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Friday fish fry brings the community togetherSubmitted: 02/15/2013
Story By Hayley Tenpas

RHINELANDER - In Wisconsin, nothing sounds better than a Friday fish fry.

"There's these traditions, and they're rich, and the very recipes at times and the way we cook the fish and other materials we're proving for the public, ours are a direct result of what was started decades ago," said fish fry organizer Jim Barnes.

Over 100 volunteers served hundreds of people at the Nativity of Our Lord Fish Fry in Rhinelander.

Barnes believes the dinner is not just about the fish.

"We all like to come together, we all enjoy eating and we do this once a year, just like the smelt fry is in about another month- it's a once a year thing. And it's where the community of Rhinelander can come together, break bread together- eat together in other words, because we play together, we worship together, why not eat together," said Barnes.

Just down the street at the Claridge Clubhouse, they serve fish fries year round.

But the Lenten season helps increase business, by 20 percent.

"Our best night of the week is always Friday night and it brings in a number of people, we fill up and turn over the tables a couple of times, so it's a very good evening for us," said Clairidge general manager Edward Orikowski.

Orlikowski says there's just something special about a Friday fish fry.

"They come, they have a great fish fry, they talk, they meet their neighbors, they meet other people in the community, so it's great food, great atmosphere, and it's also a place for people to socialize," said Orikowski.

The church agrees there's something special, maybe even a higher power looking out for their Friday fish fry.

"There's gotta be, someone above us, who has created us, because the amount of variety of people that are in this community- have hearts full of gold. It just, makes me; it just gives me a big thrill and gets my juices going," said Barnes.

The Clardige Clubhouse has a Friday fish fry every Friday night.

You'll have to wait another year for the Nativity of Our lord fish fry.

They only serve one night a year.


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