The World's Biggest Fish Fry is held each year in Paris, Tenn. Featuring all-you-can-eat catfish and all the trimmings, an arts and crafts show, parade, Bell City Carnival, catfish races, junior fishing rodeo, IPRA Rodeo, and a whole lot more. The 2016 schedule of events is posted below.
2016 Schedule of Events
Overview & History
The "Fish Fry" evolved from "Mule Day," which originated in 1938 with the Paris Post Intelligencer as the first sponsor. Farmers came to town on the first Monday in April to trade their mules and other farm products, do their shopping and enjoy the fellowship of their friends. Early in the 1950's, the Chamber of Commerce took over "Mule Day" and the tractors took the place of mules. The Chamber of Commerce started looking for another event to replace "Mule Day."
In 1953, the Chamber of Commerce held the first "Fish Fry." The event was not as successful as hoped. The fish were not taken 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. The "Fish Fry" was starting to grow too much for the Chamber to handle, so the Jaycees (Junior Chamber of Commerce) took over the event, taking the name of "World's Biggest Fish Fry," an event that truly lives up to its name.
Since 1961, the "World's Biggest Fish Fry" has grown considerable - from 1,600 pounds 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" unites the community 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 by
trying new and different things, increased attendance, more
catfish served, and more community involvement.
The Paris-Henry County Jaycees hope to make the "World's Biggest Fish Fry" bigger and better each year.
Information from the World's Biggest Fish Fry website