60+ Years of Fish Fries

Over 60 Years of Fabulous Fish Fries

According to St. Anthony historical records, before the parish built the school in 1953, “social events were held in local taverns or hostelries, particularly Schmitz’s Dance Hall on the southwest corner of Appleton and Good Hope”.  But with the building of St. Anthony Parish School came a new place to gather – the school’s multipurpose room, Reichling Hall, and it was then the Christian Mothers started the St. Anthony monthly Fish Fry.  Records say the event became a popular social for the whole community as well as a lucrative money maker.

“Older parishioners met the day before the event to prepare some of the food and visit.  Whole families helped set up chairs and tables, fry fish, degrease the kitchen and sweep out the hall.  Eighth graders waited on tables.”

Little has changed from those fish fries from days gone by.  Volunteers made up primarily of St. Anthony parishioners, begin the Wednesday before, preparing all the dressings for the coleslaw and potato salad from scratch.  One crew shreds 250-300 lbs of cabbage, carrots and celery; another crew peels and cuts boiled potatoes by hand.  And a third group combines the dressings and prepared vegetables.  St. Anthony students served guests, set and cleared place settings, prepared to-go containers and washed and put away dishes. However, St. Anthony Parish School closed in 2017. The St. Anthony Boy Scouts give Reichling Hall a careful cleaning the following Saturday morning.

It is estimated that between 950-1300 meals are served each month.

The St. Anthony fish fry continues to be a popular social for the whole community.

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