Carp hits the ground in Prairie du Chien

State Journal
January 4, 2010
GEORGE HESSELBERG | ghesselberg@madison.com
The ninth annual New Year's Eve Droppin' of the Carp ceremony in Prairie du Chien drew 1,000 chilly spectators and two "pretty good looking" winners of the royalty competition, Cindy Higgins Regan and Jack Regan, of Cross Plains, according to longtime carp a-fish-ionado Cathie Nelson.

The event expanded this year into a three-day Carp Fest with help from city planners. A torchlight cross-country ski and sledding event was added to the schedule, as was a 5 kilometer run-walk, which attracted 12 participants, one from Germany, said Nelson.

At midnight, a frozen carp - caught and kept on ice in a secret location since the fall - is lowered 100 feet from a large crane. It is always named "Lucky" and sports makeup and lipstick. (It will be buried in the spring next to a newly planted tree, also a tradition.)


After rigorous screening and meeting various requirements, including the need to be "pretty good looking," the Regans won the royalty competition - and the rights to wear fancy robes and a tiara - over two other nominated couples. Their application noted that a favorite meal for them is "smoked carp on Wonder Bread with a little Miracle Whip."

Nelson said she felt the addition of municipal sponsorship helped the fest, along with an unofficial blog, www.droppingofthecarp.blogspot.com.

In the annual New Year's Day football game, the Carp Bowl, against the McGregor/Marquette, Iowa fire department, Prairie du Chien firefighters won, 44-14.

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.
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Additional Information: Contact Prairie du Chien Tourist Info 1-800-732-1673 (www.prairieduchien.org)