History of Catfish Days


Few people know how Catfish Days originated in Wilmington. It all started in 1976 when a giant catfish was caught from the Kankakee River and hauled to the lumber yard.

After it was cleaned and cut into fillets, there was so much fresh fish the mayor called for a giant fish fry on the North Island Park. Members of a group of cooks who called themselves the Crazy 8 plus One set up deep-fat friers, dipped the fillets in a special batter and served up over 900 meals. 

Since then Catfish Days has been an annual town celebration.

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