Ready to send this winter weather up in flames? Feel the burn and kiss winter goodbye at the 5th annual Burning Snowman Fest, February 23, in Port Clinton, Ohio. This yearly Lake Erie Shores & Islands tradition combines fire and ice in a rousing seasonal send-off. Started in 2013, last year’s festival attracted more than 6,000 revelers and raised more than $26,000 for local charities.
The highlight of the festival occurs when a 25-foot snowman, surrounded by discarded and dried-out Christmas trees, is set ablaze against the night sky as an effigy to another frigid Ohio winter. It’s both the ultimate tribute and at the same time condemnation to wintry weather.
The festival, held on the shores of icy Lake Erie at Dock’s Beach House, features an afternoon of food and entertainment with a stellar line-up of live bands in two venues. The main stage features Corduroy Road at 4 pm and Master TC and the Visitors beginning at 6 pm and continuing after the burn. DJ Adubb will spin tunes all day under the beach tent, and DJ Hondo will rock inside Dock’s Beach House. Across the street, Mr. Ed’s Bar & Grill will showcase The Junk at Noon, Eric Sowers at 3 pm, DJ Ice from 5 pm-2 am and DJ Junga on the patio from 8 pm-2 am (known as the After-Burn).
Tents open at 3 pm and offer tasty treats and cold drinks from Dock’s Beach House. A $5 admission charge supports local charities, including:
- Mr. Ed’s Kids for Christmas, helping financially challenged families during the holiday season;
- Rettsyndrome.org, helping families with afflicted children and providing research for a cure;
- Ottawa County Family Advocacy Center, helping with safety and stability of all Ottawa County families; and
- Port Clinton Police and Fire Departments.
The burn takes place at or around 7 pm. Weather and wind conditions make burn time subject to change. Police and Fire departments are on hand and will determine both the timing and length of the burn.
Free shuttles to and from the event are available throughout the day with the following stops: Slaters Madison Street Pub, Bell Mells Tavern and Pizza, Pub 221, Beer Thirtys, Silver Top Sports Bar and Grill, Erie Social Shuffleboard Club, Catawba Island Brewery, 1812 Food and Spirits, and North Coast Cigar.
Burning Snowman Fest souvenir merchandise is available at the Put-in-Bay T-shirt Company in Port Clinton, online at putinbaytshirt.com, and at the festival.
Join the party in Port Clinton on February 23 for Burning Snowman Fest. On-site lodging is available at the Commodore Perry Inn & Business Center. Additional lodging options, along with area information and other fun things to do, can be found at SHORESandISLANDS.com.
*Note: This article was originally posted on the Lake Erie Shores & Islands blog.