WAUSAU (WAOW) -
A Wisconsin tradition came to a close Friday night, at least for this year.
As the Lenten season ends, this was the final Friday fish fry at many parishes.
During the past seven weeks Friday nights took on a new meaning for many in Wisconsin.
"No matter how long the week is we can always count on the fish fries at the end of the as something the whole family can end up doing," said Josh Watson of Wausau.
On Friday night at St. Michael's Parish in Wausau, volunteers seasoned the fish one last time this year, hoping diners came hungry.
Like many other parishes, St. Michael's serves fried and baked fish. But fish fry coordinators say it's their potato pancakes that really set them apart from the other fish fries in town.
"They're tradition," said Mary Peksa, St. Michael's fish fry coordinator. "They're from the olden days when people's grandmothers used to make potato pancakes during the Lenten season because again Lent is all about not having meat."
The desserts also help draw a crowd here.
"Every week the cakes continue to get more and more extravagant," said Peksa.
The fish fry season may be over for churches, but not for everyone else.
Restaurants such as the Loading Zone serve it up all year round.
"We're the best in town," said Monica Murkowski, the bar manager.
"We come here almost every Friday and I get the walleye because I love the walleye," said Daryl Buchberger of Wausau.
But for most churches, Friday was the end of the road for this year, at least.
"I'm hoping to empty everything out of the freezer because you really can't carry over fish to next year," said Peksa.