A good, old rootin’-tootin’ New Year’s Eve will return to downtown Port Clinton on Friday night, as Wylie Walleye Jr. descends to the corner of Perry and Madison to mark his 25th anniversary of merry making.
Mayor Mike Snider said earlier in the week that there might have to be some limits to the indoor crowds because of Covid-19, but the outside celebrations — especially the arrival of the big, colorful fish on Friday at midnight — are getting a nod of approval.
The early weather forecast for Friday is of almost balmy weather for the season, with a touch of rain, encouraging outside parties. Partiers will be able to admire their favorite 20-foot fish, watch the livestream action on a Madison Street screen (at walleyedrop.com) starting at 7 p.m. and listen to a local favorite, DJ Hondo.
The Walleye Drop fun begins at 4 p.m. with the annual Minnow Drop for kids at the Port Clinton Knights of Columbus Hall on Perry Street. Games and snacks will rule until the annual balloon drop.
Adults will have a variety of vendors, games and prizes to enjoy. Grand Prize Raffle Tickets will be for sale, with drawings to begin at 11 p.m. To no one’s surprise, expensive Lake Erie walleye fishing charters on the “Walleye Capitol of the World” are among the top prizes.
Port Clinton Fisheries will again be offering two local favorites — beer and yellow perch. Many of the bars and restaurants on Madison Street will also serve their popular meals and drinks through the evening.
The 3rd annual “Bar Swim” will kick off a unique tour of Vacationland, with heated luxury buses giving free rides around Marblehead and Catawba to visit the regions bars and restaurants. This year’s bus tours has been expanded, said Kristina Tilson of the Wylie Walleye Foundation Committee, which raises funds for local non-profit groups and organizations.
The buses will roll at 7 p.m., with the tour adding the Jamestown Tavern in Marblehead and the Lagoon Saloon on the Portage River south of downtown in Bay Township this Friday.
To make sure Wylie will again be the star of the show, all of the buses will drop celebrants back in downtown Port Clinton at 11:30 p.m. to get ready for Wylie’s big performance.
Don’t forget to hang around just a little longer for the big fireworks show over the Portage River, behind the Walleye Drop stage.