25th Annual Blessing of the Fleet Sails in Pass Christian

This weekend the 25th annual Blessing of the Fleet sailed through Pass Christian. Tradition calls for seafood boats to line up for a blessing to insure safe passage and a prosperous season. However, many of those who take part in the Blessing also have another tradition, party time. For the Necaise family and a boat load of friends the event means it's time to kick up their heels and have a good time. They say the blessing of the Captain Joby is a good reason for them to celebrate together.

Donna Getman said "We have food all day. We start on Saturday with our decoration, and everybody parties on Saturday and again on Sunday."

Although he's been boarded by Indians and pirates in past Blessings, this year the Captain Joby was a time machine carrying passengers back to the fifties. The day was full of colorful poodle skirts, hair grease and the sound of golden oldies.

"Every year we pick out a theme while we're on the boat together," said Charlotte Banks. "Then we take about a week to get everything together and do what we want to do."

Everyone from the young to the young at heart seemed to enjoy watching the brightly colored boats sail by. However, to board this boat you must become one of the gang. If you ride you've got to dress up. . The Necaises and their friends say they are already making plans for the next Blessing of the Fleet but who they will show up as is a secret that they will never tell.

About 30 boats were blessed in the Pass Christian Harbor. Biloxi's Blessing of the Fleet will be next Sunday at 1 p.m.

by Danielle Thomas