The 65th Annual Blessing of the Fleet in Bayou La Batre Sunday will have special significance for those who make their living in the seafood industry. The yearly event, where fishing vessels are blessed in a special ceremony by Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi, draws thousands to the Bayou.
Shrimp boats are spruced up to look their very best, decorated with colorful flags and bunting, while pleasure boaters also join in for the fun.
Last week’s rain and flooding left south Mobile County residents battered but not beaten. The Blessing of the Fleet kicks off the busy shrimp, crab and oyster harvesting season. It’s hoped last week’s flood waters and sewage overflows will not ruin the first weeks of a prime industry here on the Gulf Coast.
Sunday’s ceremony ends the two day event, which began Saturday. The Blessing of the Fleet involves many activities, including seafood specialties and special gumbo recipes, followed by music, a parade and finally the boat parade and the Archbishop’s blessing of the fishing vessels later in the afternoon.
Arts and crafts, children’s activities and boat tours will also be available.