Carp Fest - 2009 Program of Events

Leading up to New Year’s Eve, people will be able to enjoy a new, expanded and improved carping event. The event is called Carp Fest and is sponsored by the Droppin’ of the Carp Committee, the Prairie du Chien Parks and Recreation Department and the Chamber of Commerce.

The fun-filled Carp Fest activities will begin on Dec. 28 and run through Dec. 31, culminating with the Droppin’ of Lucky the Carp at midnight, Dec. 31 as the grand finale.

"This is an exciting and great partnership between the Carp Committee, the Parks and Rec Department and the Chamber to expand the Carp Fest into a friends and family oriented event throughout the week leading up to New Year’s Eve," said Carp Committee Chair Tom Nelson. "It’s really kind of exciting and it’s a great time of year to be getting people to do things."

"It will be a fun event for people of all ages and ability levels, from children to college-age to seniors," said Parks and Rec Director Mike Ulrich. "Everyone is invited to come on out and enjoy the activities, and to experience some of the Parks and Recreation facilities."

Ulrich noted that events will be held at several locations during the Carp Fest, including La Riviere Park, Lochner Park, St. Feriole Island, Lucky Park and Hoffman Hall.

On Dec. 28, the Carp Fest begins with Pool Carp Activities from 1-4 p.m. at Hoffman Hall, featuring carp races and relays.

At 4 p.m., the Daily Youth Carp Games/Arts and Crafts will begin at Hoffman Hall.

From 6-8 p.m., Hoffman Hall will have Carp Kids Karaoke.

Also from 6-8 p.m., there will be a Carp Skate Party at Lochner Park sponsored by the Prairie du Chien Boy Scouts. There will be games, contests and fun for all.

On Dec. 29, there will be more Pool Carp Activities at Hoffman Hall, including carp and minnow races. There will be Daily Youth Carp Games/Arts and Crafts from 1-4 p.m.

On Dec. 30, Hoffman Hall will host Pool Carp Activities from 1-4 p.m., with the big carp splash contest. There will also be Daily Youth Carp Games/Arts and Crafts from 1-4 p.m. as well as Juice Pong beginning at 5 p.m. at Hoffman Hall. Contestants must register ahead of time for Juice Pong by calling 326-7207.

From 6-8 p.m., there will be a Torchlight Ski, Hike, Sledding Hill at La Riviere Park.Everyone is invited to enjoy skiing or hiking on the lighted trail, moonlight sledding, and hot chocolate around the campfire.

On Dec. 31, the Carp Run/Walk will begin at 9 a.m. at Hoffman Hall. There will also be a Dodgeball Tournament beginning at 10 a.m. at Hoffman Hall. There is a $20 team fee and participants must register by calling 326-7207 by Dec. 18.

Fans and participants alike are sure to get swept up in the excitement of Carp Broomball at Lochner Park beginning at 10 a.m. All ages are welcome. Just bring your broom.

Carp Snow Sculpture will be held at noon at Lucky Park near the entrance to St. Feriole Island. Mounds of snow will be provided, so bring your tools and paint to sculpt a carp.

The Seventh Annual Carp Bowl will be held from 3-5 p.m. on St. Feriole Island. The Carp Bowl will feature the Prairie du Chien Fire Department against their arch football rivals from the Mar-Mac Fire Department.

A favorite event for adventurous souls will be the Carp Hot Air Balloon Rides, which are sure to get spirits soaring from St. Feriole Island.

Members of the Carp Committee have proven over the years that they have more than enough hot air to propel the balloons up, up and away. Hot Air Balloon Rides will be conducted, weather permitting.

There will be a food tent at Lucky Park featuring food with a New Orleans flair. The food tent will be open from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.

The Grand Finale of the Carp Fest will be the Ninth Annual Droppin’ of the Carp at midnight. The Carp King and Queen will be selected to preside over the activities and everyone is invited to kiss Lucky the Carp for good luck in the new year.

All proceeds from the Carp Fest will go towards the Droppin’ of the Carp Fund and the Park and Rec. Youth Enrichment/Hoffman Hall Activities.

"This Carp Fest will add so much more to a great community-based event," said Tom Nelson, who noted that the Droppin’ of the Carp has generated local, national and international notoriety over the years.

"This brings in a lot of people from Wisconsin and Iowa," said Nelson. "Two years ago, we had people from 13 states and 51 cities." Nelson also said that the Droppin’ of the Carp has drawn people from as far away as New Zealand and Scotland. The event has also enjoyed local, regional and international media coverage over the years. "One year, it made Letterman’s Top 10 places not to spend New Year’s Eve," chuckled Nelson.

"It’s a nice, family-oriented event," said Nelson, who noted that Lucky the Carp is a real (albeit frozen) carp who has much more personality and charm than say, a ball in New York City or a peach in Georgia.

In addition to all of the fun activities of Carp Fest, there are Droppin’ of the Carp T-shirts for sale at various locations in Prairie du Chien. Shirts are available at Simply, the Sawmill Saloon, Picket Fence and Valley Fish and Cheese.

"Come on out and try something new," said Mike Ulrich. "I guarantee you’ll have fun."

"Carp Fest is a good way for everyone to come on out, participate in something fun and enjoy our community," said Nelson.