Fundraiser benefits Lucky Puppy Rescue

PANAMA CITY — The Krewe of St. Andrews celebrates the coming of a new season with the fourth annual Fall Fish Fry from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the St. Andrews Pavilion.

"The whole St. Andrews community is looking forward to this, merchants and the general community," said Charles Segrest, Krewe of St. Andrews' event organizer. "It's a fundraiser and I hope the community comes out and has a good time, and we have a good day."

This year's Royal Benevolence, chosen by the 2020 King and Queen Brian and Jill Poyant, is Lucky Puppy Rescue. Lucky Puppy, a nonprofit dog rescue, will be set up with a booth accepting donations, monetary and pet supplies — such as Purina One Smartblend Healthy Puppy for the more than 100 puppies under 6 months old in their care.

While the event is always rain or shine, "we're having perfect days this week," Segrest said.

And what makes a sunny day even brighter — shiny beads and Mardi Gras floats.

"We'll have thousands of beads to give out," Segrest said. "We'll have a DJ in the morning and the St. Andrews Ukulele Orchestra play from 1 to 3 p.m."

Three Mardi Gras floats will be set up, including one for the kids, for festivalgoers to walk up to and get beads (none are thrown). Children's activities will include giant Jenga, arts and crafts to make a fish, as well as a chance to find buried treasures in the sandbox.

Plates of fried fish and shrimp (from Vittles) will be for sale for $12, and each includes hush puppies, fresh fried chips and a soft drink or water.

"It's a generous portion of fish and shrimp," Segrest said. Also featured will be a fried green tomatoes plate, $5, and a fresh strawberry angel cake dessert, "big enough for two," for $5.

Proceeds from the food sales will benefit the Krewe of St. Andrews, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, while proceeds from the cash bar — serving beer, wine and liquor — and tips also will be given to Lucky Puppy. The Krewe has raised a couple thousand dollars for the year's chosen benevolence just at the annual fish fry — with more raised throughout the year.

"We work all year doing fundraisers for the benevolence," Segrest said.

The Krewe of St. Andrews celebrates its 23rd anniversary in 2020 with two days of parades and a festival 4-10 p.m. Feb. 14, and 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Feb. 15 in historic St. Andrews. For more information and to join the Krewe, visit StAndrewsMardiGras.com.