St. Anthony's Lodge

FROG PARTY - AUG 4, 2016

The frog party is a celebration to bring together men from all over and from different walks of life to renew old friendships and fellowship. In 1934 to around 1940 these frogs were caught along the banks of the east branch Brandywine river in the months of June and July. After WW2, in 1947, the frogs were bought in Louisiana, Australia, Japan, India and many other places.

Do the math: Ten women work four days to prepare a meal that 1,000 men eat in three hours. What does that equal? Tradition. Tonight is the 75th annual Amphibious Order of Frogs dinner at St. Anthony’s Lodge in Downingtown’s old Italian neighborhood. Tickets, which are long sold-out, cost $35 for unlimited Miller Lite and reminiscing, a feast of veal spezzato, roasted chicken, hot peppers, and salad, then the traditional fried legs of ranocchio. “Are frog legs Italian?” I asked Laurie Mascherino Reutter, who is 90 and has been preparing or serving this giant family-style meal once a year for a half-century. “No,” she said, accenting her point with a jab of her paring knife, “frog legs are poor. We were poor.” The dinner’s roots reach back to the Great Depression. In the early 1930s a group of local teenagers with such nicknames as “Barrel House” Sciaretta, “Skid” Di Berardinis, and “Kite” Di Sante used to catch frogs in the nearby Brandywine Creek. They’d shoot their prey with a .22, then cook them over a fire. “We’d even eat blackbirds if we could catch them,” said Reutter, a 4-foot-6 hot shot with snow-white hair. (from Phila.com article, 2009) 

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2011 Frog Party Article from Downingtown Dish

2012 DAILY LOCAL NEWS ARTICLE

 

2013 Downingtown Does Article