Annual Fish Fry Draws Big Crowd in Jermyn

JERMYN  -- Firefighters are used to heat...which may explain why these volunteer firefighters in Jermyn are able to fry more than 1,000 pounds of fish -- rapid fire!

Volunteers with Artisan Fire Company stater by taking care of delivery orders first. Boxes are filed with fish dinners, and those dinners get delivered all across Lackawanna County.

"We have 80 going to one manufacturing company," said Fire Chief Bob Chase. "About 35 to 40 of them are going to others and such, and we probably get 400 out the door in the two hours prior."

For the past two years, that's been the system for the ever-popular Good Friday tradition. Some of these dinners were headed to a few dozen customers in neighboring Archbald.

"Folks don't have to stand in line," said Jeff Munley of Archbald. "You know, it just speeds up the process a little bit."

But, they will still wait in line.

This line started a good two hours before the fish fry even opened. Some decided to pull up chairs to wait...Joseph Esgro hoped to use his 50 years as a firefighter to possibly cut the line.

"I tried that, it don't work!" he exclaimed.

When the doors opened to ticket holders at noon, the volunteers were at the ready -- and it went like a well-oiled machine. They will serve another 1,000 meals this way.

And patrons say, it's well worth the wait.

"'I think it was the last year or the year before, I waited in line and hour and 45 minutes, I usually don't wait 10 minutes for something. But, I waited that long because it is so good," added Munley.

Good fish on Good Friday...a tradition now decades old. It's the biggest fundraiser all year for the Artisan Fire Company in Lackawanna County.