Home / Blog / Walleye Drop in 2022 includes new attractions

Walleye Drop in 2022 includes new attractions

Dec 25, 2023Dec 25, 2023

PORT CLINTON - This year's Walleye Drop will offer a few new features amongst the familiar excitement that makes it one of the biggest annual events in Port Clinton. The festival, which draws thousands of people to the city on New Year's Eve, is organized by just a handful of volunteers who make up the Wylie Walleye Foundation.

Among the new features this year is an ice sculpting demonstration by Elegant Ice Creations of Broadview Heights. The Elegant Ice Creations team, which includes world champion ice carvers, will bring precut sculptures to the event and perform a live ice sculpting demonstration beginning at 7 p.m.

Also new to the Walleye Drop this year is a photo booth that will be set up in the vicinity of Port Clinton Fish Company.

"We try to do something different every year, not just sit back and let it roll," said Julie Natoli, Chairman of the Wylie Walleye Foundation.

As always, the Minnow Drop New Year's Eve party for kids will be held at the Knights of Columbus Hall, but this year's party will feature something new: kids’ karaoke. The event, which runs 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., is free and will feature a balloon and minnow drop to celebrate the New Year. The Minnow Drop normally attracts about 300 children.

"We always have food, crafts, games and prizes, but I wanted to do something different, so I added kids’ karaoke," said Michele Loddo, Wylie Walleye Foundation treasurer, who will host the Minnow Drop. "We’ll have a touch-a-truck event by the main stage downtown."

Adults can travel to area bars in Port Clinton, Catawba and Marblehead on heated luxury buses during the 4th Annual Bar Swim from 7 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. The routes’ six stops will include Holiday Inn Express and the parking lot next to the Grist Mill. Bus rides are free.

Area restaurants, as well as some downtown stores, will be open during the Walleye Drop. Mike's Fish Fry will serve appetizers and fish sandwiches inside Port Clinton Fish Company, and Detroit Mini Donuts will sell doughnuts, coffee and hot chocolate.

A DJ and live bands will provide music downtown, and Port Clinton Mayor Mike Snider will host the annual Rock, Paper, Scissors tournament.

During Walleye Madness @ Midnight, Wylie Walleye will drop from the sky to kick off the New Year, followed by a fireworks display over the water. Wylie, a 20-foot-long, 600-pound fiberglass walleye, has been ushering in the New Year in Port Clinton since the 1990s. The unique event has brought national media attention to the city for decades, highlighting Port Clinton as a year-round vacation destination.

That kind of publicity bolsters the efforts of Shores & Islands Ohio, which works hard to promote Port Clinton and the Lake Erie towns that make up the Shores & Islands region. Although the area is well-known as a summer destination, Shores & Islands Ohio wants tourists to discover the beauty and fun of lake towns in winter. There are close to 90 different events happening across the region this month, including New Year's Eve outdoor hikes at East Harbor State Park at 11 a.m. and at Marblehead Lighthouse State Park at 2 p.m. For a complete list of winter events, visit

The Walleye Drop will be livestreamed by Buckeye Drone. Free parking is available at the Jet Express and Grist Mill parking lots.

The small Wylie Walleye Foundation team of volunteers spent countless hours over the past several months prepping for the event. Next year, they hope more people will volunteer to help them make the event even bigger.

"Next year, we want to add even more outdoor events for families," Natoli said. "But that will take a lot of work, and we’ll have to recruit more people."

More information can be found at

Contact correspondent Sheri Trusty [email protected].