PUT-IN-BAY, Ohio — For the last two decades, Paul Jeris has called Put-in-Bay home. With Bash on the Bay this week, he is welcoming thousands to town.

What You Need To Know

  • Blake Shelton and Keith Urban are headlining this year’s concerts

  • The concerts are huge for island businesses

  • The event was canceled in 2020 due to COVID concerns and restrictions

“I started as a taxi driver 25 years ago, and just fell in love with the island and the people here and then started renting out some houses that we bought, and along with the houses came some golf carts,” said Jeris.  

He’s worked his way up to owning both a golf cart and a home rental company. He says a drive on South Bass Island, where Put-in-Bay lies, never gets old. 

“It’s just a unique place in Ohio," said Jeris. "Where do you have this type of environment in Ohio? With the water, the number of things to do, and the people, the crowds. I still watch my sunsets all the time.” 

And after a slow COVID-plagued 2020, he says the island has been swamped with visitors this summer. 

“This year, everybody wanted to get out. We’ve had great crowds, we’ve been targeting families and empty nesters to come during the mid week, and this has been the busiest year we’ve ever had,” said Jeris. 

And it’s only going to get busier, as country superstars Blake Shelton and Keith Urban perform for thousands this week. The organizer for Bash on the Bay says the event can welcome up to 15,000 people each night. Blake Shleton was also joined by his new bride, Gwen Stefani, on stage on Wednesday. 

“The impact to us in terms of bars, restaurants, the lodging and Ottawa county, it’s huge.” 

At the Frosty Bar downtown, the owner, or as she calls it “chaos coordinator," Kimberly Morrisson, is preparing for the drinks to be flowing both inside and outside all week long. 

“We brought in a lot of what I call our alumni employees. Which is employees who worked for us in the past and then they graduated from college and went and got real jobs and then they come back to the island for the couple days of the concert to help us out with the volume,” said Morrisson. 

Jeris said he can’t wait to welcome old and new faces to the island he loves. 

“Put-In-Bay is alive and well and waiting for you to come visit us.”