Fish Fry – a staple in Toledo for a quarter century

St. Philip Neri Church Fish Fry. Sunday, April 21 4:00pm - 6:30pm. Held at Toledo Legion. Takeout Available.
Photo credit: Laurie Weir.
Posted on: April 16, 2024

For the past 25 years, there has been an annual fish fry in Toledo.

It started as a bullhead supper and now it’s a way to help entice parishioners back to the church. 

On Sunday, April 21, from 4 to 6 p.m., the tradition continues at the Royal Canadian Legion in Toledo, Branch 475. 

Takeout is available — adults are $19, children $9. There is indoor dining as well as an outdoor heated area. 

The Catholic parish of St. Philip Neri in Toledo started the fish fry where parishioners would go out and catch the fish, clean and freeze them for the big day, explained Vicki Downey. 

Originally, proceeds were used for church property upkeep and maintenance, and was held at the Toledo legion.

“Over the years we changed from bullheads to haddock loins with homemade baked beans, cabbage salad, scalloped potatoes and desserts tea, coffee, juice, cheese and pickles,” Downey explained. 

People come from miles around to get a taste of fresh fish. 

“It’s usually quite successful,” Downey said. “Every year, the day before our fish fry, we have a work bee and erect a cooking hut to keep the wind and rain off the fryers, and set up the legion hall.”

The modern version of the church’s fish fry supper is more to stay afloat financially than it is about maintenance, she said.

“The double blow of parishioners who leave or pass away plus COVID has us back on our heels and we know the other congregations in the area are feeling the same pinch, but nobody is giving up, and rightly so,” she said.

The Toledo and Frankville area has three Christian denominations in St. Andrew’s United, Anglican Parish of Kitley in Newbliss, and St. Philip Neri.

“We all talk and support each other’s fundraising activities and have recently collaborated (to hand out) an outreach flyer to area residents that explains each church’s weekly mass and worship times,” Downey said. 

“The three churches and area Christians got together in the year 2000 to erect the millennial Kitley Cross to commemorate 2000 years since Christ’s birth and at 7 a.m. every Easter morning we all meet at the cross and hold a Sunrise service.”

Hometown News
Author: Hometown News