By PETER HUSTON
Put-in-Bay Chamberof Commerce
It’s been a long winter here on the Bass Islands. The cold weather showed up way too early, mid-December this year, and lingered on and off through the first weeks of March. For those who love fishing, there was some great ice fishing this winter. We saw fisherman both local and visiting coming and going for many weeks too.
The continued good news for the 2018 season is that the Miller Ferry is running its spring schedule now to South Bass. That means more opportunity toget back and forth to the mainland, and of course that means that we can start to get ready for the spring much sooner.
What is the “State of the island?” It’s a chance to share and learn about upcoming events and new opportunities on Put-in-Bay. This season has great promise for expanding visitation numbers and launching several new businesses too.
The biggest story of the summer season is that Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial Monument column will be open. Yes, finally, the long-awaited date is just around the corner. The National Park Service is set to have a grand reopening Saturday, May 19.
This important media event will signal to so many of our new and returning visitors that we are open and ready for their visit. Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial is the iconic welcome sign for visitors far and wide.
The reopening of Perry’s Victory will be promoted by the Put-in- Bay Chamber of Commerce, Lake Erie Shores and Islands, and the Huntington Bank. The first 100 visitors, in fact, will be going to the top of the monument courtesy of the Huntington Bank.
The Huntington Bank’s roots and connection to Perry’s Victory date back to when the monument was still under construction in 1912. Webster P Huntington, a journalist, philanthropist and dedicated fund-raiser was instrumental in securing funds and promoting the monument’s opening.
With help from his efforts and with support from the Huntington family the Monument was able to open in the summer of 1915. We are so excited to have the Huntington Bank on board this year to commemorate the reopening. This important event is just one of many critical bits of information that will be shared at this years “State of the Island” get together.
The State of the Island is an annual tradition designed to facilitate the communication and exchange of ideas and updates that are ahead for South Bass Island the summer of 2018.
There is rarely, probably never, another time during the summer when so many of our island officials, key business people, essential personnel and the movers and the shakers all get together under one roof. It is a night not to be missed. We encourage you to join us on the island April 12 at 7 p.m. in the assembly room of the Put-in- Bay Village Town Hall to meet, learn, share and exchange information. Please join us.
Huston is director of the Put-in- Bay Chamber of Commerce. Contact him by email at ambassador@ visitputinbay.com, follow the chamber on twitter at @visitputinbay or visit Facebook.com/visitputinbay.