Blessing of the Fleet goes on in Biloxi - - The News for South Mississippi

Blessing of the Fleet goes on in Biloxi

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  • Biloxi shrimp king "honored" to serve his community

    Biloxi shrimp king "honored" to serve his community

    Friday, June 4 2010 5:10 PM EDT2010-06-04 21:10:19 GMT
    Friday, June 4 2010 6:08 PM EDT2010-06-04 22:08:17 GMT
    By Steve Phillips – bio | email BILOXI, MS  (WLOX) - Sherman Canaan of Biloxi grew up in the seafood industry, shucking oysters and working in the canning factories. The 71-year-old is proud to serve as this year's Shrimp King for the annual blessing of the fleet. Shrimp and oyster boats have been harvesting area waters for many generations. Sherman Canaan's family is a part of that proud heritage. Despite hurricanes, rising fuel prices and now a threatening oil...More >>
    The 2010 Biloxi Shrimp King is excited to serve in that position.  Sherman Canaan said when he learned he'd been chosen, he joked, "I didn't know I was that old!" The 71-year-old grew up in the seafood industry in Biloxi, shucking oysters before school and later working in the seafood factories.More >>

By Michelle Lady - e-mail

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Neither oil nor rain could stop Gulf Coast residents from taking part in the 81st annual Blessing of the Fleet in Biloxi. Boats of all shapes and sizes came out Sunday for a very important blessing, one many say is needed now more than ever.

"Even though the oil spill is out there, that it can't stop the people of Biloxi from celebrating where we come from," 2010 Shrimp Queen Brooke Kuluz said.

Nearly 60 boats cruised the Biloxi channel to be blessed for a safe and bountiful season. Blessing of the Fleet Chairperson Brian Gollott said, "This is a year we really need blessings for our shrimpers, commercial fishermen, and everybody involved in the industry."

Blessings are perhaps the only thing that can keep the oil from washing ashore.

Fr. Greg Barras said, "The oil spill is out there. We don't know the devastation and long term effects of it, but right now there are enough areas of the Gulf open for the harvesting of the shrimp. And we are thankful and grateful for that."

While the boats lined up to be blessed, Fr. Barras said he believes there is already a blessing bestowed upon them. 

"They are out with the open shrimp season and they are trolling. That is the most wonderful blessing," Fr. Barras said.

"I am very very supportive of the boats that came out and took time out to come here and get blessed," Gollott said. "This just shows you the determination of the people on the coast. They go through Katrina, oil spill, we'll survive this."

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