Boats blessed at 84th Annual Blessing of the Fleet - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Boats blessed at 84th Annual Blessing of the Fleet

Shrimp Queen and Shrimp King. Shrimp Queen and Shrimp King.
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

The wreath was dropped and right behind it was a line of 61 boats, dressed and ready to be blessed.

"It's a privilege to connect to the richness of the history and tradition of the people," said Father Greg Barras.

One by one, the decorated boats awaited their turn to be blessed by Father Greg.

The Blessing of the Fleet started in 1929. Eighty-four years later, it's still going strong.

This was Father Greg's eighth year to be at the bow of the boat, with the holy water.

"The intention is that first of all, safety of the boats that go out to harvest the bounty of the sea," said Father Greg. "The second part is the hope. Each boat harvests a bountiful amount of seafood to bring back to support their families to support the local economy."

By his side was Shrimp King Richard Gollott and Queen Laura Weems.

"It's an honor. It's great," said Gollott. "Well, remembering the fishermen. I've had a lot of friends that have died in the industry and passed on and I just remember it's a solemn occasion. Blessing the boats for God to give them bountiful catches and good weather and keep them safe."

"It's an amazing feeling and truly a blessing to be able to represent the Biloxi shrimping industry as their queen," said Weems.

Weems is 17-years-old and her family has a long history on the water.

By her side was Richard Gollott, a man everyone said could not be more deserving of shrimp royalty.

"I think he's a great man. Works really hard at his job. I think he deserves this honor," said Gollot's 10-year-old grandson Grant Gollott.

"Richard Gollott has a longstanding history of commitment and dedication to the seafood industry," said Father Greg. "His love, his care has reached out to many others to get them working on the waters."

Side by side, with the sun beating down, the three recognized the importance of the symbolic day.

"People coming out to remember and celebrate their heritage and value not only the environment, but value family and tradition," said Father Greg.

With colorful boats and clear skies, many hoped the perfection of the day signified what would come for shrimp season 2013.

The decorative boat that received first place in the competition was, "Richard and Melonie"

Second place boat was "Captain Justin."

The boat that received the participation award was, "Da Boat."

Copyright 2013 WLOX. All rights reserved.

  • NEWSMore>>

  • Bay High Tigers are unbeaten in the Region 8-4A basketball ranks

    Bay High Tigers are unbeaten in the Region 8-4A basketball ranks

    Tuesday, January 16 2018 11:43 PM EST2018-01-17 04:43:39 GMT

    After 19 games the Bay High Tigers have posted 10 wins and 9 losses.  In the Region 8-4A ranks the Tigers are unbeaten with a 6-0.

    More >>

    After 19 games the Bay High Tigers have posted 10 wins and 9 losses.  In the Region 8-4A ranks the Tigers are unbeaten with a 6-0.

    More >>
  • LIST: Some South Mississippi schools cancel Wednesday classes because of cold

    LIST: Some South Mississippi schools cancel Wednesday classes because of cold

    Tuesday, January 16 2018 11:10 PM EST2018-01-17 04:10:56 GMT

    Another winter blast reaches South Mississippi Tuesday and the forecast includes the possibility of snow and ice in several counties in South Mississippi. So, some school administrators are taking no chances.

    More >>

    Another winter blast reaches South Mississippi Tuesday and the forecast includes the possibility of snow and ice in several counties in South Mississippi. So, some school administrators are taking no chances.

    More >>
  • House plan: Little change in aid to schools in next 2 years

    House plan: Little change in aid to schools in next 2 years

    Tuesday, January 16 2018 7:26 PM EST2018-01-17 00:26:04 GMT

    There would be little change in state aid to Mississippi public school districts in the next two years under a new funding formula being pushed by House Republican leaders.

    More >>

    There would be little change in state aid to Mississippi public school districts in the next two years under a new funding formula being pushed by House Republican leaders.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly