Happy 2019, everyone. It’s the first time in a while that Prairie du Chien has welcomed a new year without a frozen carp being lowered from the sky. And, the last time that happened may be more recent than you think. Several years ago, the carp didn’t drop because of a problem with the crane that lowers it.
I remember going to work at the radio station early in the morning on January 1 that year. As I drove onto St. Feriole Island, I looked up just in time to notice that I was driving underneath an “un-dropped” Carp. That year turned out okay. I have high hopes for 2019.
That said, I really do hope the longtime, quirky Prairie du Chien tradition resumes. At the very least, it brought national attention each year on lists of “noteworthy” things being dropped to ring in the new year. At it’s best, it is a unique community tradition. I’m for anything that brings people together.
It seems like it’s harder and harder to get volunteers to dedicate time to events. In these cases, I always look to who directly benefits from an event. I’d be curious to find out if downtown bars and restaurants noticed any difference in their revenue as a result of there not being a carp drop this year. If so, maybe there’s incentive for them to organize an event next year.
That said, people talked about the carp drop – whether they planned on attending or not. On years that I’ve gone out on New Years Eve, if I was within a half hour’s drive of Prairie du Chien, I would always hear someone ask “are you going to the Carp Drop?”
Until it (potentially) returns, you can reminisce with this KWWL video from a few years ago.
Happy New Year, folks!