119 - port clinton walleye festival

8.) The Port Clinton Walleye Festival – May 31, 2010

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AUTHOR’S NOTE: There is an updated 2015 Review here – http://ohiofestivals.net/port-clinton-walleye-festival-revisited/



One of the great risks of both planning and attending a festival is weather. You never can tell what’s going to happen – especially in Ohio. And, sometimes, while things may seem nice where you are, it may be a completely different story at the festival location.

This was the case on Memorial Day, an hour before arriving in Port Clinton. While things seemed fine at home, the festival was getting dumped on by buckets of rain.

But I drove down Perry Street, oblivious of the previous hour’s events. The sky was overcast but we hadn’t encountered rain the entire way in.

There were still plenty of cars parked around town and Wylie Walleye was still smiling across the street, despite his imprisonment in front of the local Wendy’s.

But, as we walked onto the festival grounds, things looked rather desolate. There were less people than I expected and air seemed eerily calm. Eventually I asked a vendor, who told me about the rain. With those people being driven out by the storm a few hours before the festival closed down for the year, they weren’t bound to return that day.

Although unfortunate to not experience the festival in full force, the Walleye Festival clearly offered a lot to the basic festival-goer, such as…


…putt putt (or miniature golf)…


…music entertainment…

…and attended tip-appreciated port-o-potties.

To add to the surreal atmosphere, I was even offered the possibility of buying some type of BB gun from this kid with the red backpack…

…but I kindly refused.

I shook off the strange proposal and concentrated on something else the festival offered…


…and more food!

At the various festivals I attend, I occasionally see a deep fried candy bar vendor at a festival. I even tried one last year at the Bucyrus Bratwurst Festival. But these aren’t as common as gyro or lemonade stands. You’d be lucky to see more than one at any medium sized festival.

Here at the Walleye Festival, there were close to 5 different vendors selling fried candy bars, Oreos, Twinkies and cheesecakes. This is impressive on its own!

There was also a nice variety of other food – Chinese, Mexican, American, etc., including perch and walleye sandwiches. I think I counted 3-4 places for perch and 2 places for walleye (including the main tent with the stage).

Definitely plenty to enjoy over the Memorial Day Weekend…

…before finally crashing.