Pass Christian to revive ‘Blessing of the Fleet’

A coastal tradition, the Blessing of the Fleet, is returning to Pass Christian after years.
Published: May. 11, 2022 at 3:40 PM CDT
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PASS CHRISTIAN, Miss. (WLOX) - A coastal tradition, the Blessing of the Fleet, is returning to Pass Christian after years.

The fleet blessing is a tradition that dates back about 85 years. It’s essentially a send-off for fisherman and a launch of the new shrimp season.

Observers can expect live music from the local Starz Band to fill the air, multiple vendors to take over the green space and both recreational and commercial vessels to cruise the water.

Each boat will pass through the channel for a blessing. Pastors will bless the fleet, the waters for storms and the community itself.

Three years have passed since fleets have been blessed in Pass Christian.

“The fishing industry has carried us through ages. This is an economy all to itself,” Ward III City Alderman Kirk Kimball told WLOX. “This has been our industry forever. As you can see, it’s probably taking up almost half of the town as you drive by. This is a great, great thing to have for our city.”

Kimball is also serving as Chairman of the 2022 festival.

He said he has watched the community lose interest in the waterfront celebration over the years, so it is important for him to revive that fishing industry pride.

“I remember as a child growing up, this was one of the greatest experiences ever. And it brought the town together, too, besides Mardi Gras,” he said. “And as the 2000′s progressed, it’s kinda gone down.”

The Blessing of the Fleet festival is next Saturday, May 21 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Pass Christian Harbor.

The actual blessing will take place at noon.

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