Walleye Weekend is underway in Fond du Lac. And while organizers are confident they’ll escape the rain, the intense heat is something everyone will be watching closely.
“Typically with Walleye Weekend we get rain. Rain and Walleye Weekend is synonymous,” jokes Leanne Doyle from Fond du Lac Festivals.
But as tens of thousands of people descend on Lakeside Park in Fond du Lac this weekend, the heat and not the rain is on everyone’s mind.
“Yes it is warm enough for us out here today. We’ll do our best to stay cool,” adds Steve Kindschuh, chairman of the fish fry.
Food and beverage tents are stocked full of ice, Gatorade and of course water.
According to Doyle, “Pepsi is our provider and they know, lots and lots of water so we’re good there.”
And the Fond du Lac Fire Department, which handles the EMS side of things for Walleye Weekend, is offering a warning with some tips to festival goers.
Assistant Chief Todd Janquart says, “We want people to come out and have a good time, but we want them to remember that it’s a hot day. So, they might not feel the heat right away, especially if they’re consuming so alcoholic beverages or just not drinking enough water so they need to stay hydrated.”
The Fond du Lac Fire Department will have five paramedics on scene all weekend long. They’ve dealt with heat in the past at Walleye Weekend and are prepared for whatever the weather brings.
According to Janquart, “Those units will be basically roving the grounds, responding to any calls that happen on site and we’re prepared to deal with these emergencies so we’ve got our IV fluids and solutions and things like that and ready to treat any sort of heat prostration, anything like that.”
While the heat is a concern, the lack of rain will help to bring people to the festival. And organizers think that will help to make 2016 a banner year.
Leanne Doyle adds, “The last four years we’ve raised a total of $820,000 that goes back to all of the non-profits, over 50 of them working the event, and with a nod from Mother Nature, and we think we’ve got that nod with the warm weather, we’re going to push it over a million dollars in five years. That’s awesome.”