Fish Fry History
We are known as the “Fish Fry Club,”
a title we have earned with over 75 years of frying fish.
The Fish Fry is a tradition unlike any other in Costa Mesa. It is the iconic “kick-off” to summer where thousands of Orange County residents come to enjoy the festivities, feast on Alaska Cod battered in the Lion’s secret recipe, ride carnival rides, play games, listen to headliner bands, enjoy the beer garden, and more! It is presented each year to help raise money for local and international charities, such as: CHOC Hospital, The Boys & Girls Clubs, Blind Children’s Learning Center, Lion’s Sight & Hearing Foundation, Someone Cares Soup Kitchen, Save Our Youth (SOY), CM Women’s Club Scholarship Fund, Orangewood Children’s Home, Knots of Love, Explorer Scouts, CM & Estancia High School Athletics, just to name a few.
In the spring of 1946, when considering what to do for a fundraiser, Bob Skiles suggested a fish fry and carnival. The money was to be used to build a baseball field in what is now Lions Park. The Fish Fry was held on Newport Avenue at the corner of 18th Street. A stove and refrigerator were offered as prizes.
Dinners were served on regular dishes that were scraped and washed clean in the American Legion Hall kitchen.