The Blessing of the Fleet tradition originated centuries ago in southern Europe to ensure a safe and bountiful fishing season. On Sunday, April 24, Mount Pleasant will celebrate sending out its hallowed ships for the 35th time. The annual Blessing of the Fleet and Seafood Festival, presented by East Cooper Medical Center and Harris Teeter, will be jam-packed with family fun from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. The boat parade and ceremonial blessing will commence on the pier at Memorial Waterfront Park at 1 p.m.
Opening band Soul Fish will kick off the party. They’ll be followed by crowd-favorite East Coast Party Band, which is sure to keep everyone on their feet. Patrons will be able to enjoy a shag and shrimp-eating contest, as well as a craft show. There will also be a host of seafood presented by some of Mount Pleasant’s favorite eateries.
The Blessing of the Fleet is the perfect spring activity to experience with the entire family. It isn’t just a great time; it’s a way to support our local fishermen and seafood sources. But that’s not all — it’s also the perfect occasion for giving back. Net proceeds from the festival will be donated to local nonprofit organizations that partnered with the town of Mount Pleasant.
Community Affairs & Marketing Division Chief Nicole Harvey shared, “We are so excited to be celebrating 35 years of blessing our local captains in Mount Pleasant this year. I never cease to be amazed by the tremendous outpouring of love and support from our community for our maritime heritage and the folks who work so hard to put fresh shrimp and seafood on our tables.”
Visit experiencemountpleasant.com for more information on this amazing Lowcountry tradition, and to learn about free parking and offered shuttles. Most of all, make sure to come out and join in on all the fun.
By Lorna Hollifield