Wine and Walleye Festival

STAR BEACON FILE PHOTO

A long line formed as visitors to Ashtabula's Wine and Walleye Festival 2019 gathered on Bridge Street for a perch or walleye sandwich.

ASHTABULA— The city's annual Wine and Walleye Festival returns this summer, but with a different format because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 A Wine, Dine, and Walleye Festival will be held from noon to 9 p.m. July 24 on Bridge Street in the Ashtabula Harbor, with the focus on outdoor dining at harbor restaurants and shopping both indoor and outdoor at local boutiques and shops. Restaurant reservations are highly encouraged.

"These unprecedented times have forced us to change the way we will go about our festival for 2021," said Bryce Heinbaugh, a member of the festival's executive committee. "The executive committee for the festival is dedicated to safety."

There will be no outside vendors or food trucks this year, but there will be live music. 

The Harbor Yak will host the first-ever Kayak River Race that day. More details are expected to be released soon, organizers said. 

City Council President John Roskovics said any return to the festival will be good.

"Maybe as we get closer and our vaccination numbers increase more could be added," he said. "This is such an important event for our city; I really hope we have a fun and safe event."

For more information, go to www.wineandwalleyefestival.com.

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