Lenten Staple: Tremont Fire Company #1 Fish Fry

David Harring, left, and Thomas Schwarz, right, prepare quarts of the world famous mac and cheese, to be sold along with meals.

Levi Bettinger, News Editor

Every Friday during Lent, the volunteers of Tremont Fire Company #1 prepare and serve nearly 200 Lenten dinners. “The Fish Fry is our most important fundraiser of the year,” says David Harring, who has been Chairman of the fundraiser for 8 years and a member of the fire company for over 40 years. Harring continued, “This year has had the highest price jump of platters, and that combined with it being take out only, we aren’t selling as many meals as we used to. We know that people are disappointed we aren’t doing eat-in service, but the only reason we aren’t doing it is because we don’t have enough people to help.” In previous years, the Fire Company would sell 450-500 dinners a night when they were providing eat-in service. However, due to lack of volunteers, the fish fry had to be take-out only.

Thomas Schwarz has been the President of the Fire Company for 10 years, and explained the purpose of the fundraiser. “It’s not just to pay for fire fighting equipment. The first thing it pays for is the electric bill, which is over $500 per month. Additionally, it pays for the diesel fuel that goes in our trucks, kitchen supplies and tools,” Schwarz said. He, like Harring, stressed the company’s need for volunteers. “We really need help. Not just Firefighters, but people to help with administrative work, fundraising, all of it. We are lucky to get 10-15 people to help us out, and we need more than that.” If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering, you can call the fire company at (570) 695-3915 and leave a message, contact any member of the fire company, or stop by Monday nights between 6:30pm-8:00pm    

Now to the food. For $18, the dinners come with one choice of baked haddock, fried haddock, fried shrimp, crab cakes, or chicken tenders. Along with that, customers get the choice of two sides- fries, coleslaw, baked potato, applesauce, homemade macaroni and cheese, and stewed tomatoes. The mac and cheese is a firehouse staple, and it even holds its very own fundraiser later in the year. Tremont Fire Company even earned the Reader’s Choice Award for the best non-profit Lenten food in 2021. The fundraiser has not just been a local staple for over 20 years, as people have driven from as far as Harrisburg and Reading, just for a taste of the best Lenten food.