BY D’ARCY EGAN
The revelers at the 6th annual Burning Snowman Fest came for a few adult beverages, some great hot food, plenty of music and the hope winter along the Lake Erie shoreline would soon be history.
Hopefully, they were wearing long underwear, heavy winter coasts, warm gloves and insulated boots. Baby, it was cold outside!
Fortunately, there were a batch of burn barrels around Waterworks Park, and a couple of heated tents for eating, drinking and dancing. Brisk west winds whipped the Lake Erie shoreline to test the hardy crowd as it waited for the 7:30 p.m. ignition of the 40-foot tall snowman named “Tim,” whose eyes were eerily glowing green in the dark.
The spacious Waterworks Park could accommodate the largest crowd in Burning Snowman Fest history, and the $10 admission ensured the charity event would easily top last year’s $20,000. The local charities that are beneficiaries of the burn included Main Street Port Clinton, the Ottawa County Family Advocacy Center, Kids for Christmas and Port Clinton’s police and fire departments.
“We should have dressed a bit warmer, but we’re having a blast,” said a group of young ladies from the Genoa area. There were also lots of shouts of encouragement to start the burn just after dusk, and many rowdy epithets, as well.
To make the Burning Snowman Fest a far-reaching community event, free shuttles hauled crowds of people to area bars from early afternoon to late evening. Downtown Port Clinton bars, as well as the outlying pubs, were crowded all afternoon and into the evening.