Fasnacht Day: A 90 year tradition at a Columbia, Lancaster County church

It’s Fat Tuesday so you know what that means… Fasnacht Day is in full swing.

It’s the day when Pennsylvania Dutch food tradition truly shines.

FOX43 got an inside look at production at a Lancaster County church that’s been making Fasnachts for 90 years.

Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Columbia, Lancaster County will make 7-thousand dozen Fasnachts during Lenten season.

If you’re counting that’s 84,000 glazed, golden treats… it certainly calls for a lot of –

“Dough!!!!” a worker yells out – signaling she’s ready for another batch.

Yep — that’s how the process goes.

It starts with cutting out the rising dough, then to the deep fryer.

“They stick in 18 at a time, and they leave them in there approximately 3 minutes and they get them nice and brown,” says deep fry “master”, Jim Knapp.

Then, finally, the glaze.

Volunteers from all over come to get their hands dirty – or should we say sugary..

“I should have more strength in my arms,” says volunteer, Kathleen Lutz.

It’s a tradition that dates back 90 years.

Originally the treats were sold to pay for a new church building in 1924, but that’s over and done with.

And, the process of waking up at the crack of dawn to make Fasnachts continues..

“It’s a gathering of different families, some have the 4th generation helping going back to 1924,” says Ed Wickenheiser, from Holy Trinity Catholic Church.

For those new to the process you may wonder what it tastes like..

“It’s the greatest thing in the world a cup of coffee and a nice Fasnacht, can’t beat it!” says Wickenheiser.

“Oh it’s heaven!” says Knapp.

Heaven is right, into the bags they go but only for those who pre-order.

Apparently the phones ring off the hook just to get your name down for one Fasnacht.