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.
WAUSAU - Students at Northcentral Technical College in Wausau got to see Tibetan monks create a work of art steeped in Buddhist history.
The Mandala Sand Art is an ancient Tantric Buddhist tradition dating back thousands of years.
The Tibetan Monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery are on an international tour called Mystical Arts of Tibet where they create mandalas in front of an audience.
"The colored patterns we are using, we are following the scriptures, the Buddhist scriptures. It's a very old tradition, more than 2,500 years ago," says Geshe Loden, head of the Mystical Arts of Tibet.
The monks' last visit to Northcentral Technical College in 2011 was so popular, they were invited back.
"At NTC we feel like it's important to offer our students a variety of different programming, and one of the things we feel our responsibility to do is expose our students to other cultures, other religions, other ideas," says Director of Student Development Shawn Sullivan.
The monks work hours at a time placing sand delicately in the lines of the intricate pattern.
The mandala will take them four days to complete, but the beautiful creation won't last long.
"After finishing this, making the mandala, we consecrate this completed mandala, and we dismantle it to symbolize the impermanence of all the conditioned things, all the phenomena," says Loden.
The monks' tour raises money for more than 3,000 monasteries in India. They also do it to raise awareness about the plight of Tibetans.
"Lord Buddha had started this, and that tradition keeps going on."
LAC DU FLAMBEAU - Ruby's pantry opened their doors Tuesday in Lac du Flambeau. This is the first time the Ruby's pantry has set up shop there. They decided to come to Lac du Flambeau because of the good turnout in Rhinelander. The food pantry asks that people give a $20 donation.
“It's not your typical food pantry,” says Gloria Cobb, Ruby's Pantry Lac du Flambeau Lead Coordinator. “This is an opportunity to give people dignity, to serve with dignity, and it's a donation base.”
“I mean look at the hustle and bustle going on we've got the community coming together not only Lac du Flambeau but the surrounding community coming together to meet a very basic need and that's to help with hunger,” says Cobb.
The pantry offered items like strawberries, cake mix, and toilet paper. More than 400 people were expected to show up.
“A participant will go through the line with a laundry basket and or box and they will be offered items,” says Cobb. “They can refuse them however we will encourage them to take the item because somebody else that they may know may have a need.”
“They get a certain amount of each item and they go through the line like an assembly line,” says Cobb.
The pantry had more than 21,000 pounds of food to give away.
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