BY D’ARCY PATRICK EGAN
There’s one very good way to tackle the chilly weather and grey gloom of winter that hugs the Lake Erie shoreline in Port Clinton. Light up the night with a Burning Snowman!
What’s better than a wild and crazy party with lots of good music, great things to eat and drink at the many fun spots around the area and to raise money for worthy community causes?
This year, make that two great parties, reports Chassey Turner of Commodore Perry Inn and Suites!
The Burning Snowman gala will fill Dock’s Beach House and the adjoining tents at 252 W. Lakeshore Dr., Port Clinton, on Saturday, Feb. 26 from 3-10 p.m. There will be a Heated Vendor Tent all day just across the highway at Mr. Ed’s Bar & Grille at the Commodore Perry Inn.
Two tribute bands — Liverpool Lads and Out of Eden — will be under the Main Tent, along with DJ Adubb and DJ Brooks.
To handle the crowds and help find parking downtown, four Official Shuttle Locations will be set up to give Burning Snowman partiers a free ride on Saturday,
Feb. 26 to a wide range of taverns and pubs from 3-10 p.m. The shuttles will operate continuous loops that include stops at The Gristmill, Cleats Marblehead, Bell Mell Tavern, Beer Thirty’s, Twin Oast Brewing, Slater’s Food & Spirits, Clinton House, Catawba Island Brewing Company, Silver Top Sports Bar & Grill, 1812 Food & Spirits and the Lagoon Saloon.
Since it’s an adult party, the Burning Snowman organizers are making it a family affair on Friday afternoon from 4-7 p.m. with The Family Freeze, providing the younger fans with their own version of the Burning Snowman.
While some of the town’s craziest craftsmen will be responsible for creating a unique “snowman” designed to go up in flames in style, the Port Clinton High School Wood Tech students will design and build their own fiery “Family Freeze” wooden creation.
The free Family Freeze event features hot cocoa and s’mores on the beach, face painting, live ice sculpture demonstrations and Ohio Burn Fire Dancers. On stage will be Corduroy Road at 4 p.m.
The Port Clinton Fire Department will monitor all of the pyrotechnics and will have the fire hoses ready, if necessary. Television cameras and newspaper photographers will chronicle the events, but not until they’ve warmed up a bit in the tents and have had a slice of Sloopy’s Pizza.
To make sure there is plenty of good music around downtown Port Clinton, Mayor Mike Snider will bring back the Music On Madison (MOM) area on Madison Street for the weekend, with the MORA rules allowing open carry of alcoholic beverages.
On Friday night, “Tap Takeover” returns to downtown Port Clinton, as well.
Croghan Colonial Bank will present a $500 scholarship to one member of the Port Clinton High School Wood Working Class, while Port Clinton High School Art Department students will compete for a $500 scholarship as the class creates the 2022 Burning Snowman promotional design.
The long list of Burning Snowman sponsors of this year’s events are Team VIAC, Bell Mell Tavern, Beer Thirty’s, Arlington Inn, Silvertop Sports Bar & Grille, Slater’s Food & Spirits, The Gristmill, Polter Real Estate, Croghan Colonial Bank, Trish McCartney Insurance Agency, Cleats Marblehead, Rosie’s Bar & Grill, 1812 Food & Spirits, Twin Oast, Heidelberg, NWO, Ghost Audio Visual System, Maple City Ice, Magruder Hospital, African Safari Wildlife park, Drawbridge Marina, Commodore Perry Inn & Suites, Kuras Aeration Systems, Jet Express, City of Port Clinton, U.S. Gypsum Company and Toledo Tent and Party Rentals.
The Burning Snowman celebration was created in 2013 with having a lot of fun in mind, and also a way to fire up a moribund winter tourism season, luring visiting crowds of revelers much like the famous Walleye Drop on New Year’s Eve. If you create it, the taverns, restaurants and hotels and motels — and lots of good food, drink and music — are waiting.
This year, funds raised will benefit children’s charities in Ottawa and surrounding counties, including the traditional Mr. Ed’s Kids for Christmas that helps financially-challenged families during the holiday season. Also benefiting are the Ottawa County Family Advocacy Center, which provides a wide range of social services for families in Ottawa County, the Port Clinton Police and Fire Departments, Mainstreet Port Clinton and the Burning Snowman festivities.