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.