Fishmas Eve at Roaring River State Park

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

On Thursday, a free "Fishmas Eve" celebration will be held at the Roaring River State Park Store in honor of the start of catch-and-keep trout fishing season. The store is located at the junction of Highways 112 and F, and the celebration will begin at 7 p.m.

The evening will be filled with the sound of carollers singing Fishmas Eve songs, which are set to the tunes of traditional Christmas tunes. Some of the songs include "God Rest Ye Merry Fisherman, "The 12 Days of Fishmas" and "Oh! Come All Ye Fishers."

The idea for the Fishmas Eve celebration originated a few years ago when park Assistant Superintendent Kerry Hays', daughter, Sam, began calling the day before catch-and-keep trout season "Fishmas Eve." The carols were written by Elise Buchman, a children's poet, who compiled the 15 works into "Sam's Book of Fishmas Carols."

"It is a fun time to celebrate Opening Day," said Buchman, "It is a new and fun celebration, something free, and something different."

There will be eight singers at the event, and song sheets will be distributed throughout the audience so they can sing along as well.

One of the Fishmas Eve carols, "We Three Fish," includes the following lyrics: "We three fish from the hatchery are; using our fins we swim near and far. Streams from mountains, fields and fountains. We're trout now bass or char. Oh, oh trout of rainbow, trout so light, trout with rainbow beauty bright, lines and leaders, cast impeders, guide me to a perfect bite."

For more information about Fishmas Eve, contact the Roaring River State Park office at 847-2539.

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