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Fish fry Friday kicks off at hundreds of churches, locations across Northeast Ohio

Posted at 9:30 PM, Feb 27, 2023

Last Friday was the first Friday of Lent, so you know what that means: Friday fish fries are back!

Fish fry Fridays and Northeast Ohio are, without a doubt, synonymous this time of year, with hundreds being hosted across the area.

“It’s a huge deal, look at this place!” said parishioner Tim Freeman on the first fish Friday of lent.

“I think probably every Catholic church is pretty busy tonight," said fish fry attendee Dennis Rusch.

On Friday, News 5’s DaLaun Dillard caught up with some folks enjoying the fish fry at St. James Catholic Church in Lakewood.

“Look around you, I mean the fellowship is wonderful here,” Freeman said.

For the 15th year of the community event at then church, the Fellowship Hall was packed, with barely an empty seat in sight.

“We really focus more on trying to make it a community event, we want people to enjoy themselves and we have stations of the cross before dinner so those people who want to go the stations can do that and then come down here for dinner,” said Tom Hayden, who helps run the annual fish fry.

From fish to shrimp — even perogies — most people tried it all.

“The food was actually really good; even my wife said the fish was good. I had the perogies,” Rusch said.

For Rusch, the fish fry at that specific location held a sentimental meaning.

“I graduated out of here in 1968 — I know I look young — I was right over there, this was my seventh-grade teacher, Sister Daniels,” he said, holding up a picture of Sister Daniels he had saved to his phone.

Others at the fish fry said have a long list of other places to support over the next month or so.

“Every Friday — it’s part of my religion to fast on Fridays — and we like to support the other churches,” said Joe Stolitza.

“This is my first one this week and then we’re going to different churches, trying some VFW halls next couple of weeks to see as many as we can get to,” said Coleen Figueroa.

Check out our 2023 Northeast Ohio Fish Fry Guide to help you decide where to pick up your next fish fry Friday meal.

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