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Knights of Columbus volunteers hope to feed 1,500 in annual fish fry. This year it's a drive-through.

Grace Hervey
Dan Fischbach (left) and Debbie Portell (right) cut fish at Knights of Columbus, March 2, 2022, in preparation for the organization's annual fish fry.

The Knights of Columbus is hosting its popular annual fish fry Friday, and the organization is prepared to serve about 1,500 people. But this year's event will be different in one crucial way: It’s a drive through-event.

Refraining from eating meat on Fridays during Lent is a tradition that many Catholics participate in. Aside from it being a chance for participating Catholics to have a meat-free meal, event co-chair Dan Fischbach says the fish fry is for the whole community, not just for Catholics.

“We also solicit help for service hours for both the Boy Scouts and Tolton high school,” he said. “We get volunteers to come in and they help with some of the logistics on Friday night and they also help with cleanup. So, it’s another opportunity for service and to get young people involved, which I think is important … It brings the community together and I think we are called as Christians to come together as a community to work for good.”

This year the fish fry will be drive through only. Fischbach says he’s hoping that it runs as smoothly as the Chick-fil-A drive through. In past years the event has been inside and typically has long lines that wrapped around the room.

“We liked doing it in person,” says Fischbach, “because it brought community together. … And we really, really liked that part because we came together as faithful Christians. We as Christians recognize that we have some differences, maybe on dogma or doctrine, but these do not affect what we’re expected to do as Christians in terms of sharing our faith and loving each other and loving Christ.”

Grace Hervey
John Tharp (left) and Bobby Pezold (right) cut fish at the Knights of Columbus Hall, on March 2, 2022, in preparation for Friday's annual Knights of Columbus annual fish fry.

Larry Fick has been a volunteer with the Knights of Columbus for more than 50 years. He says that the fish fry is a great way for retired elders to help out and get involved as well as the younger generation: “There are probably a lot of people that would just stay home. As you can see, there are a lot of us retired people that are working, and we don’t get out for a lot of other things."

When asked what he was most looking forward to about the event, Fick says that the fish fry gives them a chance to get everybody involved and work together.

“We do it for more than just ourselves," Fick said. "We do it so that the whole community can join in and help us celebrate this season of Lent. You know, that’s an important thing for us. We have probably a couple hundred people that come out and work for this event, so that’s an important part of it.”

The fish fry will start tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. and it will run until 7:30 p.m. Tickets for the fish fry are $15 and they are available online on the Knights of Columbus website.