2017 Put-in-Bay Music Festival celebrates Americana sounds of bluegrass, zydeco, folk and rhythm & blues

An estimated 3,000 people turned out on Saturday, June 10, to enjoy the first Put-in-Bay Music Festival. The festival brought  bluegrass, new grass, folk, zydeco, pop, rhythm & blues and legend Patrick Huston Dailey to the stage for a free day-long concert at Perry’s Victory & International Peace Memorial here on South Bass Island.
“The music festival continues Perry’s Victory’s ongoing celebration of peace through music at the National Park,” said Park Superintendent Barbara Fearon. “We’re looking forward to hosting this event annually at the park.”
The Put-in-Bay Music Festival opened at 11 am with the final act wrapping about 8 pm.
Miller Boat Line sponsored the event, a collaboration between many partners, including the Put-in-Bay Chamber of Commerce, the National Park Service, the Perry Group (Perry’s Victory’s Friends Group), and the Lake Erie Islands Historical Society. The Ohio Arts Council matched Miller’s contribution of $10,000 and a marketing grant was also obtained from Lake Erie Shores and Islands for $2,050 to help promote the Put-in-Bay Music Festival.
Superintendent Fearon said several island businesses also supported the music festival and the Lake Erie Islands Historical Society. Heineman Winery purchased wine glasses and the Round House Bar purchased beer mugs and donated them to the historical society for use at the beverage tent. Island Hardware donated three dozen printed tee-shirts for the volunteers to wear, she added.
Go to Miller Boat Line’s website, millerferry.com, to check their schedule and start planning your visit. Information about Put-in-Bay, including lodging, dining and live entertainment can be found at the Put-in-Bay Chamber of Commerce website.
The 2017 Put in Bay Music Festival line-up included Strung Like a Horse, Emily Keener, Mo’Mojo, The Floorwalkers, JP and the Chatfield Boys, The Flyin Jays, and MC Bob Gatewood. Each act performed 45 minutes to an hour. Pat Dailey took the stage a little after 4 pm to debut his new song about protecting the Great Lakes, “Lake Keepers”. Dailey, of course, drew in the biggest crowd of the day. Despite saying he was there to just play one song, he ended up playing several to the delight of the crowd.
Lawn chairs and blankets dotted the National Park lawn as hundreds braved the sunny and mildly humid weather. “This is just perfect,” one local woman said.
Mowry Foods sold festival goers Italian sausage sandwiches, fries, gyros, lemonade and ice cream during the festival. The Lake Erie Islands Historical Society sold beer, wine, soft drinks and water and provided festival volunteers and park staff with water and soft drinks during the event.
Cornhole players enjoyed the National Park’s new games boards, donated by Labatt Brewing. There was always someone playing at the ten board sets during the day.
A living history display, including the park’s longboat and carronade was on display and Park Rangers helped the kids make kazoos, tambourine’s, and shakers at the Craft Tent. Guitar Hero was also a popular event at the Workshop Tent. Islander Dick McCarthy held a beginners and intermediary Ukulele class that was attended by 40 people in the workshop area and a drumming class by Mo’ Mojo’s drummer was also popular. All the workshops and the crafts were free.
Many who attended the 2017 Put-in-Bay Music Festival said they planned a weekend visit so they could also enjoy the many entertainment venues in Put-in-Bay’s Downtown District. Check the Put-in-Bay Chamber of Commerce website for links to schedules.
We have received a lot of interest from bands wanting to participate in the 2018 Put-in-Bay Music Festival. Send a demo, band bio, website link, etc. to questions@visitputinbay.com.
We’re already collecting information and planning the 2018 festival so don’t wait if you’re interested in getting involved.
Perry’s Victory has a long standing tradition of promoting peace through music and has hosted many musical events, including both the Toledo and Central Ohio symphonies, the Twilight Concert Series in conjunction with the Put-in-Bay Arts Council, and drumming, dance and other workshops for park visitors.
The Put-in-Bay Music Festival as all programs at the park is free and open to the public. Food, beverages, souvenirs and other amenities require a fee.
Perry’s Victory & International Peace Memorial opened to the public on June 13, 2015. The 352-foot tall memorial column is the world’s largest Greek Doric Column and is made of pink Milford Massachusetts granite. It is the only peace memorial in the National Park system and represents more than 200 years of peace between Great Britain and our northern neighbors, Canada.
The 25-acre park is located just five miles from the US-Canadian border. The memorial column, rotunda and plaza are inaccessible to the public in 2017 while the exterior of the historic structure is cleaned and repaired. The National Park’s grounds and its visitor center opened May 20. Hours are 10 am to 6 pm daily through September 10.