40th Blessing of the Fleet draws crowd

40th Blessing of the Fleet draws crowd
Clergy members blessed each vessel as it passed by during the processional. (Photo source: WLOX News)
Clergy members blessed each vessel as it passed by during the processional. (Photo source: WLOX News)

PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) - The 40th Blessing of the Fleet brought the community together for a Gulf Coast tradition on Sunday.

Locals gathered at Pass Christian Harbor for food, dancing and a boat parade. Around a dozen boats departed the Harbor, and traveled around a large stationary yacht.

On board were Father Michael Vu and the Rev. David Faulkner, who both blessed each vessel as it passed.

Originally a Catholic ritual, the Blessing of the Fleet has become a staple in the fishing industry as a symbol of good luck.

"We have all our boats go out and get blessed by the priests for a good harvest, and bountiful catch, and without the headaches and hassles that come with it," said ship captain Phillip Dardar.

However, Dardar knows not to leave his job up to fate.

"We've had bad seasons with a blessing, and without a blessing that's just part of our career and what we do. Fishing is chicken and feathers -one week you get to eat the chicken, next week you're eating feathers," Dardar added.

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