Carpfest Bowling Games

Hoffman Hall Party

The Carp KIng - Bob Witt with Mike Ulrich and LUCKY!

Shawn Redmond, Rep. Lee Nerison, Bob Witt and Mike Ulrich

Midnight - Carp drop. Temps -8 F

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 (

2012- Carpfest Activities*

The 12th 'annual Droppin' 0f the Carp will be held at midnight on New Year's Eve Lucky Park in Prairie du Chien. The highly anticipated,widely known event will be the culmination of Carp Fest, a week of festivities that begins Wednesday, Dec 26, in the city.

On Dec.26, adult and youth carp games and arts and crafts will kick off the week at Hoffman Hall from 1-4 p.m. A skate party and bonfire will conclude the evening from 6-8 p.m. at Lochner Park. Skates will be available. This event was cancelled due to unsafe conditions. 

Hoffman Hall-will host carp activities again on Thursday, Dec 27, in its pool and gym from 1-4 p.m. These will include a week-long adult lap swim and walking contest, youth games and open swim time.

On Friday, Dec. 28, a bowling party at Timber Lanes Sports Bar & Grill will start the day at noon and go until 3 p.m. More activities will take place at Hoffman Hall from 1-4 p.m. The night will close with a Torchlight Ski. Hike and-Sledding event from 6-9 p.m. at La Riviere Park.

Saturday, Dec. 29, will be a Youth Ice Fishing Fun Day with action taking place from 9-11 a.m. south of the Blackhawk Bridge.  Fishing Fun Day has been cancelled due to unsafe conditions. The entertainment will continue on Sunday, Dec. 30, with Family Fun Day at Hoffman Hall, from 1-4 p.m. There will be half-price admission to the gym and pool that day.

Monday, Dee. 31 will be the big day-the day of the carp drop. Before the Droppin' of the Carp crowd gathers at Lucky Park on St. Feriole Island that evening, competitors in the 10th annual Carp Bowl Football Game. will compete from 3-5 p.m. On St. Feriole Island. Hot air balloon rides will be available that dayon the island, weather permitting.

The Droppin' of the Carp celebration will start at 9 p.m., New Year's Eve, at Lucky Park with a music, entertainment and light show, sponsored by Twisted Vision. The pyrotechnics will fire off at midnight when the carp is dropped and the crowd, Carp Royalty and Prairie du Chien Mayor Dave Hemmer ring in another New Year with the hopes and dreams of another lucky year for the city. The. Kissing of the Carp will also take place around midnight, along with a huge bonfire. There will be a heated tent at the park.

The next day, Jan. 1, 2013, there will be a New Year's Day Brunch, sponsored by the Rotary Club, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Huckleberry's Restaurant in Prairie du Chien.

The community, friends and family are invited to join in the fun, positive, uplifting week of activities and especially the New Year's Eve party.

In lieu of a Carp King and' Queen this year, a Carp Court will be established. Anyone can be a member of the royal court. More information will be available in an upcoming issue of the Courier Press. If interested, contact Tom Nelson.

Proceeds from Carp Fest will benefit the Droppin' of the Carp Committee and the Prairie du Chien Parks and Recreation Department. For more information, visit

*Courier Press, December 17, 2012. (All events are dependent on weather conditions and safety of participants.) 

Lucky and Protege' ready for the Big Evening!

Article by Ted Pennekamp*
The Droppin' of the Carp on New Year's Eve is less than a month away, and in preparation for the event, Lucky the Carp was caught in the Mississippi River on Nov. 28 by Prairie du Chien commercial fisherman Mike Valley and crew.

Lucky and several of his family members were apprehended at approximately 4:04 p.m. on a beautiful day with flat water on Big Lake.

In fact, Valley noted that there was about an inch of ice on all of Big Lake that day.

"The set was made in the same area as last year," said Valley. "But, last year the fish came out on the west side, and this year they .. came out on the east, so the catch was about half.'> Even so, Valley, Brian Dillman, Lindsey Nicholson, and Faith Dillman teamed up to catch about 1,100 pounds of carp, two sheepshead ,and two buffalo.

"The girls were by far the better fish herders than the boys," said Valley.

Two finalists were picked out from all of the candidates for Lucky. Faith and Lindsey then chose the better looking of the two carp for the high honor. After all, many people kiss Lucky each year at the world famous Droppin' of the Carp eventat the entrance to St. Feriole Island in Prairie du Chien. The runner-up candidate was smoked the next day. 

*Courier Press, December 3, 2012

2013–13th Annual Carp Fest–Droppin’ of the Carp Video

The 13th Annual Droppin’ of the Carp brought out lots of Lucky’s fans despite the frigid cold temperature and the day’s snows.


New York drops a  ball and New Orleans drops a baby statue.  Still, a town in Wisconsin drops something much more interesting.  John Mercure finds out from Tom Nelson how the Dropping of the Carp Festival started and what everyone does with the fish when it's all said and done. (620 WTMJ Radio Interview)