North Huntingdon T-Shirt shop provides guide to fish fries
Just how popular are Lenten fish fries in Western Pennsylvania? Popular enough that many Westmoreland County fire departments and Catholic churches sell fish and meatless delicacies on Fridays over the next six weeks.
And for a second year, a North Huntingdon print shop has created a customized T-shirt with its own “Top Ten Fish Fries of Westmoreland County.” The shirts will be sold during Lent, which runs from Ash Wednesday (March 6) through Maundy Thursday (April 18), said Drake Bergman, manager of The Print Shoppe on Route 30.
The shirts are designed with a fish holding a frying pan on the front and the list of top area fish frys on the back.
“Here in the Norwin area, seems that we have a fish fry every couple of blocks,” said Geralyn DeFelice, one of the organizers of North Huntingdon’s St. Agnes Catholic Church fish fry.
The Catholic church maintains its rule of abstinence from meat on Fridays during Lent and on Good Friday, said Jerry Zufelt, a spokesman for the Greensburg Diocese. The Rev. Andrew Menke, director of the secretariat of divine worship at the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops, said Catholics are obliged to practice some sort of self-denial on Fridays throughout the year. Abstaining from meat is one way to do that, he said.
Not wanting to get in the middle of any battle among fish fry devotees over who has the best in the area, the Print Shoppe created a Facebook poll where fans voted for their favorite fish fry. The poll attracted 444 votes, Bergman said.
Like last year, the top 10 fish fries this year have a decidedly North Huntingdon-Penn Township lean — and one that emphasizes fire departments over churches.
The Claridge Volunteer Fire Department took top honors, followed by the Fairmont/Hahntown, Harrison City, Hartford Heights, Lowber, Madison, North Irwin and Norvelt fire departments. Two churches cracked the list — St. Agnes and partner parishes of St. John the Baptist in Scottdale and St. Joseph Church in Everson.
The Print Shoppe also compiled a list of 54 fire departments and churches across the county that host fish frys. The map, however, does not include fish frys south of the Youghiogheny River.
The Print Shoppe T-shirts sell for $15, with $5 donated to the fish fry of the buyer’s choice, Bergman said.
Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe at 724-836-5252, [email protected] or via Twitter .