Legion’s inaugural smelt fry nets 381

by Jim Boyle

An inaugural smelt fry at the Elk River American Legion served nearly 400 people with the help of 18 volunteers from the American Legion, the Sons of the American Legion, Post 112 Women’s Auxiliary and some business leaders from the community.

“The line was out the door by 5 p.m.” said an exuberant Mike Beyer, the vice commander of the Legion. “We had numerous compliments from the community on the smelt.”

The ranged from “I’m so glad to see this place to full again,” to “this takes me back to when I went to smelt fries with my dad.” Others said it was the best smelt they ever had. At least one person asked for the recipe for the batter. That’s top secret, but there are plans for a second annual smelt fry, Beyer said.

Beyer said among the reasons for the success of the event were the number of volunteers. There were more than 18 volunteers who contributed from several groups.

“We had three frying stations going non-stop for two hours,” Beyer said. “We served 381 people.”

Those who came went through 200 pounds of smelt, 200 baked potatoes and 100 pounds of boiled red potatoes.