World's Biggest Fish Fry

The World’s Biggest Fish Fry, held annually the last full week of April in Paris, Tennessee, revolves around the “Fish Tent” where by last account over 12,500 pounds of catfish is served with all the trimmings. In addition to all you can eat catfish, the event offers parades, a carnival, rodeos, catfish races, dances, arts and crafts, a bed race, chalk crawl and other family-friendly activities.

“Fish Fry” evolved from “Mule Day”, which originated in 1938. Farmers came to town on the first Monday in April to trade their mules and other farm products, do their shopping and enjoy the fellowship of their friends.  Early in the 1950s the Chamber of Commerce took over “Mule Day” complete with a parade and beauty queens.  When the tractor began to replace the mules the Chamber contemplated another event to replace “Mule Day”.

In 1953, the Chamber held the first “Fish Fry”.  The event was not as successful as hoped. The fish were not from Kentucky Lake and didn’t live up to the palates of the fish eating public.  The parade was short and the event was held at the E.W. Grove High School's Barton Field for only one day and night.

In 1961 the Paris-Henry County Jaycees (Junior Chamber of Commerce) took over the “Fish Fry” from the Chamber of Commerce, and since then, the festival has grown unbelievably from 1,600 pounds of catfish cooked to over 5 tons of catfish and a two-hour grand parade.

The annual event is held at the  Henry County Fairgrounds located at 517 Royal Oak Drive in Paris.  For more information, visit  


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Latitude: 36.30607 Longitude: -88.279865 Elevation: 394 ft
the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
Michelle Lacewell

Event Dates

4/20/2019 – 4/27/2019

Admission Fee (if any)

There is a fee for the Fish Tent, carnival rides and rodeo. Free admission for parade, catfish races, Small Fry Parade, street dance and more.

Ages Festival is Appropriate For

Appropriate for all ages.

Pet Friendly Notes

Leashed pets are welcome. Please pick up after your pet. Only service dogs are allowed in the Fish Tent and rode.

How to Get There

Most activities either take place at the Henry County Fairgrounds or Downtown. These directions are for the fairgrounds.

From Nashville, Tennessee - Approximately 2 hours
Head southwest on Church St toward Capitol Blvd
3 min (0.6 mi)
Take I-24 W to TN-237 W/Rossview Rd in Montgomery County. Take exit 8 from I-24 W
37 min (42.2 mi)
Take 101st Airborne Division Pkwy and TN-374 to US-79 S
22 min (14.8 mi)
Turn right onto US-79 S
Pass by Dollar General (on the left in 26.8 mi)
57 min (53.6 mi)
Follow S Bell Ave to Royal Oak Dr
2 min (0.5 mi)
Arrive at Henry County Fairgrounds, 517 Royal Oak Dr, Paris, TN 38242

From Memphis. Tennessee, Approximately 2.5 hours
Get on I-40
1 min (0.4 mi)
Follow I-40 to US-412 W/US-70 E in Madison County. Take exit 87 from I-40
1 h 19 min (89.0 mi)
Follow US-70 E, TN-22 N and US-79 N to Royal Oak Dr in Paris
1 h 6 min (56.8 mi)
Arrive 517 Royal Oak Dr, Paris, TN 38242

From Huntsville, Alabama - Approximately 3.5 hours
Get on I-65 N in Ardmore from AL-53 N
44 min (27.7 mi)
Follow I-65 N, I-840 W/TN-840 and I-40 W to TN-69 N/US-641 N in Decatur County. Take exit 126 from I-40 W
1 h 59 min (140 mi)
Follow TN-69 N/US-641 N to Royal Oak Dr in Paris
45 min (36.9 mi)
Arrive at Henry County Fairgrounds, 517 Royal Oak Dr, Paris, TN 38242

Paducah, Kentucky - Approximately 1.5 hours
Take S 3rd St and Wayne Sullivan Dr to US-62 E/Clarks River Rd
7 min (3.4 mi)
Take I-24 E, Purchase Pkwy S and US-641 S to N Poplar St in Paris
1 h 14 min (63.8 mi)
Take Guthrie Rd, Jackson Dr and India Rd to Royal Oak Dr
7 min (3.4 mi)
Arrive Fairgrounds, 517 Royal Oak Dr. Paris, TN 38242


Does the biggest catfish festival sell big catfish hats? Ms. Riggins they do not but what a great idea.

Lesli Riggins , 4/13/2019

This sound like like a lot of fun this weekend!!

Angela baker, 4/24/2019

What are the official dates for the fish fry 2020 in April? The Fish Fry week is normally the last week in April.

vel pickett, 12/6/2019

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