Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wisconsin Hystory* Part Deux

May I start by blatantly stealing lyrics from a favorite holiday song . . . "Maybe it's much too early in the game, but I'll ask the jackpot question just the same,What are you doing New Years, New Years Eve?" If you're a real Wisconsonian (Wisconsonite?), you'll be on St. Feriole Island on the Mighty Mississsipi with a couple of thousand other nuts, I mean celebrants, welcoming in the new year watching "The Dropping of the Carp". More than 1,000 people attended last year's midnight ceremony, a mayoral speech, fireworks, and, for the children, the breaking of a carp pinata. The festival began modestly in 2001 and has since grown to include an afternoon football game, the Carp Bowl, on St. Feriole Island, between Prairie du Chien firefighters and McGregor/Marquette, Iowa, firefighters. The organizer of the event has contacted the office of the governor of Iowa seeking special permission for Iowa residents to "cross the border for at least three hours" on New Year's Eve to join the celebration. "I could tell a few of them snuck over last year," she said. The carp, aptly named Lucky, is dropped 100 feet, or so, ala the "Big Ball" in Times Square. A queen and king, who lovingly place a kiss on lucky's chilly lips before he (or she) is raised its perch (no pun intended. yeah, right), are chosen and clothed in the royal robes of the position. At any rate, if you're tired of the same old laughing, singing, dancing, eating and drinking your way into the new year, put on your warmest winter attire and wander over to Prairie du Chien and whoop it up Wisconsin style. (Wow I got to use 6 Ws in one sentence) And, who knows, maybe a local will take you ice fishing for your very own carp after the celebration. Because of the extreme cold and the crappy lighting, photos of the event are hard to come by. I managed to steal this one from our newspaper.

This is Lucky the 7th a large frozen carp,
prior to being lowered before a frenzied crowd in

Prairie du Chien last New Year's Eve.

*Hystory - Sometimes Historical, sometimes Hysterical.