By Ted Pennekamp
|Reported Lucky Hideout!|
The weather was fairly warm throughout much of the Carp Fest, but it turned windy and cold Saturday night for the annual Droppin’ of the Carp celebration at Lucky Park near the entrance to St. Feriole Island. Nobody was carping, however, as many people braved the low temps in anticipation of the lowering of Lucky at midnight to ring in the New Year.
Revelers enjoyed two large bonfires at Lucky Park and those in a dancing mood hoofed to the lively, toe-tapping music of local singers Shane and Red.
Many also enjoyed the tasty treats provided inside of a heated tent, including hot chocolate, hotdogs and brats.
Several people, including Mayor Dave Hemmer, took the opportunity to lay a big, wet smooch upon Lucky the Carp’s delightfully luscious lips. It is said that those who kissed Lucky are sure to receive a year’s worth of good luck in 2011.
At about 15 minutes before midnight, Ken and Jan Meyer were officially crowned Carp King and Queen.
At the stroke of midnight, Lucky was lowered to the cheers of the crowd. A laser light show and fireworks immediately followed.
Leading up to the culminating event Saturday night, was the second annual Carp Fest. The Carp Fest began on Dec. 27 and various family and youth events were held at Hoffman Hall throughout the week, including a Big Splash Carp Contest, a Pool Party and other pool events, daily youth games and arts and crafts.
Other Carp Fest events during the week included a bowling party at Timber Lanes of Prairie du Chien, a euchre tournament in the City Hall Community Room, a skate party at Lochner Park, a torchlight ski hike a LaRiviere Park, a Youth Ice Fishing Fun Day north of the Blackhawk Avenue Bridge, the eighth annual Go America “Super” Carp Bowl on St. Feriole Island, a carp run/walk at Hoffman Hall, and a rockin’ New Year Concert at Hoffman Hall. A New Year’s Day Rotary Breakfast was held at Huckleberry’s.
The annual Droppin’ of the Carp has become so renowned that not only was Lucky’s descent to the throne mentioned in several newspaper articles around the globe as well as area television stations, this year, it was also noted in a story on the Sunday Morning program on CBS. B&C Photography of Prairie du Chien sent videos of two young people kissing Lucky and of Lucky being lowered at midnight, which were aired on the Sunday Morning show.
In fact, the much-admired Lucky has become so famous that he was stolen from the back of Carp Master Tom Nelson’s pickup truck sometime during the wee hours of New Year’s Day.
“Did you get Lucky New Year’s Eve?” asked Nelson of the possible thief or thieves. “If you did, the Carp Committee is asking for your cooperation. If you got Lucky on New Year’s morn or you know the whereabouts of the famous fish, one of two things. Keep the fish frozen and return it to Lucky Park on Sunday, May 5, 2011 in time for the Plantin’ of the Carp under the new Lucky Park tree, or return Lucky to Valley Fish and Cheese with a great story behind this carp caper.”
*Courier Press - January 5th, 2011