Thunder on the Strip starts today

Sep. 6—GENEVA-ON-THE-LAKE — Thunder on the Strip returns for its 17th year today, with a wide variety of entertainment options and vendors participating in the event.

Dwayne Bennett, Thunder on the Strip organizer and mayor of Geneva-on-the-Lake, said on Wednesday the event is ready to go.

"We're hoping for good weather," he said.

There's a wide variety of entertainment for this year, Bennett said. One new addition is Kid Kentucky, a Kid Rock tribute band, which is a new act at the event, he said.

"We've got the stunt show, which is a new group of guys taking that over," Bennett said. "I think there's three or four riders instead of the normal two we had before."

He said Thunder on the Strip officials have spoken to a few different other stunt shows, seeking to add more to next year's event.

Starting this morning, parking on the strip is restricted to motorcycles only, Bennett said.

"We've got public parking at our CVB building, and at the golf course," he said. "There's over 200 parking spots at the CVB building."

There are also private lots where people can park, Bennett said.

"We're excited," he said. "It's come quick this year."

Five new vendors are expected this year.

Stephanie Siegel, executive director of the Ashtabula County Convention and Visitors Bureau, said it is hard to know what to expect for the Geneva-on-the-Lake welcome center, which the ACCVB took over earlier this year.

"We've just been blown out of the water with our experiences interacting with customers," she said. "It's really been phenomenal to help to understand, being the boots on the ground. Here's the most asked questions, this is the information people are looking for, here's the kind of things they're purchasing, or that they want to purchase. If we don't have it, where do we direct them to?

"Labor Day weekend, this past weekend was huge for us, and we expect Thunder to be just as big for us."

Many of the people the ACCVB has been interacting with at the office have been overnight visitors, not day-trippers, Siegel said.

"That office helps us to push people to other areas of the county too," she said. "They come hang out on the strip for a while, do some Geneva-on-the-Lake stuff, and they want to know what else is there to do."

ACCVB staff is able to help those people find things that match their interests.

"Thunder on the Strip, there's a big core of people that come just for the activities on the strip, because there is so much going on, so much happening," Siegel said. "But there's an equal number of people that are coming who say, 'OK, we came, we saw, we conquered. Now what else is there?' So we help them with that."