Port Clinton prepares for annual Walleye Drop - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Port Clinton prepares for annual Walleye Drop

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Crews have been working hard all day to make sure everything is ready in time for the annual Walleye Drop in Port Clinton. Crews have been working hard all day to make sure everything is ready in time for the annual Walleye Drop in Port Clinton.
PORT CLINTON, OH (Toledo News Now) -

Snow isn't stopping some people from heading to Port Clinton to ring in the new year. The city has been preparing all day for the annual Walleye Drop.

It's been a long day of work for crews, as they prepare for the annual festivities, but they're not the only ones getting ready for the big event.

The sound of margaritas mixing will be a familiar one at local bars New Year's Eve.

"It can be a little chaotic. It's definitely fast-paced," said Brian Thompson, shift manager and mixologist at Kokomo Bay.

The staff at Kokomo Bay and Great Lakes Popcorn have a front row seat to all the action. Their doors are just feet away from where Wylie the Walleye will make his descent at the stroke of midnight.

"It's packed. It's pretty much wall-to-wall people. The tables are used, but it's mostly standing after that. Probably at about 9 o'clock at night we get pretty busy," said Loria Hofer, manager of Great Lakes Popcorn and Kokomo Bay.

Both the bar and popcorn shop are extending their hours for the evening for added business. They say every year, New Year's Eve is a nice boost in sales.

"After Labor Day, it's like a flip of a switch, where business does tend to subside dramatically. Pretty much because most of the fishermen are gone," explained Thompson.

While many party-goers are spending the evening in hotels, for the ones hitting the roads, Port Clinton Police and the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office will be on the hunt for drunk drivers.

"On night's like this, the big things that we're on the lookout for are any impaired drivers. Obviously, our normal duties of handling the calls, making sure all of our businesses are secure, and all of our travelers are safe," said Ottawa County Sheriff Steve Levorchick.

The sheriff's office is putting three extra patrol cars on the highways. Levorchick says in the past, most people have planned ahead by booking a taxi service. He says the Walleye Drop is usually a night of fun, and hopes this year will be another celebration that doesn't end with people in handcuffs.

"If we don't drink and drive. If we get a taxi instead. If we have a designated driver. If we do anything to keep from driving impaired. We've made our community safer. We've made our highways safer. We've allowed everyone, hopefully, to get home safely tonight, and that's the key," said Levorchick.

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