Everyone has heard of New York City’s famous ball-dropping at Times Square every New Year’s Eve. Now you have the opportunity to experience and witness the dropping of the walleye at the annual “Madness at Midnight Walleye Drop” on Saturday, December 31 in Port Clinton, Ohio. Port Clinton is 81 miles from Cleveland and it is approximately a 90 minute drive.
Port Clinton’s Walleye Madness Known as the “Walleye Capital of the World,” Port Clinton, Ohio will be dropping a 20 foot, 600 pound fiberglass fish named Wylie (created by Jim Wendt of Jim’s Taxidermy) at the stroke of midnight to usher in 2012. First presented in 1996, the Walleye Drop attracts thousands of visitors each year.
Visitors will be able to purchase walleye food items like walleye chowder, walleye cinnamon chips, walleye sandwiches, and even walleye popcorn. There is also a “Walleye White” wine created by a local winery.
At the Family Fun Center at the Port Clinton Fisheries building visitors can participate in the preliminary rounds of a Rock-Paper- Scissors Challenge (Final rounds will be held on the main stage as midnight approaches) and enjoy free musical entertainment. There will also be music on the street throughout the evening and street dancing is encouraged.
Vendors will be selling Wylie Walleye souvenirs and Walleye Mardi Gras beads, among other items. You can also participate in the Touch a Truck event (from 4:30 p.m.- 5:30 p.m.) where you can learn how those big trucks work. Crawling around and honking the horn are not only permitted but encouraged.
Port Clinton’s mascot, a costumed Wylie Walleye will be available for photos and autographs.
There will be a Kids’ Drop at 6 p.m. in the Family Fun Center at the Port Clinton Fisheries for those children who can’t make it until midnight. They can also participate in free kids’ games.
At midnight, Wylie the Walleye, the 600 pound fiberglass fish will be dropped from a crane followed by a fireworks finale, singing and dancing of the “Wallerena”. The bands Spring Break and Snake Eyes will rock in the New Year.
All of the festivities will be located on Madison Street in downtown Port Clinton. Because most of the activities take place outdoors, be sure to dress warmly to guard against the cold.
Admission to Walleye Madness is free. The event runs from 4 p.m – midnight. Parking is free. 419-734-2101. It is approximately a 1.5 hour drive from Cleveland.