BY D’ARCY PATRICK EGAN
Now that all of the high school graduation parties are winding down around Ottawa County, the Memorial Day weekend, Walleye Festival and the debut of this year’s Music on Madison Stage will bring holiday crowds to Port Clinton for the next few days.
Unlike a year ago, when a nasty nor’easter swept into town and inundated Waterworks Park, some dry, pleasant weather is in the forecast to make the Lake Erie shoreline a wonderful place to enjoy Vacationland at its best.
The Main Street Port Clinton Walleye Festival will light up Waterworks Park today (Thursday, May 26) at 5 p.m., through Monday’s Memorial Day festivities, with carnival rides lighting the night, food exhibits luring the hungry and music lovers getting a taste of bands that will be playing all around town.
The Music on Madison Stage found its way back to Port Clinton’s main drag this week, kicking off an amazing schedule of more than 80 live bands before Athens Wheeler Band wraps things up in style as summer winds down in late September.
From this weekend’s 7 p.m. appearances on the MOM Stage by The JT Hayden Project, Ron Howard & Cruisin’ and The Bob Stevens Band on Friday through Sunday to the Killer Flamingos and Jennifer Westwood and the Handsome Devils come this September, there will be something for everyone this summer. Even the boys and girls at Immaculate Conception School will get into the act, performing in a 6:30 p.m. concert at the school’s parking lot tonight for parents and friends.
The Walleye Festival has its own Entertainment Tent and lots of cold beer. Rumours and The Eric Sowers Band play Thursday and Friday at 7 p.m., while Andrew Ellis, Meger Kings and Distant Cousins are on stage Saturday from noon to 11 p.m.
The annual Fraternal Order of Eagles Grande Parade will motor around Port Clinton on Saturday at 10 a.m., hoping to impress the judges perched in front of the Ida Rupp Public Library.
Thousands of dedicated anglers will make holiday fishing trips here this week to enjoy the legendary walleye waters of Lake Erie — the Walleye Capital of the World — during the Walleye Festival. Kids can cast to Derby Pond at Waterworks Park, hoping to catch a channel catfish in the Skipper Bud’s Fishing Derby on Sunday, with registration at 11:30 a.m.
The annual Memorial Day ceremony on Monday will be a solemn service at Veterans Park in downtown Port Clinton at 10 a.m.