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With COVID-19 adjustments, Council Bluffs Catholic churches move forward with fish fries, shrimp boil

With COVID-19 adjustments, Council Bluffs Catholic churches move forward with fish fries, shrimp boil

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Fish fry season will look a little different this year, but at least we’ll have one.

Three Council Bluffs Catholic churches still plan to serve up the good stuff — fried fish for two, boiled shrimp at another, plus the fixins.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, two of the churches are doing takeout only this Lenten season. St. Patrick Catholic Church will offer a dine-in option.

Corpus Christi Parish-Queen of Apostles Church, 3304 Fourth Ave., will have three takeout fish fries during Lent, with the first on Friday, along with March 5 and March 26.

Tickets are $10 per person and can be purchased over the phone at 712-323-2916. The church’s Knights of Columbus council will be pre-selling tickets after Masses as well.

“There isn’t a limit on ticket sales,” said Brian Bowers with the church. “It would be helpful though if people could buy their tickets in advance.”

Pickup times are separated into three blocks — 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

St. Peter’s Church bucked the trend when it started its shrimp boils. This year they’ll host just one, a take-out affair on March 12. Traditionally the church has hosted two boils each year.

Organizer Jeromy Brockelsby with the church’s Knights of Columbus council said because of the pandemic — and turnout of around 300 people in recent years — a takeout event was the right move.

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“It’s kind of hard to tell people, especially when you’re going to a volunteer-run service, you can’t be here. It’s easier to do a drive-thru event instead of putting in the rules and stipulations,” Brockelsby said of not wanting to put volunteers in the position of turning people away or making sure people follow precaution.

Like all churches, St. Peter’s is hopeful an in-person event will resume next year. Brockelsby said the boil has caught on beyond the church congregation the past few years.

Brockelsby and his wife, Lacy, both have a culinary background and know spearhead the menu. This year’s haul will include shrimp, dirty rice, potatoes, macaroni and cheese, cole slaw and cookies. Kids will get fish sticks, mac and cheese and cookies.

“It’s just something different,” Jeromy Brockelsby said of going the shrimp route. “Out of all the Knights of Columbus councils I’ve seen, everybody did a fish fry. No one did a shrimp boil.”

The cost is $15 for adults and $6 for children. Order form information is available at the St. Peter’s Catholic Church Facebook page, or drop off an order after a Sunday Mass. Pickup times are from 5:30 to 6 p.m., 6 to 6:30 p.m. and 6:30 to 7 p.m.

And at St. Patrick Catholic Church, 4 Valley View Drive, will have fish fries every Friday through Lent — Feb. 19 through March 26.

The church hosted its inaugural fish fries last year before being cut short by the pandemic.

This year, the fish fries will run from 5 to 8 p.m., with limited dine-in seating and a to-go option.

“We will keep dine-in seating to about 100 people,” St. Patrick’s Church Business Manager Darin Hecker said.

Tickets are $12 for adults, $6 for kids ages 5 to 12-years-old and kids under the age of 5 are free.

Tickets will not be sold in advance, guests pay at the fish fry.

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