12,500 pounds of catfish are served at the Bobby Cox Memorial Fish Tent
during the World's Biggest Fish Fry, a Paris and Henry County tradition
which kicks off the festival season in West Tennessee.
In 1953, the Chamber of Commerce held the first "Fish Fry". The event was not as successful as hoped. The fish were not from Kentucky Lake, and just did not please the fish eating public. The parade was short but sweet, and the event was held on Barton Field for one day and night.
In 1961, the Paris-Henry County Jaycees took over the "Fish Fry" from the Chamber of Commerce.
Since 1961, the "World's Biggest Fish Fry" has grown considerably, from 1600 pounds of catfish to over 5 tons of catfish being cooked and served at the Robert E. "Bobby" Cox Memorial Fish Tent.
Community participation and support of the "World's Biggest Fish Fry" brings the community together in many ways. Community involvement by attending one of the five beauty pageants, buying souvenirs, eating fish dinners, attending the rodeo, entering or watching the Grand Parade, or the Small Fry Parade, and going to the carnival, makes the event successful.
The history of the "Fish Fry" started with the farmers and their mules. Each past "Fish Fry" makes new history with trying new and different things, bigger crowds, more catfish served ad more community involvement.
The Paris-Henry County Jaycees hope to make the "World's Biggest Fish Fry"
bigger and better each year.
Steve McCadams is a professional hunting and fishing guide here in the Paris Landing area. He has also contributed many outdoor oriented articles to various national publications.
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