ChambersOttawa County

Summer of fun continues at Kelleys


Have you ever thought about what happens to the thousands of tourists as they exit ferry boats onto the Lake Erie Islands? As the weather warms and the number of visitors to the island increases, our Chamber office truly serves as an initial point of contact and provides tourists with their first impressions of Kelleys. In fact, our office is located in the first building travelers see when they disembark. Even though we are a Chamber of Commerce, we wear our Visitors Bureau badge proudly.  We thoroughly enjoy helping the people who stop by looking for assistance, advice or a friendly chat. One of the ways we attract visitors to the island is through advertising both Chamber sponsored and Chamber member events. The season has just begun and we’ve already had so much fun.

June island events

First on the list was the Chamber-sponsored 5K & 10K Run/Walk, which occurred Sunday, June 3. More than 350 runners braved the downpour to traverse the island on foot. If you haven’t already, you can view results of the race on our Chamber website. Just click on “Events” and then search for the 5K and 10K by keyword or date. Special thanks to our sponsors: Kelly Schiewe, Jim & Barb Zeller, Corrie Solly, The Depiero Family, Chicklet’s Closet, The Kelleys Island Brewery, The Island Venture Resort, Bassett’s Market, Lakefront Publications, The Captain’s Corner, Franklin Sanitation, The Kelleys Island Ferry Boat Line, Artino Ford, Polar Pure, Southshore Marine, Firelands Regional Medical Center, Charles Herndon Galleries, Fresch Electric, Inc., Starcher Enterprises, LLC and Razzles for helping us put on a great “Sunday Funday Runday” this year. T-shirts commemorating the race are for sale in the Chamber office … not to mention, we still have the majority of winners’ medals in the office, too!

Next came BaconFest, hosted by the Kelleys Island Wine Co., where participants sipped bacon-themed cocktails, won bacon themed prizes for the best bacon attire and rocked out to the Naked Bacon Band. We sincerely apologize for rising cholesterol levels as a result of the event!

Cops and Bobbers followed, on Sunday, June 10. Portside Marina graciously hosted this event with help from the KI EMS and Crafts, who supplied the bait! Kids and parents alike teamed up with the Kelleys Island Police Department to see who could catch the biggest fish! Awards and prizes were given to the first, second and third place catches.

The Razzles Volleyball Tournament occurred June 15-16. The Casino staged a welcome party for players Friday night, which raged on till closing! The tournament began on Saturday morning and concluded with another party at The Casino!

On Saturday, June 30, a crucial event on the Chamber calendar took place – The Mad River Kelleys Island Bike tour! The event was generously organized by Mad River Harley Davidson and all registration fee profits solely benefited the Chamber. Special thanks to all participating businesses, riders and of course Mad River Harley Davidson!

July island events

Did you know that you can apply to adopt a dog at this year’s Island Fest? The festival is July 13-14, the theme is “Dog Days of Summer” and will include a canine component. On Saturday, July 14, Barb Knapp, Dog Warden Humane Officer of Erie County and longtime islander, will be facilitating dog adoptions in Memorial Park, Downtown Kelleys Island. Festival attendees will have the opportunity to meet adoption-eligible dogs and apply to be their forever parents! The Erie County Dog Warden’s presence at Island Fest aims to raise awareness about dog adoption and care, as well as the services provided by the office of the Dog Warden. Additionally, Island Fest will feature Ohio-based artisans, crafters, food vendors, a beer tent, evening street dances, a parade on Saturday, afternoon live entertainment and fireworks at dusk.

We’re happy to announce that Hancock-Wood Electric Cooperative, a Touchstone Energy Cooperative, is partnering with us to facilitate another beloved event, the 12th annual Kelleys Island Film Fest, which will be held July 27-29. Hancock-Wood generously donated $5,000 to Film Fest, which will help us feature six different blockbuster movies, including Wonder Woman, Black Panther, Coco, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Despicable Me 3 and The Greatest Showman. Films will be shown both indoors and outdoors. Outdoor films will be projected on an inflatable screen. Attendees are encouraged to bring blankets, chairs, or golf carts for seating. Film fest is free and open to the public.

Finally, presale tickets for the Kelly Miller Circus on Kelleys Island are now on sale at our Chamber office, The Village Pump, the Island Market, or online at The circus comes to the island Aug. 6-7. For its 80th anniversary, the all-new Kelly Miller Circus season presents a more intimate show, with audiences positioned no more than 50 feet away from the action! This year’s show will also be exotic animal-free. Advanced discounted ticket prices are $7 for children ages 2-12 and seniors over 65. Adult tickets are $10. Children under the age of 2 get in free. Day-of-show tickets are $8 for children and seniors and $13 for adults. Advance discounted tickets for Monday’s shows will be available for purchase online until 11:59 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 5. Advance discounted tickets for the show on Tuesday will be available for purchase online until 11:59 p.m. Monday, Aug. 6.

To learn more about Kelleys Island events this summer, visit,  contact the Kelleys Island Chamber of Commerce Office at 419-746-2360 or email