RiverPark Catfish Fry Oct. 15

Published 9:44 am Tuesday, September 27, 2016

By Lynn Rumley

For the Salisbury Post

COOLEEMEE — Once a year, the farm family of a young Dora Cope Pierce would come to a place she called “The Shoals” of the South Yadkin River.

“The men would catch the fish and the ladies would cook the fish,” she told her son, the late Baxter Pierce. Dora recalled times before Cooleemee was even born. That was considerably more than 100 years ago.

When it comes to the river and fish, some traditions just never die. It’s one reason why RiverPark will hold its 15th Annual Catfish Fry on Saturday, Oct. 15, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. It will be held at the big Margaret Woodson Picnic Shelter on the Rowan side of the park at the end of Erwin Temple Church Road.

For $10, a plate of golden fried catfish, fries, hush puppies, coleslaw and a cold drink can be had. A child’s plate is $4. Those who buy tickets in advance eat first, and there will once again be a separate take-out line.

A silent auction with many gifts donated by local businesses will line the outer border of the shelter. Ink It Promotional Products will once again be screen printing a new fish fry T-shirt. RiverPark fish fry organizers always hope that hot coffee and an Apple Ugly will combine with a welcome nip in the fall air to fill the parking lot with hungry catfish eaters.

Proceeds from this annual event enable RiverPark Inc. to keep the park open, clean and safe for families and park patrons. This summer saw the largest numbers ever, especially since water flowed over the dam for the entire season. A new web presence on a Google site drew park-goers from across both the Triad and Charlotte markets. A social media hit, RiverPark has garnered dozens of “five star” reviews over the summer.

Fish fry tickets are available in Cooleemee at Davie Discount Drugs, Village Auto, Town Hall and the Zachary House; in Mocksville at the Chamber of Commerce; and in Salisbury at the Gateway Center, 204 E. Innes St.