Friday, January 12, 2007

Droppin' of the Carp

One of my coworkers here also lived in Wisconsin for many years. She just visited there over the holidays and brought back this clipping from the Wisconsin State Journal:
They'll Lower A Fish To Celebrate New Year

Some state residents will be celebrating the New Year in a unique way -- by watching a 20-pound female carp lowered by a 110-foot crane. The annual Droppin' of the Carp was begun by Tom Nelson and his wife, Cathie, who got the idea from a New Year's celebration in Savannah, Ga., where they lowered a giant Styrofoam peach.
"We decided we could have some sort of New Year's celebration here in the Midwest," Nelson said. "Being on the river, it had to be a fish."

The couple organizes the event each year on St. Feriole Island. They expect to draw as many people as last year -- about 1,500.

The first year the Nelsons used a 3-foot carp and named it Lucky after they learned the Chinese believe eating carp on New Year's brings good luck. Each subsequent fish has had the same name. This year, Lucky is a nearly 20-pound female carp caught in the Mississippi River in late November by Mike Valley, who has the fish in a freezer at his store, Valley Fish and Cheese.

Valley plans to shellac Lucky and give her a few touchups, including a crown.
It takes about 2 1/2minutes to lower the carp, Nelson said. Those gathered will then sing "Auld Lang Syne," recite the Pledge of Allegiance and sing "God Bless America." Lucky will then return to the freezer until May, when she will be buried and a maple tree planted over her.
I can't think what to say that could improve upon the greatness of the story as it stands, so I'll just leave it at that. And once again I marvel at the fact that I lived in Wisconsin for 11 years.

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