Officially, it’s called the Seal Beach Lions Club Community Fish Fry. But it is now better known to the Seal Beach locals simply as “Fish Fry”. For weeks leading up to the weekend event, all the buzz in town is about the Lions Fish Fry.
The Lions Fish Fry is the longest running event in the community of Seal Beach, having run continuously for 78 years! What started originally as a replication of a Midwest tradition has grown into one of the area’s most popular summer events. In the first year, August 22nd,1945, the Fish Fry sold 297 meals. This July 16th & 17th, 2022, the Lions hope to exceed 7,000 meals. For two full days, Lions cook and serve Fish and other foods in the park overlooking the Seal Beach Pier, coincidentally, the first Fish Fry was held at and around the Sunroom at the base of the Pier. Besides food and spirits, local bands play continuously at the event from 11 in the morning until the Sun goes down. The bands all play for free as their way of ‘giving back’ to the community.
It takes more than 200 Lions, prospective Lions and Leos to run this event. Everything is done by Lions & Leos – there are no outside vendors or paid workers. The Leos man the soft drink and BBQ booth as well as provide balloons for the children by our costumed ‘Leo the Lion’.
In addition to food and music, there are T-Shirt sales, raffle drawings, a New Ford Bronco opportunity drawing and of course eyeglass collection.
What makes this event unique is that it truly draws the community together. Attendance over the weekend will be high, as the greater Seal Beach area residents look forward to attending this fun community event! Attendees include nearly every city official as well as most of the movers and shakers in town. There is no charge to attend this event. The residents and guests who attend generously support the Lions efforts through donations and food & drink purchases.
In 1951 Lions club secretary Buell Brown wrote in the club minutes, “The fish fry was originated as a social event… It is the only event of the year that brings the people of the town together for a good old fashion visit, and that one item makes our Fish Fry a truly worthwhile Lion’s activity. The Fish Fry has never been operated with the idea of making any money, just friends, yet it has never failed to pay us for our effort, with a nice sum for the treasury.”
This tradition lives on with the Seal Beach Lions Club’s Annual Community Fish Fry. The proceeds do help fund the over 120 service projects the Seal Beach Lions perform each year.