BY D’ARCY PATRICK EGAN
During the busiest Memorial Day Weekend in recent memory, Mother Nature certainly played her part in providing a warm welcome.
Blue skies and warm temperatures prevailed, a calm Lake Erie and lots of walleye welcomed fishermen, and the crowds of families around Port Clinton and all of Ottawa County were overwhelming.
Memorial Day was celebrated on Monday, and appropriately the focus of the holiday was remembering America’s brave soldiers, sailors and airmen. The ceremonies in the city, villages and townships were heartfelt, and well attended.
The military aircraft rumbling overhead had many looking skyward, including the “Georgie’s Girl” B-25 Bomber, launching from the Liberty Aviation Museum and Port Clinton Airport all day long.
The Fraternal Order of Eagles Grande Parade on Saturday had people shoulder-to-shoulder on Madison Street as boys and girls scrambled to pick up candies tossed by familiar faces who were riding the floats.
On Sunday, boys and girls and families lined up around Derby Pond at Waterworks Park, with 260 youngsters signing up for the popular Skipper Bud’s Fishing Derby. Waiting for them were 200 brand, new — and free — spin casting fishing rod combos, and a pond with hungry bluegills and stocked channel catfish.
Surprisingly, a few nice largemouth bass were waiting, as well.
While parking may have been at a premium in downtown Port Clinton throughout the weekend, the crowds leisurely made their way to Waterworks Park during the five-day festival. The carnival rides were busy, the food trucks did a booming business and the bands played on . . . and on, until the Johnny O Project wrapped up the Walleye Festival on Monday.
The Main Street Entertainment District enjoyed its official opening weekend with bands on the downtown open air stage on Wednesday through Saturday. There were a batch of musical moments, and that will continue through early September.
The local folks were tremendous with a welcoming spirit that ensured many would return all summer long to enjoy the delight of small town America, and all it can offer.
To those who came, saw and enjoyed themselves, hope to see you all again, and soon!