Memorial Day Weekend a blast on the North Coast

May 31, 2023 | Featured, Entertainment | 0 comments

The lead float in the Fraternal Order of Eagles Grande Parade on Saturday was the beautiful “We Are PC” float created by the Greater Port Clinton Area Arts Council. (Photo by D’Arcy Egan)

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.

A group of happy teens are thrilled by the descent from the top of the Pharoah Ride at the Walleye Festival. Hundreds of people attended the festival to ride carnival rides, shop at vendor stands, eat fair food and listen to live entertainment. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

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.

A trio of young anglers had a prime fishing spot for the Skipper Bud’s Fishing Derby — an island in Derby Pond! The Port Clinton area fishing crew were Trevor Mares, Grayson Goble and Brian Mooney. (Photo by D’Arcy Egan)

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.

Six-year-old Grace McGraw of Whites Landing giggles as she shows off the fish she won in the ping-pong ball toss game at the Walleye Festival. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

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!

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