One of the most entertaining and heartfelt weekends of the Put-in-Bay summer, Founders Day celebrates Hispanic merchant Jose DeRivera who in 1854 purchased South Bass, Middle Bass, Sugar, Gibraltar, Ballast and Starve Islands for a price of $44,000. Throughout the following years, he sold off parcels of the land including the school property for $1 and the St. Paul’s church property for $10. This day celebrates the island’s heritage and DeRivera’s good deeds.
Founders Day means always great food and lots of fun for the entire family. Most of the events are held in DeRivera Park, aptly named after Jose, downtown from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Island entertainment usually performs a free concert in the afternoon from 12:30 PM to 2:00 PM. The Put-in-Bay Hog Roasters often provide a great roast hog picnic lunch for a small donation. Shoppers will be happy to find fantastic bargains at one of the many sale tables and pick up information on one of our non-profit groups that rely on the support of our community and visitors.