Visitors from The Netherlands visit Carp Fest and Droppin of the Carp.

Droppin of the Carp Royalty.

Carp Bowl - Football game.

Carp Fest ice fishing tournament.

Carp Fest Euchre tournament.

Carp Fest arts and crafts in Hoffman Hall.

Carp Fest - night torchlit sledding at LaRiviere Park.

A fun-filled event intent on bringing friends, family, and community together for the New Year! Proceeds going to Dropping the Carp Fund and City Park and Recreation Youth Enrichment/Hoffman Hall Activities.
Additional Information: Contact Prairie du Chien Tourist Info 1-800-732-1673 (

Planting Lucky 14

Lucky the Carp #14, was remembered  on Sunday, May 3rd, 11:00, as he served the last of his duties –  providing a valuable service in the growth of a Maple tree in Lucky Park, Prairie du Chien, WI. The special day was in direct contrast to Lucky’s first appearance – January 1, 2015. The last of Lucky’s duties as official good-luck carp of the year has always been celebrated on the first weekend of May.

The date is in conjunction with Kodomo no Hi or "Children's Day" as celebrated in Japanese culture. The tradition involves flying kites shaped like a carp. The carp symbolizes courage being a fish that often swims upstream and even jumping small waterfalls. Parents wish for their children to be strong and determined like the carp. Anyone is welcome to attend the ceremony on Sunday.

Tom Nelson, also mentioned that five cherry trees were planted along the walkway of Lucky Park. Who knows, maybe the next Lucky the Carp will have something made from cherry’s at the next event – New Years 2016. Additional photos can be found at

Coloring Contest

The City of Prairie du Chien Parks and Recreation Department along with the Droppin of the Carp Committee is pleased to announce this year winners of the Lucky the Carp Coloring Contest. With 89 total participants the committee had a tough choice in selecting this year winners and they appreciated the efforts put in by all participants. The winners received a plaque and official Carpfest Cap as well as recognition they colored best looking Lucky in the world! All of the Lucky contest participants artwork will be on display at Hoffman Hall and then shown at Lucky Park on New Year’s Eve where everyone will have a chance to see the real Lucky and kiss him for good Luck! From Left to right: Krystal Yoshino (12-17 age division), Shawn Redman (CarpMaster), Avary Sheffland (7-11 age div.), Avery Kilburg (6 & Under age div.), Tom Nelson (Droppin of the Carp Founder)

Saturday Ice fishing and sledding cancelled.

CARPFEST ACTIVITIES UPDATE: Due to the poor weather conditions this Saturdays Ice Fishing Funday, Snowmobile rides and Candlelit sledding hill will be cancelled however just a reminder that the other Carpfest events are still a go with Fridays Bowling Party, Sundays Disc Golf tournament, and Mondays Euchre Tournament, Additionally Friday also is the first day for Dollars days for Open Gym/Swim at Hoffman Hall from 1-4pm which will continue throughout the holiday season and leading up to the big Dropping of the Carp event at Lucky Park on New Years eve day.
Enjoy the fun with family and friends and come see the largest Lucky ever!
For more information please call 326-7207

Mike Ulrich
Prairie du Chien Parks and Recreation Director
214 East Blackhawk Avenue
Prairie du Chien,Wi 53831

Carp Fest and the Droppin’ of the Carp!

December 20th, 2014 by Corey A. Edwards, Driftless Wisconsin

Prairie du Chien's Carp Fest and the Droppin' of the Carp 2015Hard as it may be to believe, 2014 is all but gone – which, here in the Driftless Region, can mean only one thing: Carp Fest and the Droppin’ of the Carp!

We all know about the big crystal ball that drops in New York’s Times Square but, in Wisconsin’s Prairie du Chien, it’s the Droppin’ of the Carp and Carp Fest that folks wait for to mark the end of their year.

A carp? They drop a carp?

Yep: starting at 11:59 on New Year’s Eve, a whole, frozen, gussied-up, 20 to 30 pound carp named “Lucky” is slowly lowered by crane onto its throne for Prairie du Chien’s Droppin’ of the Carp countdown.

Okay but … a carp?

Prairie du Chien is along the Mississippi River and, as such, its economy benefits from the fishing industry, so a carp makes some sense. Also, many cultures – primarily Asian but why split hairs? – revere the carp as a symbol of prosperity and good luck, which also explains the name “Lucky.”. So dropping a carp is a lot less random than it may seem.

No, really.

After Lucky ascends from the heights at midnight to settle regally on its throne in the first second of New Year’s Day, folks looking for luck, fun, or just a touch of “ick,” line up and await their turn to plant a kiss on the dead fish. A kiss that, like one placed on the Blarney Stone in Ireland, is said to impart luck upon the kisser, if not the kissee (as their luck has clearly already run its full course).

Lucky isn’t yucky, though, having been cleaned, posed, and bedecked for the festivities, so maybe a kiss isn’t such a hard thing to administer to its cold, lifeless lips. You go ahead, I’ll just watch from over here …

And after the festivities? What becomes of “Lucky the Carp?”

They use a new carp at every year’s Carp Fest, the one from the year before having been interred beneath a newly planted tree in the aptly named “Lucky Park.”

Of course, Carp Fest is not just the Droppin’ of the Carp but rather, a separate, related, month-long event. All manner of festivities, contests, and events make up Carp Fest. Both it and the Droppin’ of the Carp ceremony attracts thousands of people to the Driftless region and Prairie du Chien each year. So many, in fact, that the claim is that this modest, Driftless Region town doubles its population during the festival – and that’s no carp.

For more information, pictures, and a schedule of events, please be sure to visit and the Carp