Wylie Walleye, a 20 ft. long, 600 lb. fiberglass walleye is being polished up and readied for his big New Year’s Eve night, the Walleye Drop. The event, also known as Walleye Madness at Midnight, has been held annually since the late 90’s, even in 2020 as a livestreamed virtual event. As in year’s past, thousands are expected to fill downtown Port Clinton for the evening to enjoy the event that provides a boost to local restaurants, pubs, hotels, and retailers.
Event activities include:
- Kids party from 4 pm-6 pm at Knights of Columbus Hall with a “Minnow Drop” offering a chance for the young ones who may not be awake at midnight to have their own countdown. Also included are crafts, music, food, prizes, and more.
- Festivities on Madison St. in the heart of downtown from 6 pm-midnight with a deejay, a live band, ice sculpture demo, and Port Clinton Mayor Mike Snider hosting the annual Rock – Paper – Scissors Tournament.
- Numerous restaurants in the downtown area will be open along with other food vendors including the Port Clinton Fish Company selling fresh fish sandwiches, along with souvenir apparel.
- The Walleye Drop “Bar Swim” will run from 7 pm-11:30 pm and provide a free luxury bus bar hop with six stops along the lakeshore running from Port Clinton to Marblehead.
- The main event is the countdown to 2023 as Wylie Walleye descends from a crane followed by fireworks over the water at midnight.
The event is produced by a volunteer committee of the Wylie Walleye Foundation which was started to help increase awareness of Port Clinton as a destination. Known more for its appeal during warmer months, the city is increasingly attracting visitors to events during the fall and winter as well. Port Clinton is part of the larger Shores & Islands Ohio region that currently lists more than 140 events taking place in the region before the end of the year.
Free parking for this year’s Walleye Drop will be available at the Jet Express parking lot as well as at the parking lot adjacent to the Grist Mill, both located just a block from the center of the activities. Visit wyliewalleyefoundation.com or @WylieWalleyeFoundation on Facebook for additional event details.