Battle of Lake Erie Bicentennial is a big boost for businesses - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Battle of Lake Erie Bicentennial is a big boost for businesses

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This Labor Day the reenactment of the Battle of Lake Erie drew thousands of visitors.

More than a dozen tall ships set sail on the water near Put-in-Bay bringing to life the historic battle when Commodore Perry's crew defeated the British fleet during the War of 1812.

This is an integral part of history when America claimed control of the Great Lakes.

The reenactment, which took place about a dozen miles out into Lake Erie, was the culmination of the big Bicentennial weekend.

The Miller Boat Line in Catawba and the Jet Express in Port Clinton had a banner weekend.

Business is up compared to past Labor Days with boats running all weekend packed to capacity with tourists eager to get out to Put-in-Bay for all of the tall ship tours and Battle of Lake Erie Bicentennial events.

The big events attracted thousands to fill up hotels, stores, and restaurants.

"We had a great weekend," says Paula Cromley, a bartender at Traveler's Bar and Grill which is located next door to the Jet Express.

Cromley says the weekend, which is normally an unofficial celebration of the end of summer, felt like the height of summer.

"Crazy," says Cromley. "People in, people out. People seeing the tall ships. Just crazy over here."

"The traffic was backed up probably a mile when we got off of Route 2," says Bob Nash of Findlay.

Nash and his friends normally spend Labor Day weekend in the Port Clinton area. They didn't get to the tall ships yet.

"We didn't see too much of them because we couldn't get that close," says Nash. "It was so crowded by the time we got here. We're hoping maybe we could see something today."

"We were able to ride one of the ships on Saturday," says Becky Bennett from Tiffin.

Bennett from Tiffin brought out the binoculars on the shores of Lake Erie, but she couldn't see the battle reenactment over the horizon.

"Still exciting to be a part of it to be this close," says Bennett.

"Well it's the first victory for my navy," says Dale Brown from the Columbus area.

Brown could see the masts from shore. He says he's proud of how the area is honoring the battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812.

"It was just a great morale booster for the people back then," says Brown. "They weren't having a lot of success up until this."

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