Top 10 Ways to Celebrate Sandusky's Bicentennial

July 05, 2018


2018 marks the Bicentennial of the founding of the City of Sandusky. Rich in history, including maritime lore and ties to the Underground Railroad, the city is honoring its heritage while looking ahead to the next 200 years. Here are 10 fun ways you can be a part of the celebration 200 years in the making.

Make “selfie” history and take your picture at the “Greetings from Sandusky” mural. This public art installation was completed on the wall behind the Sandusky State Theatre late last year and can be seen from Water Street and the Jackson Street parking lot. The vintage postcard design features scenes from Sandusky set within its letters and the Cedar Point skyline in the background. The mural has already become an iconic photo spot. Be sure to grab your photo before or after taking in a show at the Sandusky State Theatre.

Come sail away at the Festival of Sail July 12-15. Don’t miss this pillar event in the Sandusky Bicentennial Celebration. Six or more rare, historic ships will be in port and available for dockside viewing and onboard tours. Some ships will also offer day sails and other special sailing excursions. Also in port will be the World’s Largest Rubber Duck; this six-story, 11-ton spectacle affectionately known as “Mama Duck” will be on display throughout the event. The festival grounds at Jackson Street Pier will include vendors and food trucks, as well as live entertainment featuring Robert Randolph & the Family Band on Friday night and the world’s greatest Reggae band, The Wailers on Saturday night. Sail on ‘Mon!

Walk this way. Guided Historic Sandusky Walking Tours of downtown and Washington Park, led by the Erie County Historical Society, are planned for July 25, August 22, and September 26. If you like your historical tours with a bit of mystery and lore, consider joining the Haunted Sandusky Bay Walks, presented by the Maritime Museum of Sandusky, on July 8, August 5, September 23, and October 21. With this tour you’ll learn not just about historical buildings and sites, but also their mysterious pasts and potential haunted activity.

Unlock Sandusky during your very own outdoor adventure. Escape Rooms by Franknicky has created “Unlock Sandusky,” an outdoor adventure (think scavenger hunt with puzzle clues) based on six individuals that lived in Sandusky within the last 200 years. This game includes physical locks you must open to move through the game and augmented reality that tells the various stories. The game is fun for small groups and a great alternative to the traditional escape room.

Enjoy a Lake Erie sunset from the best vantage point. Sandusky and Sandusky Bay are known for amazing sunsets. Take in the beauty of this Lake Erie evening view from a unique and unforgettable location - on Lake Erie with a Sandusky Bay Sunset Cruise on the Goodtime I. Offered various dates throughout the summer season, enjoy onboard entertainment along with happy hour specials and pizza available for purchase.

Learn something interesting about Sandusky’s history. The Bicentennial Banter series explores Sandusky through the ages with educational and historic discussions at the Sandusky State Theatre. Upcoming events include Sandusky Firsts, presented by the Sandusky NAACP August 15, Sandusky Masons’ 200th anniversary reenactment September 19, Carousel Horses & Sandusky, presented by the Merry-Go-Round Museum October 24, and Stories & History of Sandusky’s Downtown Shoreline, presented by the Sandusky Library November 14.

Birthday Bash! Celebrate Sandusky Founders’ Day on August 18 with a grand parade filled with local high school bands, community-minded floats, and local celebrities. The day also features $1 museum tours, the Cooke-Dorn Museum’s Antique Appraisal Fair, and concludes with fireworks. To complete the birthday weekend, there is a free outdoor concert with the Firelands Symphony Orchestra on Sunday, August 19.

Eat bacon and race dragons. Sandusky’s most unique combination merges a community race event with a food festival. Dragons & Bacon Fest, September 15 at the Paper District Marina, offers bacon food vendors, beverages, and live music while viewing dragon boat races in Sandusky Bay. Want to be a part of the action? Race a 40-foot dragon boat with your team of 20 paddlers, a drummer, and a steer person. All teams welcome. No experience necessary.

Opa! Enjoy Sandusky’s German heritage. North Coast Oktoberfest, September 21-23, is a weekend block party in downtown Sandusky. The event features live entertainment including music, traditional Bavarian dancers, and a live glockenspiel. Nosh on German food, beer, and wine. There will also be arts and crafts and games for all ages including a brat eating contest, barmaid run, and wiener dog race. The family fun lane hosts a bounce house, dunk tank, giant Connect 4, pumpkin painting, and more.

Revel in holiday merriment. Wind down the Bicentennial year by joining the Sandusky community for its Winter Kick-off Festival November 23-25. This downtown celebration includes holiday festivities, visits with Santa Claus at the Cookie House, and a Christmas tree lighting ceremony.

Happy Birthday Sandusky! How will YOU celebrate?

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