25th annual Knights of Columbus fish fry underway


Knights of Columbus

The Knights of Columbus Council 7560 Lenten fish fry began around 1996. The grand knight at the time was Seth Crain and he started the fish fry as a fundraiser for the council along with Pete Dach and many other Knights who have moved or passed on.

The cooking was done at first with two turkey fryer-type propane units. As the fish fry grew in popularity, it was determined to construct a large fry wagon to accommodate the amount of food needed to be prepared. With the help of Don Heitkamp, Manny Trujillo and many others, a seven-burner mobile unit was constructed to cook fish and French fries.

In years past, potatoes were donated from the Martinez family in the San Luis Valley to be cut on site by a vintage potato cutter donated by Pete Dach. It was formerly used in his family restaurant in upstate New York. These cut-on-site French fry potatoes are a signature part of the meal.

Through the years, the coleslaw was made by the Knights as well. Notably, Gary and Firma Lucas made coleslaw that was classic. Recently, Pete Dach and other members took over that detail.

Other special original recipe ingredients that make the fish fry truly unique are the breading for the fried fish, spicy hush puppies, cocktail and tartar sauce, all made by Pete Dach.

The Lenten fish fry takes a crew of many people to make it successful. We have had crew members from our Catholic Parish as well as from the public helping out. The prep work starts the evening before and final clean up concludes by Saturday morning.

Besides being a great meal at a reasonable price, it has always been a way to relieve “cabin fever” during our winter months. As a community get-together, there are few other Pagosa events that could compare with folks catching up on life and enjoying a meal together. Besides giving longtime residents a chance to visit each other, it was a wonderful opportunity for newer residents and visitors to experience a taste of the fabric that makes Pagosa special.

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, this year we will not be able to have the traditional dining in the Parish Hall on Lewis Street as in years past. Gluten-free options are not available. 

However, we will be offering one size take out containers of: two pieces of fish, fries, coleslaw, hush puppies and condiments for $12 at the front doors of the Parish Hall. We will be following state COVID restrictions and ask patrons: Please wear a mask in line and at pick up. Your donation of credit card, cash or local check will help the Knights of Columbus with its charitable giving to local nonprofits in Archuleta County. We hope to see you there.