Post by Becky at Dockwa - Published on 5/23/18 10:34 AM
The high season is fast approaching the cooler climates, which means marinas and harbors across the country are in prime time to host their annual Blessing of the Fleet ceremonies for fishermen, servicemen and women, boaters, and sailors.
Know of a ceremony near you? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll have your event listed in a jiffy.
Blessing of the Fleet History
The custom of the Blessing of the Fleet is a tradition observed by fishing and boating communities, in which they pray for a bountiful harvest and for the safety of the men at sea. The practice can be traced back to Old World Mediterranean fishing communities, and while the practice originated from Catholicism and brought to the United States by immigrants who held strongly to their Christian beliefs, it has since evolved to embrace more religions and cultures as it spread. Each harbor makes its annual Blessing of the Fleet its own, incorporating boat parades, church services, contests, potlucks, and music, some even expanding the event to a multi-day festival.
Jamestown, RI: Conanicut Marina is hosting the Blessing of the Fleet at the end of the fuel dock on June 9, 2019, starting at 11:00 AM. Later in the day, celebrate National Marina Day on the South Basin Dock and enjoy a BBQ starting at 5 PM.
Narragansett, RI: The Narragansett Lions Club'sBlessing of the Fleet takes place Saturday, July 27, 2019 at noon, preceded by their annual Seafood Festival which runs from Thursday, July 25, 2019 - Saturday, July 27th, and the 10-Mile Road Race on Friday, July 26, 2019.
Cranston, RI: The Rhode Island Yacht Club is hosting the Gaspee Days parade of boats + Blessing of the Fleet on June 2, 2019. The Gaspee Cookout and Gaspee Regatta follow the Blessing on June 8 and June 9, 2019.
Provincetown, MA:This Blessing of the Fleet is part of the Portuguese Festival Weekend from June 27, 2019 - June, 30, 2019. The festival includes four days of live music, dancing, parades, incredible food, games, and so much more.
Onset Harbor - Onset, MA:Hosted by the Wareham Harbor Master on July 6, 2019, this event includes a parade, blessing ceremony, dance party, and 4th of July fireworks display! The fun begins at 10:30AM - visit theFacebook eventfor updates.
Cape Charles, VA: The town marina will hold the Blessing of the Fleet in Cape Charles Town Harbor on Friday, April 26, 2019 at 6:00 PM.
Gloucester Point, VA:York River Yacht Haven is having their annual Blessing of the Fleet and Sock Burning Ceremony, followed by a cook-out lunch on May 11, 2019 from 10 - 2 PM.
Washington, D.C.: The 28th Annual Navy Memorial Blessing of the Fleeton Saturday, April 13, 2019 begins at 1 PM, shortly after the National Cherry Blossom Festival + Parade. Head over to both the events for an unforgettable springtime celebration!
Mount Pleasant, SC:Mount Pleasant's 32nd Annual Blessing of the Fleet & Seafood Festivalwill take place on April 28, 2019. The festivalpays tribute to the local shrimping and fishing industry, with a ceremony, boat parade, live music, and activities for the whole family. Every year since 1988 the net proceeds from the festival are donated to local nonprofit organizations.
McLellanville, SC: 43rd Annual Lowcountry Shrimp Festival and Blessing of the Fleet takes place 11 - 5 PM on Saturday, May 4, 2019. The Festival is four days of live music, dancing, parades, incredible food, games and more than 30 events and activities, capped off with The Blessing of The Fleet. After a procession through town, boats decked out in their finest parade past the Bishop and receive their Blessing for a safe & prosperous year.
Darien, GA: April 5 - 7, 2019 – Darien's annual Blessing of the Fleet is an annual festival that the Darien-McIntosh County Chamber of Commerce hosts to celebrate their biggest industry, shrimping. This three-day fun-filled event consists of an art show, various food and drink vendors, arts and crafts, a YMCA 5K, children's activities, a classic car show, nightly live entertainment and a marine parade. On Sunday, they Bless their shrimp boat captains with a safe and prosperous season, which draws a crowd of 30,000 throughout the weekend. Cost for entry each day is $5 per person and children under 13 get in for free. Sunday is free to everyone! You may bring coolers in for a fee of $10 a piece. Clickherefor more info.
St. Augustine, FL:The Blessing of the Fleet in St. Augustineis a historical ceremony dating back to the city’s earliest days of Spanish colonial occupation. This event takes place on Palm Sunday, April 14, 2019, and invites all vessels, commercial and pleasure, to receive a blessing from the Bishop of the Diocese of St. Augustine. All vessels are welcome and encouraged to decorate with flags and bunting as well. The ceremony begins with a procession from the Cathedral Basilica along the Plaza de la Constitución to the St. Augustine Municipal Marina. This traditional blessing will then take place at the Marina.
Grant, FL: Treasure Coast Marina is hosting its third Blessing of the Fleet festival in April, 2019. They have yet to decide on a specific date, but keep checking here for more details to come. The marina is also awarding prizes to the best three decorated boats.
Destin, FL: The 62nd Annual Blessing of the Fleet on Destin Harbor is taking place on May 30, 2019. This is one of the oldest traditions along the Emerald Coast and takes place every year at Destin's Fishing Fleet Marina. The Blessing of the Fleet is part of a week-long celebration known as Destin's Week of Blessings.
Vero Beach, FL: Vero Beach Yacht Club is partnering with the City of Vero Beach and the City Marina to help celebrate the city's 100th birthday by hosting an expanded Blessing of the Fleet Ceremony on October 11 and 12, 2019. Following the ceremony, all participants are invited to the Yacht Club for a special $15 BBQ with live music.
Portage de Sioux, MO: This year's Blessing of the Fleet and Boat Parade will take place Saturday, August 17, 2019 and celebrate first responders and armed services. Clickhere for more info.
Chicago, IL:The Blessing of the Fleet takes place May 19, 2019 on Navy Pier to coincide with National Maritime Day at 11 AM.
Seattle, WA:91th annual Blessing of the Fleet is taking place at the Fishermen’s Memorial site at Fishermen’s Terminal, however the date is TBD. Keep checking back for updates!
Bodega Bay, CA: The annual Blessing of the Fishing Fleetis the highlight of the Bodega Bay Fisherman’s Festival. The traditional annual blessing of the fishing fleet is an important observance for the entire community and acknowledges the key role of those who farm the seas, often at great risk to themselves. The Fishfest is taking place on May 4 & 5, 2019, but the Blessing of the Fleet is starting at 11:30 AM on Sunday.