Cold weather can't stop new 600 pound Wylie the Walleye
For over two decades, Port Clinton has rung in a new year in a unique way. This year is no different. Wylie the Walleye is back and bigger than ever.
"It started with a real tiny fish 21 years ago, and we've grown over the years obviously, as you can see behind me. The number of people that come out to this grows every single year. We try to do something new to keep people coming out," said Walleye Drop Chair, Lauren Schubach.
Temperatures in the single digits didn't stop Port Clinton's New Year's Eve tradition from happening in 2017. Instead of watching "the ball" drop, residents and visitors from all over will watch a giant fiberglass fish come down from a crane.
"It's going to be cold, but I think it'll be fun. We're excited, especially for the new fish," declared Port Clinton resident, Mandy Swander.
That new fish is the new and improved Wylie the Walleye. He is now 600 pounds, stretches 20 feet and is covered in lights. Wylie and a fireworks show will signify the start to 2018 on Madison Street in Port Clinton.
For the town, this is a very important event.
"We have all of our restaraunts and pubs open. Our downtown shops are open. People have been going in and out all day. We've got vendors and people selling walleye sandwiches. It's always just a fun way to kick off the New Year, and to bring a little bit of the economic pie to our area for downtown," exclaimed Schubach.
Parents were able to put the kids to bed before the walleye drop. They were able to ring in the new year with a countdown to 6 o'clock. Kids celebrated 2018 with a minnow drop.