St. Clare of Assisi Parish Roman Catholic Church kicked off its 45th annual Lenten Fish Fry on Friday, serving more than 1,000 meals to Santa Clarita Valley residents and more.
The annual fish fry tradition was first run by Our Lady of Perpetual Help in addition to bingo. According to Ed Hoover, one of the original parishioners of St. Clare, OLPH kept the bingo and handed off the responsibilities of the fish fry to St. Clare.
The annual fish fry picked up much attention, even early on, attracting people to the event from as far as the San Fernando Valley.
“The other churches tell their parishioners to come here,” said Karen Blazek, a member of the Lady Knights of Columbus. “More than 1,000 even. I heard this morning that we already had 1,000 pre orders to go.”
Hoover accredits their success to the ability to host a large number of people in the church grounds and the access to a large kitchen.
It also helps that the fish is popular for its taste.
“This some of the best fish in the valley that you’ll ever find really,” said Patrick Blazek, a Grand Knight of Columbus.
“Their food is delicious,” said attendee Coco Dilisio. “We like to meet people. They’re very kind and nice people, the priest and the ambiance is pretty nice.”
The fish fry is run completely by volunteers and each week a different ministry runs the dessert booth. According to Hoover, on Friday more than 200 volunteers were working the fish fry.
It was Father Marlon Mateo’s first-time playing host in his leadership position.
The fish fry generates a lot of revenue, but none of it goes back to the church.
“The core of it is charity,” said Karen. “One hundred percent goes back to the community.”
Proceeds from the fish fry go toward Bridge to Home, the Santa Clarita Food Pantry, the SCV Pregnancy Center and directly helps local individuals and families in need.
The annual Lenten Fish Fry continues on every Friday during Lent, March 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31, from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Indoor and outdoor dining are available as well as take-out.