If the tourists visiting the Lake Erie Shores & Islands booth this weekend don't notice the four tons of sand, perhaps the roaring dinosaur will get their attention.
Lake Erie Shores & Islands, the visitor and convention bureau for Erie and Ottawa counties, has a large booth — 40 feet by 40 feet — this weekend at the AAA Great Vacations Expo at Veterans Memorial in downtown Columbus.
The booth, cosponsored by 13 local businesses, is the biggest effort yet by Lake Erie Shores & Islands at the annual show to try to lure tourists to the Lake Erie coast.
The booth features wine tastings from Put-in-Bay Winery, Snoopy from Cedar Point and movie pirate character Jack Sparrow (representing the Put-in-Bay Chamber of Commerce.) A Wylie Walleye mascot will show up, too, putting his best fin forward to represent the Port Clinton area, said Larry Fletcher, executive director of Lake Erie Shores & Islands West.
Snoopy and Wylie are trying to avoid being upstaged by Pachy, short for Pachycephalosaurus, an animatronic dinosaur about 10 feet long from Cedar Point that roars loudly and moves its tail.
Pachy serves as an ambassador for Cedar Point's Dinosaurs Alive! attraction, scheduled to open this year as the park's new feature attraction. Pachy is designed to give a taste of the much-larger dinosaurs the park will feature.
"That's why it's a smaller one, so we can pack it up and move it," said Cedar Point spokesman Robin Innes, who said Pachy spent the holidays hanging out at Castaway Bay.
Read more about Pachy and what other tourist destinations had to say about the North Coast in Sunday's Register.