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The old will blend with the new when this year’s reinvented Progressive Cedar Point Boat Show docks for four days, August 22-25, at Cedar Point Marina.

Many new features and events will mark the show, according to Michelle Burke the new president of the Lake Erie Marine Trades Association. “We’ve literally wiped the board clean and started with one vision,” she explains, “to make it more than just a boat show but an appealing boating event with variety, entertainment and even some great nostalgia.”

The latter will center on a look back at some local boating history. A special feature, it’s being called “Lymans Coming Home,” and it will center on celebrating the 90th Anniversary of the first Lyman Boat that was built in Sandusky and the hundreds that followed. Indeed, hundreds still ply the lake today.

“But we’ll showcase even more history,” says Burke. “The popular annual Toledo Antique and Classic Boat Show will also be held in the boat show this year featuring a selection of classic models maintained or restored to their original glory. Combined with the Lyman celebration, this trip into our nautical past will really create a unique show within the show,” Burke predicts.

Among the special historical displays will be artifacts from the original Lyman Boat Works provided by Tom Koroknay, aka Doc Lyman, the preeminent Lyman historian. In addition, the exhibits will boast a Lyman built in each decade, along with more Lymans shown on land and in the water. Indeed, Pat Dietrich of Sandusky Bay Marine Restoration will even be offering show visitors a rare opportunity to ride in a restored 30-foot Lyman on Sandusky Bay.

The dual historical shows are a cooperative effort of the Toledo Antique and Classic Boat group, Lyman Boats LLC, Ramsey Brothers Restorations, the Lake Erie Lyman Group, Lyman Boat Beer Works and Lyman Life clothing and accessories.

All the nostalgia will be surrounded by “new” show improvements in many other ways. For example, the old food service is gone, replaced by selected food trucks to provide a much bigger variety for show visitors. A first-ever schedule of on-stage seminars covering topics like winterizing tips, the latest smartphone boating apps, fishing clinics and more will be included in the big marine accessories tent being relocated to the show’s entrance.

If you’re a bargain hunter, you’ll be drawn to the first-ever “Parking Lot Sale” in the show. There, dealers will display a variety of new and pre-owned trailerable fishing, runabout and water sports models at clearance prices.

Burke says they will be announcing more new features as the show gets closer, including a first ever all-inclusive, specially-priced package for boaters who want to turn their trip to the show into a great two-day visit with Cedar Point hotel accommodations, tickets to the park and other amenities. “Our show is held at the nation’s best amusement park and no other boat show can match that. It’s fitting that we partner with Cedar Point on offering exciting family packages this year,” Burke notes.

While more new features are being solidified now, including an expanded live musical entertainment schedule, no one has lost sight of the main reason for the show, the display of up to 400 new and pre-owned boats ranging from inflatables to motor yachts.

Most of the boats are displayed in-water and many will be 2020 models getting their first public showing. Literally every major brand will be represented by dealers from around Ohio, and one of the most popular features of this show is that many of the boats are available for demo rides.

In keeping with the major overhaul of this, the Great Lakes oldest and largest in-water show, even the hours have been changed to make it more convenient for visitors to enjoy the event.  

New show hours will be: Opening Thursday (Aug. 22) 12 Noon to 7:30 pm; Friday and Saturday (Aug. 23-24) 10:00 am to 7:30 pm; and Sunday, (Aug. 25) 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

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