODNR Division of Watercraft and US Fish & Wildlife Service Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) Program chose Put-in-Bay over other ports competing for the federal funding.C Dock opened on June 21 and A Dock is expected to open in a few days. The project widened and stabilized both docks, and provides new electrical and water service to boaters using the docks. The docks also feature an Ipe wood deck.
Mayor Ruth Scarpelli commented that the project took longer than expected, but added she fells Put-in-Bay’s boating customers will appreciate the improvements.

C Dock to open Saturday

Village officials have announced that C Dock in Put-in-Bay’s downtown municipal marina will open Saturday to boaters. That means both B Dock and C Dock will be available for docking as well as Miller Marina, the Boardwalk and the Park Place Boaters Club–all privately owned marinas downtown.
A Dock, also operated by the Village of Put-in-Bay, is still under construction but there is plenty of dock spaces between Put-in-Bay and Middle Bass Island.C Dock offers boaters improved electrical and water services as well as a wider dock and new Ipe plank decking. Cost for docking is the same as B Dock which is operated by the DeRivera Park Trust. B Dock revenues support the downtown park and bath house.

Pyrate King Returns to Put-in-Bay

Pyrates from the Great Lakes region will gather this weekend at Put-in-Bay for Pyrate Fest VI, a four-day festival celebrating the 1812 period and pyrate fun.
Captain Jack Sparrow and the krew of the Black Pearl will join more than 50 period re-enactors in DeRivera Park downtown at a Pyrate Encampment & Market Place. The festival is not only fun, it’s also educational. Pyrates will display and discuss the medical tools and practices of the time period, the different weapons used, and the games that preceded modern day games and gambling.
Bob Gillmor, cannon master for “Master and Commander” will display and fire black powder cannons in the park and National Park Service Rangers dressed as soldiers of the War of 1812 period will also give musket firing demonstration. There will also be talks comparing the weapons and fighting techniques of pyrates versus soldiers of the era.
The US Brig Niagara arrives on Thursday evening, June 19, and opens for tours of the ship on Friday morning. Tours will be given from 11 am to 7 pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Jet Express Dock downtown. Cost is $7 for adults and $5 for kids under 12. The Niagara is in port to protect the village.
Friday afternoon about 4 pm the official kick-off of Pyrate Fest VI begins will cannons firing from DeRivera Park near the marina and from the Boardwalk as the waterfront restaurant raises the Jolly Roger. At 7 pm the official Pyrate Fest VI flag will be raised at the Landshark Stage by Pyrate King Mike “Mad Dog” Adams.
Saturday morning at 10 the Pyrate Encampment and Market Place opens in DeRivera Park across from the Boathouse Bar. Information on events and registration for the Kids Costume Contest and the Adult Costume Contest can be found here. An All Pyrates Walking Parade beings at 2 pm Saturday. Everyone dressed as a pyrate, or who feels like a pyrate, is welcome to join the parade. Participants will gather in the park at the corner of Mossback’s and the Boardwalk at 1:45 pm.
The parade will move south down Catawba Avenue, then turn east onto Delaware and end at the Landshark Stage across from the Round House Bar. The Kids Costume Contest will immediately follow the parade and the Adult Costume Contest will follow the Kids Costume Contest.
The Cayman Islands Visitors Bureau sponsors the adult contest and the winner receives a four-day stay for two people at Cobalt Blue Resort, including airfare on Cayman Islands Airways and a dive package from Dive Tech. Both contests are free and open to everyone.
Visit for more information on the daily schedule.

Founder’s Day welcomes back the Hog Roasters

founders_daySunday, June 15, the island’s  infamous “Hog Roasters” are back to spit roast some beef for the 40th Annual Put-in-Bay Founder’s Day celebration in DeRivera Park.
After taking a year off from providing their annual “ox roast” for Founder’s Day, Joe DePore and his crew are making a reappearance, saying they all missed getting together and doing the lunch like they had for nearly 40 years.
“It’s great to have them back,” said Put-in-Bay Chamber President Ty Winchester. “We missed them last year. There will also be other food providers, but the Hog Roasters have been a long standing tradition at Founder’s Day.”
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church members will continue their tradition of serving homemade strawberry shortcake and one vendor will serve French waffles. Other local organizations may offer hot dogs and other food items.
This is also a great time to find a bargain. Local businesses sell the remainder of last season’s merchandise, there is always a selection of jewelry and craft vendors, and the OWLS will be holding their annual book sale. You’ll also find Put-in-Bay souvenirs, homemade granola and a selection of spices.
The Perry Group will be among several Put-in-Bay non-profits at Founder’s Day. The longboat built for last year’s Bicentennial of the Battle of Lake Erie celebration will be on display and Perry Group members will hand out information about their organization along with members of the Black Swamp Conservancy, the Garden Club, and Ida Rupp Library.
Two local photographers–Kelly Faris and Billy Market–will have tables selling their island photographs.
A steel band will provide the musical entertainment this year and there is lots of fun games for the kids with fun prizes. The kids games will be held from noon until 3. And look for the large historic photo cutouts for a souvenir photo to take home and remember the day.

Mill’s Racers have fun at Put-in-Bay

Hundreds of sail boaters enjoyed clear skies and warm weather this past weekend during the annual Mill’s Race from Toledo to Put-in-Bay. The overnight race has been going on for decades and it’s always a fun weekend for the racers.
Large crowds swelled the streets of Put-in-Bay Saturday and restaurants, gift shops, golf cart rentals, bars and the many attractions were very busy.
A water main break that shut down nearby Cedar Point for the day on Saturday contributed to the increase in visitation, and many visitors stopping by the Put-in-Bay Chamber of Commerce for information about the island said they had made last minute plans to visit the island when their day at the amusement park was cut short.

Sign up for Pyrate Fest, Golf outing online

Interested in putting together a fun costume for this year’s Pyrate Fest? Want to have some fun and a chance at winning a four-day Cayman Islands vacation? You can enter online for the Pyrate Fest Adult Costume Contest on Saturday, June 21, here at Put-in-Bay. Just click on Pyrate Fest Costume Contest Registration Form to get started. The winner and a friend will travel to the Cayman Islands in November for a four-day stay during their Pirate Fest.
The Cayman Island vacation prize is courtesy of the Cayman Islands Visitors Bureau. You can pick information on the Cayman Islands at their booth in the Pyrate Village during Pyrate Fest.

Putting a team together for the 20th Annual 5-Iron Classic Golf Tournament this year? Register online by clicking on 5-Iron Classic Registration. The tournament is played with a 5-Iron and a putter. Four players make up a team and the cost is $30 per person. The tournament is held at Saunders Golf Course, a nine-hole executive course, on Sunday, August 24. First tee time is 10 am and the final tee time is 5:30 pm.

NPS “Salute to the Troop” tributes Gold Star Children

Perry’s Victory & International Peace Memorial will honor Gold Star Children at their Saturday, May 24, Memorial Day Weekend program at 1 pm.
Mitty Griffis Mirrer, Founder of Gold Star Children, is an award winning journalist and independent film maker. Ms. Mirrer wrote and directed the documentary, “Gold Star Children,” which will be shown at the park’s Visitor Center at 2:30 pm. The first 100 attendees will receive a free DVD of “Gold Star Children.”
Two Put-in-Bay School students–Nora Ladd and Hannah Lentz–will read their original poems, “We Thank You” and “Memorial Day.”
Mary M Beckford, Executive Director of the Put-in-Bay Chamber of Commerce, will be the program’s MC.
Miller Boat Line is offering free passenger passage to all veterans. The boat line asks that veterans and military personnel identify themselves at the Catawba ticket booth.

Bargains await at Island Wide Garage Sale

You’ll find treasures all over South Bass Island this Saturday during the annual Island Wide Garage Sale May 17.

Household goods, furniture, artwork, Put-in-Bay memorabilia, clothing, and collectables will be among the items you will find for sale at the more than two dozen residences and businesses that have signed up to be included on the Island Wide Garage Sale Map.

Rent a golf cart, or bring your vehicle across on the Miller Ferry to be able to haul your new found booty home. Many islanders hit the sales on their golf carts after picking up a map of the garage sales at either the Miller Ferry or Jet Express docks on the island, at Frosty’s after an early morning breakfast, or at the Depot on the corner of Delaware and Toledo avenues where the Put-in-Bay Chamber of Commerce offices are located.

The map will be available on Friday afternoon. Bargain hunters need to keep their eyes peeled for additional sales sites not listed on the map. Some sellers wait for a final weather report, or to see if they’ll have the time to get their items together, and miss the deadline for the free map listing.

Some sellers start as early as 8 am, but we think 9-9:30 is a safe bet you’ll find sales open. Most sales may wrap up by 3-4 pm and others may stay open until 5 or later. It just depends on the seller.

More businesses open this weekend

More island businesses are opening their doors to Put-in-Bay visitors and residents this weekend as the Memorial Day weekend approaches. Nearly every restaurant and bar on the island is open this weekend, including the newly renovated Pasquale’s, the new Reel Bar (formerly Tony’s), the Candy Bar, Goat Soup & Whiskey, the main deck of the Boardwalk, the Boathouse, The Keys, Subway and the Dairy Isle.

The Roundhouse Bar, Frosty’s, Mossback’s, Put-in-Bay Brewing Company, Mojito Bay, Heineman Winery, the Boardwalk Upper Deck, Put-in-Bay Winery, Mr. Ed’s, and Topsy Turvey’s at the Wharfside opened earlier this month.

All lodging–bed and breakfasts, hotels, cottages, cabins, private homes, condominiums, rental rooms, suites, and South Bass Island State Park campgrounds are taking reservations.

Golf cart rentals–E’s Carts, Erie Island Karts, Island Bike & Cart Rental, and Park Bike & Cart Rental–are open for the weekend. Most cart rentals begin daily operation on May 16. And getting here is easy. The Jet Express passenger ferries began operating weekends last week and will begin daily trips on May 22. The Miller Ferry, which transports passengers and vehicles between Catawba Island and Put-in-Bay, and Catawba Island and Middle Bass Island, has been running daily since April.

The Island Tour Train will begin operation Victoria Day weekend, May 17, and will begin daily operation on Saturday, May 24. Heineman Winery and Put-in-Bay Winery are open as are all the attractions at Perry’s Cave Family Fun Center, including the Butterfly House, the tour of Perry’s Cave, Fort amazing, the War of 18 Holes Miniature golf course, and the Antique Car Museum.

Some of the water-related attractions, such as kayaking, jet skiing, parasailing will also open soon. You can always book a fishing charter with Captain Bruce.

Many of the gift shops are open weekends until Victoria Day weekend, although you will find several that are open daily now, including Put-in-Bay’s largest souvenir shop, the Carriage House.

Perry’s Victory & International Peace Memorial will open daily, 10 to 5 pm, on May 17, and the Lake Erie Islands Historical Society Museum opens daily on May 16.

Each of the island’s many restaurants, lodging, gift shops, golf cart rentals, attractions, tours, and bars are independently owned and operated and each business owners sets their own hours.

Use the Experience Put-in-Bay app on your iPhone or Android smartphone to access location and contact information on all the Put-in-Bay Chamber of Commerce members.