Cahaba River Fry-Down returns to virtual format

Published 4:38 pm Wednesday, September 1, 2021

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The Cahaba River Society will host its 12th annual Cahaba River Fry-Down Catfish Cookoff and Festival virtually this year.

The Cahaba River Fry-Down celebrates the Cahaba River, Alabama’s longest free-flowing river and one of the most biologically diverse waterways on earth.

Proceeds benefit Cahaba River Society, a Birmingham nonprofit that works to protect and restore the Cahaba River watershed and its diversity of life.

While the nonprofit hoped to bring the community back together in-person this year, the current surge in the pandemic has required a return to the online format that made the 2020 festival the widest-reaching event in the organization’s history.

“Like all of us at Cahaba River Society, you may have a heavy heart as we face another COVID surge and realize that, as much as we want to be together, we must keep each other safe,” Executive Director Beth Stewart said.

Cahaba River Society has been watching the trending cases and the Department of Health’s evolving requirements for events.

With only a few weeks to go, organizers don’t anticipate improvement that would lead them to feel comfortable at an in-person cooking and education event.

Teams of aspiring chefs will again create videos of their fish ‘n’ sides recipes, full of tips and showmanship, for audiences to vote on and enjoy.

Educational videos will take viewers on a trip down the river and show them places they haven’t been to yet, outdoor experiences that await and fascinating stories of river life.

This special catfish and Cahaba immersion starts on Sept. 1 and lasts through the grand finale on Sunday, Oct. 3 – a live, online cooking demo that voters and teams can all participate in with family and friends at home.

“Know that your involvement in Fry-Down 2021 – as participants, educators, teams or sponsors – keeps the Cahaba community growing together and keeps your Cahaba River Society strong and serving the community and the river in this challenging time,” Development Director Casey Laycock said.

Learn more, register to compete and vote for your favorite at