Burning Snowman heats up Port Clinton this weekend

Say goodbye to the cold (for a weekend anyway) at this year’s Burning Snowman Fest. The fun begins Friday, with the main event–the burning of two life-size snowmen–on Saturday.

History of the event: Burning Snowman has been a Port Clinton staple since 2015, when “a group of local friends came up with the idea to throw an awesome party and draw tourists to the city of Port Clinton in an otherwise dismal time of the year,” event spokesperson Chassey Miller notes during an email interview. 

Friday fun: Burning Snowman now consists of several events throughout the weekend. Family Freeze, a free event, will be held from 4-7 p.m. Friday at the festival grounds, 252 W. Lakeshore Drive, Port Clinton. The family-friendly event has something for everyone with live ice carving, hot cocoa, face painting, a live fire show by Ohio Burn Unit and the burning of two life-size snowmen, created by Port Clinton High School wood tech students. One of the students will be awarded a $500 scholarship, donated by Croghan Colonial Bank.

Also on Friday is a “Tap Takeover” at the event’s downtown sponsor locations. Participants can travel around town to sample beers at each location and fill their punch cards. A free shuttle will run loops between the locations, which include The Gristmill, Bell Mell Tavern, Slater’s Food & Spirits, Beer Thirty’s, Clinton House, Rosie’s Bar & Grill, Mr. Ed’s Bar & Grille, Brick House and McCarthy’s. Once all punch cards are collected, one winner drawn will receive a bag full of gift cards and swag from the participating bars and breweries.

Saturday’s main event: Saturday heats up with live entertainment from noon-10 p.m. with cocktails, craft beers, a live fire show by Ohio Burn Unit, and the event’s namesake, the burning of a 25-foot snowman. The event, hosted by Dock’s Beach House, will include food vendors and merchandise.

How to participate: Tickets for Saturday’s event are $25 at the gate. All proceeds of the event will benefit local charities, including TEAM VIAC, Kids for Christmas 501c3, Ottawa County Family Advocacy Center and Port Clinton police and fire.