By Ruben Lowman
Hungry locals who have been missing out on some of the best fried fish the area has to offer will not have to wait much longer.
This week the North Myrtle Beach Rescue Squad announced that they would be once again bringing their annual fish fry and barbecue back after not being able to hold the event last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The rescue squad has been holding the fish fry, which is a locals’ favorite, each year since it was started in 1958. This year’s event will be the 62nd Fish Fry & Barbecue and will be held at the Ocean Drive Elementary School on 11th Avenue North on Saturday, Oct. 30, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“The Fish Fry is a long running tradition in North Myrtle Beach and a way for citizens to donate and socialize with the volunteers and neighbors. We are excited to bring this back and we are hoping the citizens will turn out and support us after missing last year,” said NMB Rescue Squad Liaison Officer Greg Richardson.
Over six decades ago the then Crescent Beach Rescue Squad began the tradition of holding a fish fry in order to raise money that would serve vital to the community – funding for much-needed and necessary first responders to be able to do their jobs and save lives. Ambulances, medical supplies and other valuable services have all been made possible for residents and visitors, all at no cost to the public. Much of that is down to the money raised during the event each year.
Ever since its inception the rescue squad has offered their all-volunteer staff and services without charging a dime to the public, and their mission today remains exactly the same. And much like the squad itself, the fish fry and barbecue has stayed “true to its roots.” The food is just as delicious as yesteryear’s and the menu hasn’t changed all that much.
With the huge growth in population that has occurred in the area over the years, the rescue squad has expanded its services both inside the city of North Myrtle Beach, as well as to the surrounding communities of Little River and Longs. With the enormous change that has taken place in their geographic reach, they have been ever-more reliant on the “unbelievable outpouring of support we continue to receive from the community,” said Richardson.
As a result of their expanded services he said their all-volunteer first responders look forward to the fish fry and barbecue every October, as it is the single most important fundraising event on their calendar and is absolutely critical to their 2022 budget.
“Our budget has survived through COVID but funds are lower than ever and we really need our community to come on out and enjoy this event,” Richardson said.
For just $12 a person, all event attendees get all-you-can-eat of some of the best fried fish and barbecue served up in the area. It has been a staple for many residents throughout the years and is one of the unofficial markers of the fall season in the North Myrtle Beach area. It’s simply still “one of the best deals in town”, even with the massive growth in restaurants and eateries at the beach.
With this year’s event taking place amid the still-lingering pandemic and its effects Richardson said that there would be slight alterations but that they are fully prepared and ready for all the locals and visitors to come out once again.
“Volunteers will be serving at the buffet instead of self service. The event is approved and only a Storm Evacuation will stop us this year,” said Richardson.
He said that the squad’s ambulances and other rescue vehicles will be there for interested individuals to check out, attendees can visit with their EMTs and paramedics, and that there will be prizes given out.
For additional information, menu and directions to the school, you can visit their website at NMBRescue.com. You can also make a generous donation to the squad if you are unable to attend the event and would like to offer your support.