OLDHAM COUNTY, Ky. — The season of Lent has begun as members of the Catholic Church abstain from meat on Fridays. That means fish fries have returned.
“Being with the guys, a good bunch of people, a good bunch of people,” David Haight, a volunteer, said. “Realizing what we're doing is a worthwhile endeavor.”
On any given Friday night during Lent, you won't find Haight anywhere else.
“How do volunteers get started? Can you come by and help out, next thing you know you've been here forever,” he said.
In Haight’s case, that’s 30 years. But all of that changed when COVID-19 hit.
“We had one day, one Friday and the next week we did one drive thru and that was the end of it and we've had nothing since,” Haight said.
Last year, St. Aloysius was forced to close all of their fish fry operations. The year before, the church was limited to drive-thru only.
“Really the uncertainty, when we have all these volunteers in here there could be 30 people in here or 15 people outside and it was just hard to do, not knowing if someone was positive or not,” Bernie Fussenegger, the fish fry chair at the church, said.
Now the event is back to normal for the first time since before the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We were going to have people that got carried out and went home but to my surprise a lot of people in here, our complete cafeteria was full, our gym was full and we more than met our expectations,” Fussenegger said.
After selling out of fish at the first fry, organizers are expecting a record year.
“We more than met them, we ran out of fish,” Fussenegger said. “How was that project two years ago? We actually made a little bit more, we sold more fish so from that part it was pretty amazing.”
The profit from the St. Aloysius fish fry supports the sports programs at the school. The church in Pewee Valley will offer their fish fry every Friday from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. through April 8. They are available for dine-in and carry-out orders.