Neither the early evening dusting of snow nor the no-go of a scheduled gig on the David Letterman Show dampened the enthusiasm of Wylie the Walleye and his gathered fans as for the 16th year he dropped at midnight in downtown Port Clinton.
One explanation given for the scheduled David Letterman Show no-go was they were not able to broadcast the feed due to band width mismatch and intermittent signals. However, the Show then broadcast a rerun, so confusion remains, especially since The Letterman Show initiated the contact with WPCR and the Walleye Madness committee.
The evening began with a children’s program at the Knights of Columbus Hall. Over 100 children, parents and grandparents celebrated with games, face-painting, music and dancing with the Wanna Bees, followed by a kid-sized Walleye Drop.
Over on Madison Street, DJ Jeff of Rock & Roll Express began music on the main stage at 6 p.m. Throughout the evening there were contests, give-aways and entertainment. The Port Clinton Fisheries building was lively with vendors including, of course, fish sandwiches.
At 11:30 p.m. Mickey Kelly, Mike Willis, Matt Rogers and Forrest Miller, Nashville singer-songwriters and recording artists, performed live. The four played to sold-out shows at The Listening Room on Dec. 30 and New Year’s Eve. Kelly and Rogers are two of the top demo recording singers in Nashville and have been touring together, and Rogers and Willis are often a song-writing duo. Ronnie Milsap is cutting one of Rogers’ songs for release soon. Forrest Miller, who joined the group for this tour, is a violin virtuoso (“it’s a fiddle when he plays with us”, emphasized Kelly) at the tender age of 18. Miller has been playing violin since he was six years old. When asked about his third trip to Port Clinton performing at the Listening Room Kelly said, “Four sold-out shows this weekend speaks volumes about what the Millers (Ron, Deb and Joe, of The Listening Room) are doing here.”
As midnight approached, the crowd continued to grow, to dance and sing, until the grand finale of “Hang on Wylie” to the tune of Hang on Sloopy. The fabulous fish made his descent right on time, landing in a cloud of smoke. Fireworks accented the official beginning of 2013 in Port Clinton.
To re-live the experience, or if you were unable to attend the Walleye Drop live, photos from the festivities are in Photostream on the Beacon website at www.thebeacon.net.
May 2013 be a prosperous, peaceful year filled with blessings.