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Port Clinton Walleye Festival canceled for Saturday; organizers hope to reopen Sunday

Walleye Festival.png
Posted at 10:40 AM, May 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-29 19:14:15-04

PORT CLINTON, Ohio — Organizers for the Port Clinton Walleye Festival announced Saturday that the event has been canceled today due to flooding.

Port Clinton is currently under a state of emergency.

The park where the event is held is under several feet of water and the area has been deemed unsafe, organizers said.

Crews are working to pump out the water. Organizers said they hope the event will reopen on Sunday.

Crack Corn Popcorn posted a video on Facebook showing the flooding the area is under.

“I made hundreds and hundreds of these tubs for the weekend and I show up to the park and I just see hundreds of these floating around everywhere. A very surreal sight,” said James Alay, the owner of Crack Corn.

Alay said this is the first year his team has done the event circuit to grow a customer base for their product and thought the Walleye Festival would be a great place to start.

He said they were flooded with business Thursday night, but by Friday the festival was flooded in a much different way.

“We lost a lot, hundreds, of these tubs. They're floating out there everywhere. We lost our tents, we lost our displays, lost a lot of our signs,” Alay said.

Patricia Pierson, owner of kids’ clothing boutique The Pink Sheep, drove in from Indiana for the festival and lost a good chunk of inventory too.

“We're in about maybe $1,200 to $1,500 dollars. So that's a lot of money to miss out on, especially after not having any shows last year,” Pierson said.

But despite the losses, both Pierson and Alay said they aren’t packing up and leaving.

“We're just going to try and help out everybody else as best as possible because we've been there. I have laid in the rain and cried on the ground many times,” Pierson said.

They plan to rally around their fellow vendors, help them clean up and hope to close out the rest of the holiday weekend on a good note.

“You're going to see images of all of us being out there, cleaning up the mess and hoping to deliver a great festival in time for Memorial Day,” Alay said.

RELATED: Port Clinton's Walleye Festival is back for its 40th year

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