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Whiskey light signals Round House opening

John Benson • May 12, 2015 at 6:11 PM

Want to go?

• WHAT: Whiskey Lighting and Grand Opening of Round House Bar

• WHEN: April 9-10

• WHERE: Round House Bar, Delaware Ave., Put-in-Bay

• COST: No cover

• INFO: theroundhousebar.com

There’s no better sign that spring has sprung and summer is near than the whiskey light at Put-in-Bay’s Round House Bar. Once that famous sign lights up, the collective heart of the Islands starts beating again for another year of fun and frivolity.

Furthermore, the Round House Bar’s grand opening weekend is scheduled for April 9 and 10 on South Bass Island.

“The event on April 9 is themed as a Totally ‘80s Party, and the band playing is called The Killer Flamingos,” Round House Manager Paula Garsteck said. “It’s our season kickoff party. We’ve been doing these for as long as I can remember. April 10 is the annual Whiskey Lighting, and that’s when we turn on our whiskey light. It’s the official kickoff of the summer season.”

Gartsteck said the ‘80s party will attract anywhere from 300 to 500 cabin fever survivors. The Whiskey Lighting affair, held in the afternoon, will likely get double that number.

“People usually come over for the lighting event to kick off the season,” Garstock said. “Ray Fogg is the entertainment, and he has a whole Whiskey Light song that he has written about turning on the light. The whiskey light is a neon light that just says ‘whiskey,’ and it’s our trademark. When it’s on we’re open and when it’s off we’re closed. It goes off daily and seasonally, and it hasn’t been on since Halloween night.”

Open since 1873, the Round House Bar will have weekend hours until mid-May when its daily schedule begins. Despite being a month away, Garstock is happy the grand opening weekend has arrived.

“It’s a great way to kick off the season, and if the weather cooperates, then more people come,” Garstock said. “People have spring fever and once the boats start running, everybody wants to come over to the island.”

As for what she’ll be wearing for her Totally ‘80s Party costume, she said, “Of course something neon, but I don’t have my outfit yet. I’m on it.”

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