The Shriners are back at it, gearing up for their twice-annual fish fry on Wednesday.
Held each year in the spring and fall, the Shriners’ fish fry is a favorite way for many in the area to get good fish and donate to a worthy cause.
“People are very supportive of this event,” said Phillip Little, one of the organizers. “I think it’s because it goes to a good cause — I don’t know of any better cause it could go to than Shriner’s Children’s Hospital.”
Last year’s fall fish fry raised around $12,000 for the organization, and that, according to Little, was despite the fact that it had to be rescheduled because of Hurricane Matthew, the group had less daylight than normal, many roads in Bladen County were still impassable at that point, and recovery from the storm was just beginning.
This year, as usual, the event will take place simultaneously at two locations — the Food Lion parking lot in Elizabethtown and the Fresh Foods parking lot in Bladenboro.
Little said there would be plenty of fish to go around. The group has ordered between 2,300 and 2,500 pounds of whiting fillets.
“That’s around two tons of whiting — that’s a lot of fish,” Little laughed.
Plates will come with slaw, hush puppies, and another side that’s a favorite for many guests.
“I call them sweet potato chips, because we cut them up in chip-type portions,” Little explained. “We get the sweet potatoes right when they’re being harvested — they’re fresh, not frozen. We peel them and cut them up, fry them, then we put brown sugar and cinnamon on them — people really like them.”
Plates cost $8, include tea or water, and do not require pre-purchase.
The group is offering plenty of options for dining. Tables under tents will be set up for those wishing to dine on site; a drive-through option is available for people in a rush; folks can park and walk up for takeout; or deliveries will be made to business or industries with large orders.
“We’ve got something going that works pretty well, and we have high expectations for a good turnout, so come early,” Little remarked.
All proceeds from the event benefit Shriners Hospitals for Children, a network of 22 non-profit medical centers specializing in orthopaedics, spinal cord injuries, cleft lip and palate treatment, and burn care for children.
The Shriner’s fish fry will take place Wednesday, Oct. 11, from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m.
Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.