Blessing of the Fleet held dockside in the Pass

PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) - With shrimping season just around the corner, some Gulf Coast boaters sailed through the waters of Pass Christian seeking prayer for a bountiful year.

Saturday marked the 35th Anniversary of the Blessing of the Fleet.

"This event works out of the great tradition that we have along the MS Gulf Coast of celebrating the great treasure of our waters and especially the richness of our waters where for so many generations people have made their livings, and for so many generations, people have shared the delicious seafood from which these waters produce," said Father Dennis Carvar.

"We want to make sure that all of our fishing vessels get blessed, so that they have a very safe and productive fishing season," Mary Bourdin with the Pass Christian Park Commission said.

Though fishermen have weathered many storms, the wind and choppy seas, kept the blessing event anchored dockside.

Still, plenty of pleasure boats joined the fishermen, sailing by to receive blessings for safe journeys.

"We have the priest at the end of the boat here; it's working out well. And we've had a lot of boats come that aren't even registered for the blessing," Renee Brooks, Alderman at Large said. "When they see the priest, they're bringing their boats around to get a blessing before they head out to catch some fish."

So whatever the catch this year, the fishermen and boaters know they will sail off with prayers for calm seas and a bountiful harvest.

The event wrapped up with a competition for the best decorated boat. All participants were eligible to receive the grand prize which included state of the art fishing gear.

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