During the six Fridays of Lent, the Knights of Columbus Council 796 will host the annual fish fry at the Kennedy Gym for anyone in the community interested in participating.
Joe Barr, financial secretary for the Knights organization of Catholic men interested in serving others, said the fish fry event began about 15 years ago, with about 100 people participating. But now the annual event brings in an average of more than 400 people each week, reaching a total of about 3,000 people over the six weeks in 2015 while serving more than 1,000 pounds of fish.
“Now it’s just a community event that everybody talks about,” Barr said, saying even those who are not Catholic and do not participate in Lent look forward to the event each year. “It’s for everybody.”
It is tradition for those of the Catholic faith to abstain from meat on Fridays during the Lenten period, which begins on Ash Wednesday and ends before Easter Sunday, with the one exception being fish.
In honor of that, the fish fry provides deep-fried Cajun catfish as well as baked cod for the cost of a free-will donation or $5 for a take-out box. Other sides such as rolls, green beans, corn, coleslaw and baked potatoes are also provided as well as grilled cheese sandwiches and spaghetti for children. Desserts are also made by the ladies of the parish.
Barr emphasized that the event is for anyone in the community, not just Catholics, with the funding money raised during the six weeks being used to pay for use of the venue as well as to support local families, such as one who lost their home to a fire, and other organizations including Mothers to Mothers.