The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

June 22, 2013

Wine and Walleye float gets makeover

ASHTABULA — Every woman loves getting a makeover and Wanda the Walleye is no different.

A new face, designer scales, fresh paint on her festival float boat and Wanda is ready to tour Ashtabula County, promoting the 2013 Wine and Walleye Festival.

“Look at those blue eyes, the red lipstick and those little fins,” said Jeff Richmond of Richmond Auto Body, 5005 Benefit Ave., who gave Wanda the facelift. “You can tell it’s a female fish.”

Ashtabula’s Wine and Walleye Festival, held on Bridge Street in the city’s historic Harbor District, is a celebration of the county’s favorite exports. The festival, slated for Aug. 23-25, features live music, wine tastings, a fishing tournament and food from local restaurants.

Glenn Warner, who three years ago served as the festival’s honorary Fish Commish, had his friends at Molded Fiber Glass make Wanda and mount her to a boat to promote the festival. The boat float made Wanda a mobile advertisement, Warner said.

During festival, she hobnobs with the 12,000 or so people who annually attend the festival.

This year, on the festival’s fifth anniversary, organizers are going to attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the most portions of fish and chips sold in an eight hour time span on Aug. 24 from noon to 8 p.m., said Jessica Forsythe, president of the Ashtabula Area Chamber.

“The current record stands at 12,105 and we plan on selling 15,000,” she said. “Fish and chips will cost $5 per portion and $25 for a dinner, which includes coleslaw and a roll.”

Richmond said it was fun painting Wine and Walleye float for the festival. He’s also in charge of the festival’s car show this year, which will be held on Aug. 23.

“We hope to have 250 cars there,” he said.

Visit the Wine and Walleye Festival website, wineandwalleye.net for more details or check it out on Facebook.

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