Shake, rattle and stroll your way through downtown Vermilion

What is it: Shake, Rattle & Stroll is a walking tour of downtown Vermilion that offers citizens and visitors a little fun now that the summer boating season has ended. Local businesses have gotten into the Halloween spirit, decorating their windows and store fronts with skeletons and other fall decor to encourage people to eat and shop downtown Vermilion.

Robin the Rotarian is digging on all the visitors at Shake, Rattle & Stroll.“Shake, Rattle & Stroll is a community effort,” says Kate Repola, executive director of Main Street Vermilion, the organization working to promote economic and business development in the downtown area. “We are encouraging residents and visitors to walk around and look at all the fun displays, as well as to continue to shop and eat and drink in downtown Vermilion throughout the fall.”

Named one of the best fall events by Lake Erie Living Magazine, Shake, Rattle & Stroll runs throughout the month of October and can be visited at any time of the day.

“It’s just a way to help our local businesses during what we call the shoulder season, after the tourists leave between Labor Day and Memorial Day,” Repola says. “Here at Main Street Vermilion, we like to keep our historic downtown vibrant throughout that off season.”

What to do: That’s the easy part. Just take a trip to downtown Vermilion and check out all of the displays. The skeleton displays are in business windows, on downtown benches and even hanging from trees.

Visitors to the displays can pick up a free map of all the displays at the Main Street Vermilion office at 685 Main St., or find a copy online at

This skeleton is head over heels at Tiffany's Flowers.While the majority of the displays -- about 40 business are participating -- are located around the intersection of Main and Liberty in downtown, they also include City Hall, a dentist, nearly all of the area eateries and even businesses located on West River, Grand and South streets.

“It all started with single skeletons and has evolved, and our businesses have embraced it,” Repola says. “They do something different every year and try to outdo each other. Single skeletons have turned into four and five with different themes. The businesses change it up every year.”

How to get involved: All a visitor to Vermilion has to do is walk around to check out the displays, but they are also asked to vote for their favorite display for the chance to win a gift basket from Main Street Vermilion. Voting is done by a QR code that is located at the bottom of the Shake, Rattle & Stroll map or by going to the link on the Main Street Vermilion website.

In addition, the business voted to have the best display receives a cash prize for its efforts.

“We work really hard here at Main Street to help our businesses and help our community as a whole,” Repola says. “We like to feature what we have here.”

Information about Shake, Rattle & Stroll, along with all events sponsored by Main Street Vermilion, is available at

People can also follow Main Street Vermilion on Facebook and Instagram for updates on events the organization has throughout the year, or visit its office at 685 Main St., Vermilion.