Pass Christian Blessing Of The Fleet Celebration Resumes

PASS CHRISTIAN (WLOX) -- Pass Christian Alderman Anthony Hall is introducing his grand children to a fishing season tradition.

"I've been here all my life and always enjoyed the blessing of the fleet, getting the boats blessed before a good shrimp season," says the Ward 3 Alderman. "So, my grandkids, this is their first time, and I thought they might enjoy it."

This is the first year so many commercial and pleasure vessels have sought blessings for a safe and sound fishing season since Katrina. Hall sees it as another sign of the city's recovery.

"Not only from the rebuilding of the houses and businesses but the shrimping industry is also a vital part of Pass Christian and the harbor, and our commercial establishments out here are a big part of our city's recovery."

Pass Christian native Rimmer Covington's new Charter fishing service is one of those establishments.

"We always wanted to run those kinds of trips on the Gulf Coast," says Covington. "And we're going to be spending most of the summer here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast fishing for all the different offshore species."

And he too is seeking a blessed season.

"I'm waiting to get my spot in line right now," says Covington.

Ron Ladner's Shaggys Bar and Grill has been in business in the harbor for almost a year, and he's encouraged by the revival he's seen.

"The yacht club is almost finished," says Ladner. "A lot of the infrastructure has come back. We have a convenience store now, the gas station."

And that's a blessing everyone at this celebration considers already granted.

Around 35 boats received blessings for a safe and bountiful fishing season Sunday, from both Catholic and Episcopalian priests.