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 (

Carp Fest 2013–A Success*

Coloring Contest WinnersLucky the Carp Coloring Contest had over 100 participants! The Lucky the Carp Coloring contest is sponsored by Prairie du Chien, WI, Parks and Rec Department. It is open to all children and young adults under the age 17 and younger. The contest usually runs from the second week in December to the third week.

(Photo Left)Winners L-R: Tom Nelson(Carp Meister) Emily Kavenow, Makenna Forde, Ava Forde

The First Year Ice Fishing Derby held at Washington St Park was co-sponsored by the Prairie Rod and Gun Club and Ice Fishing Derby Winnershad beautiful weather along with many fish caught.

(Photo Right) Place Winners:1st-Kyle Stluka & Jeremy Lessard, 2nd- Tyler Stulka, 3rd-Noah Troester,4th-Abbey Troester,5th-Josh Max,6th- Kyle Wilkenson.

The First Year Euchre Tournament held at PdC City Hall saw an enthusiastic group of 40 participants. Co-Sponsored by the Eagles Club and headed up by Euchre gurus Butch & Mary Pedretti this featured  cash pay backs, door prizes, Most Loaner prizes, and Boobie prize.

Euchre Tournament Winners(Photo Right) Winners: 1st- Donna Matti,2nd -Eileen Hermson, 3rd-Sharon Dallman,4th-Joan Drewis, 5th-Annie Steffensmeir, Most Loaners-Sharon Dahman & TerryZinkle,Bobbie Prize-Harvey Zabel

Over 30 folks enjoyed the Torchlight Hike, and Sledding Hill at LaRiviere Park at drank delicious Hot Chocolate supplied by Simplys.

Over 50 kids had a great time in the Bowling Party sponsored by Leisure Time Sports Bowl.

20 teens heard a great DJ for the Teen Dance at Hoffman Hall that was sponsored by the Mayo Clinic Health Care/Villa Succes that raised over $130 to the Skate Board Park

Hoffman Hall was busy everyday with open gyms, swims and Arts & Crafts for youth!

A huge thanks goes out to all of our CarpFest Sponsors ,volunteers, and participants who made this a great fun-filled event!

A special thank you goes out to Randy Paske for his many pictures of Carpfest that can be seen by going to

Already Looking forward to next year!


Mike Ulrich

City of Prairie du Chien

Director of Parks & Recreation

214 E. Blackhawk Ave.

PO Box 324

Prairie du Chien, WI  53821

(608) 326-7207 - Phone

(608) 326-8182 - Fax

Pucker up for a ‘lucky’ kiss at Droppin’ of the Carp*

By Correne Martin*

Whether you believe the number 13 is lucky or not, the 13th annual Droppin’ of the Carp at Lucky Park in downtown Prairie du Chien could bring you a little good fortune in the new year. This is only if you buy into the superstition and plant a kiss on the world-renowned local fish, “Lucky, the carp,” on New Year’s Eve Tuesday night. It would make for a good photo opportunity, if nothing else.

Of course, there’s much more to the Droppin’ of the Carp and Carp Fest than the lowering of “Lucky,” but the famous frozen fish is certainly the most felicitous aspect of the entire celebration. Between 2,500 and 3,500 fans attend the carp drop from year to year, and this holiday, despite a chilly New Year’s forecast, an enthusiastic crowd is expected yet again.

“What a way for people to go out, celebrate camaraderie and bring the holiday season to an end,” said Tom Nelson, organizer of the Droppin’ of the Carp, who added jovially, “This year’s theme is ‘It’s 13 and Lucky’s Gettin’ Lucky.’ You can interpret that any way you feel is appropriate.”

The celebration will kick off at Lucky Park at 9 p.m. with the area’s largest music, entertainment and light show, sponsored by Twisted Vision (Nick and Nate Gilberts and Shawn Redman).

“They do a nice show; they really get the crowd involved,” Nelson said.

Throughout the evening, prizes will be bestowed upon some of the most spirited event-goers. So be sure to dress to impress. Droppin’ of the Carp T-shirts and hats will also be for sale. A huge bonfire will be going and Twisted Vision will continue generating excitement until the carp is lowered. The festivities conclude around 12:30 a.m. on New Year’s Day 2014.

Carp King and Queen Ken and Jan Meyer, and Carp Family, the Randy Paske family, will reign over this year’s event. In addition, Golden Carp Sponsors who give toward the festival will have the option to designate members of their businesses to join the prestigious Carp Court, which is also recognized at the carp drop.

At the stroke of midnight, “Lucky” will drop, fireworks will light up the sky and party-goers will ring in the new year with noisemakers, kisses, toasts and good cheer. Highlights of the event will also include the first Pledge of Allegiance for 2014 as well as the singing of “God Bless America” as everyone remembers our troops and all that they have sacrificed.

Carp Fest will end on Wednesday with the New Year’s Day Rotary Club Breakfast at Huckleberry’s Restaurant in Prairie du Chien, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Carp King and Queen and Carp Fest Committee will show up around 10 a.m. for one last hoorah. The public is welcome to attend the breakfast.

“The transition of the Droppin’ of the Carp that started 13 years ago—when we thought a few dozen people would show up—has been very remarkable,” Nelson said.

Four years ago, Parks and Recreation Director Mike Ulrich approached Nelson about making the carp drop into more of a week-long festival. Nelson agreed with the idea. Now, thanks to the addition of a Carp Coloring Contest, Hoffman Hall activities, a Carp Bowl football game (canceled for 2013), a Bowling Party, Youth Ice Fishing Derby, Teen Dance, Euchre Tournament and more, it has developed into that.

“The event has really grown into a holiday celebration that gives people something to stay awake for, that’s personalized and local,” Nelson explained. “It gives people some time to spend with their families, friends and neighbors, and the opportunity to meet new friends too. It also fills them with hope for good luck and good fortune in the new year.

“And where else can you kiss a carp than in Prairie du Chien!”

Speaking of “Lucky,” Nelson said this year’s illustrious carp was pulled from local waters before they froze. “Lucky” has been locked away safely in a vault until now. Commercial fisherman Mike Valley has spiffed her up for the New Year’s occasion.

According to Nelson, the tradition of kissing “Lucky” started in the early years of the carp drop when “some young girls from out of town asked if they could kiss her.” With the advent of digital cameras and sharing on Facebook, pictures of attendees kissing “Lucky” have grown more popular and helped to illustrate the event’s unique charm to people all over the world.

So dress in your warmest layers of clothing, underneath your most creative, colorful and amusing attire, and find your way to Lucky Park this Tuesday night for an event you won’t soon forget.


Source: (

Photographs 2013

IMG_20131227_092340_490Lucky The Carp Coloring Contest

The Lucky the Carp Coloring contest is sponsored by Prairie du Chien, WI, Parks and Rec Department. It is open to all children and young adults under the age 17 and younger. The contest usually runs from the second week in December to the third week.  (Additional Photos)


DSC_0003Bowling at Timber Lanes Sport Bar and Grill
On Friday, Dec. 27, a bowling party at Leisure Time Sports Bar & Bowl started at noon and  lasted until 3 p.m. (More Photos)




Torchlight Ski or Hike
LaRiviere Park. Ski or Hike the lighted trail, moonlight sledding, ending with hot chocolate & campfire! A warm evening of fun and sledding was had by all.(See Album here)





Washington Street Park -  Youth Ice Fishing Derby at Washington Street Park. Equipment and bait will be available if needed. (See Album Here)




Disc Golf Tourney

The first Annual Rotary Disc Golf Tourney was supposed to be held on St Feriole Island, Prairie du Chien.  All ages were welcome between 12-2PM. Unfortunately, due to bitterly cold temperatures and Northerly winds, the Disc Golf Tourney was canceled. (See Album here)


 Euchre Tournament

The annual Euchre Tournament held at PdC City Hall, Community Room from  1-4pm found over 50 card players gathering together. (More Photos)



 Annual Carp Bowl Football Game

The original bowl game was canceled. However, two teams did gather together; Bridgport Fire Depaartment and Rich Scheckler Construction organized a game between themselves. All had a good time in one of the snowiest games on record. Both team fought to a tie! (More Photos)

Hoffman Hall- Swimming and Crafts

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. (More Photos)



13th Annual Droppin' of the Carp @ Lochner Park w/ Pyrotechnics – MIDNIGHT!

Lucky’s friends came together on a chilly News Year’s Eve, made warmer by a huge bonfire, friendly cheers, and a kiss for good luck. (More Photos)

Carp Fest brings fun, festivities and good fortune*

By Correne Martin
Prairie du Chien's annual Carp Fest celebration is officially underway. The Lucky the Carp Coloring Contest started Dec. 9 and, next week, various entertainment will be provided nearly every day, leading up to the Droppin' of the Carp on New Year's Eve.
On Monday, Dec. 23 and Thursday, Dec. 26, Hoffman Hall will offer family open gym and swim from 1 to 4 p.m. at a reduced price.
Friday, Dec. 27, will give area residents the opportunity to get involved in several ways. There will be a bowling party from noon to 3 p.m. at Leisure Time Sports Bar and Bowl, family open gym and swim from 1 to 4 p.m. at Hoffman Hall, and a Torchlight Ski, Hike and Sledding Night from 6 to 9 p.m. at LaRiviere Park.
Get up early Saturday, Dec. 28, and find a spot on the ice for the Youth Ice Fishing Derby, which will take place from 9 to 11 a.m. at Washington Street Park. Equipment and bait will be available if needed. Family open gym and swim will happen at Hoffman Hall from 2 to 5 p.m.
The highlight of the day, Sunday, Dec. 29, will be the Adult/Youth Disc Golf Tourney from noon to 2 p.m. at the Rotary Disc Golf Course on St. Feriole Island. All ages are welcome. The family open gym and swim will be from 1 to 5 p.m. at Hoffman Hall.
On Monday, Dec. 30, all ages will have opportunities to have some fun thanks to a Euchre Tournament from 1 to 4 p.m. at City Hall, family open gym and swim as well as arts and crafts from 1 to 4 p.m. at Hoffman Hall, and a Teen Dance Party from 8 p.m. to Midnight at Hoffman Hall. “Live DJ from Dubuque” will be playing top 40 music and a mix of favorite tunes all night long. This event is open to high schoolers only; it will be a lock-in event.
On the big day, New Year's Eve, the 10th annual Carp Bowl football game will pit the Prairie du Chien firemen against McGregor and Marquette firemen. The game will kick off at 3 p.m. on St. Feriole Island. Family open gym and swim will be from 1 to 4 .m. at Hoffman Hall once again.
The grand finale of Tuesday, Dec. 31, will be the Droppin' of the Carp at Midnight at Lucky Park. The public is encouraged to come out in their warmest and most seasonal attire, to make merry and have fun with community members, family and friends. Don't miss out on your chance to kiss Lucky the Carp for a year's worth of good fortune in 2014. The carp drop will feature music and a pyrotechnics show, as well as a huge bonfire.
On New Year's Day, Wednesday, Jan. 1, the new year will be started appropriately with the Rotary Club Breakfast from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Huckleberry's Restaurant. The general public is invited.
Carp Fest is sure to bring the community together with fun and festivities. For most of the Carp Fest events, there will be admission or entry fees.
For more information, contact the Prairie du Chien Parks and Rec Department at 326-7207 or Tom Nelson at 326-8602.