Put-in-Bay tourism season starts this weekend - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Put-in-Bay tourism season starts this weekend

PUT-IN-BAY (Toledo News Now) -

The tourism season kicks off this weekend at Put-in-Bay. It has been a long winter, and on Wednesday many residents made their first trip back and forth to the main land in months.

Spring has finally arrived at the ferry dock. As the last of the ice continues to melt away on Lake Erie, ferry boats are making their first trips back out to the island since last year.

The 400 people who live on South Bass Island are finally getting the chance to restock on food and supplies they've been running out of during the winter that wouldn't end.

"50 percent of the lake is still ice covered, but it's all east of here," said Captain Matt Miller of the Miller Boat Line.

Miller says since putting his boat back out on the water Monday he's seen a pretty steady flow of riders. Some of them have been homeowners going back out to check on their property.

Many of them have been truckers restocking stores and gas pumps, even collecting trash that's been sitting on the island since December.

"We generate a fair amount of trash, but nothing like the summer time where these guys are going back and forth almost every other day," said Miller

Both the Miller Boat Line and Kelly's Island Ferry are back in service.

Put-in-Bay's season opens Sunday with the annual lighting of the whiskey light at the roundhouse.

The islands saw one of the busiest days last year when the tall ships were on Lake Erie, celebrating the war of 1812.

"We had a very large crowd that came over for that weekend. That was the most people we've ever hauled," said Miller

Miller Boat Line leaves from Catawba Island to Put-in-Bay and Middle Bass Island seven days a week.

For more on the Miller Boat Line, visit http://www.millerferry.com/. For more on the Kelley's Island Ferry, visit http://www.kelleysislandferry.com/.

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