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Local Churches Begin Preparations For Friday Fish Fries

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - It's the Lenten season and that means one thing - fish fries.

Some churches start preparing as soon as Tuesday for their Friday fish fries.

At St. Gabriel's in Whitehall, volunteers started filling in around 4:30 a.m. to get ready for lunch and dinner rushes. A lot of places prepare upwards of 2,000 of fish, some baked, some fried.

KDKA Fish Fry Guide 2020

For those that may not be fish fans, there's always the other staple of fish fries: pierogies.

Places like St. John's the Baptist in Baden have over 50 volunteers throughout the week preparing, beginning with the fillings that include creating hundreds of little potato balls. They then will chop over 200 dozen onions and finally, the morning of the fish fry, they arrive at 5:30 a.m. to start pinching the pierogis closed.

The women of St. John's have made and sold pierogies at the church for decades and they say the busiest day is Good Friday when they can use nearly 600 pounds of potatoes.

It isn't just volunteers helping at St. Gabriel's, Father Mike was also helping make some of the coleslaw.

His favorite part isn't only helping prepare the food but the experience that comes with it.

"It's amazing the crew we have here, we've got some of our younger people working, but later we're really going to have people of all ages helping," he said. "One of the other wonderful things about this fish fry is that often people are so tired by the end of the day we have a crew that comes in to clean up. We have more volunteers this year, our director has told us, because then tomorrow, JT comes in a gives this place a whole cleaning. People are so giving here, it is so wonderful."

St. John's will start their sale at 9:30 a.m. and St. Gabriel's will be open for business at 4:00 p.m.

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