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  • Writer's pictureDerek Sirois

The Blessing Of The Fleet: A Local Tradition

Updated: Mar 17

The annual Blessing of the Fleet is a long-standing tradition in Destin, Florida. This event is a beloved celebration of the fishing community, its heritage, and its faith. The ceremony is held in the Destin Harbor, where hundreds of boats gather for a special blessing from a local priest.

The Blessing of the Fleet typically takes place in the spring, just before the start of the busy fishing season. The ceremony begins with a parade of boats, which sail through the harbor and past the priest who is standing on a dock. Each boat is decorated with flags and banners, and many of the boats carry family and friends of the fishermen who are on board.

The priest blesses each boat as it passes by, sprinkling holy water on the boats and their crews. This tradition dates back to ancient times when seafarers would ask for divine protection and guidance before setting sail. The Blessing of the Fleet has been celebrated in many coastal communities around the world for centuries, and it remains a meaningful and symbolic event in Destin.

After the blessing, the boats return to the harbor, and the celebrations continue with live music, food, and drinks. Many people gather on the docks to watch the festivities and enjoy the lively atmosphere. The event also includes a crowning of the "Miss Destin" pageant winner, as well as other family-friendly activities.

The Blessing of the Fleet is a reminder of the important role that fishing plays in the history and culture of Destin. The fishing industry has been a crucial part of the community for generations, and the ceremony serves as a way to honor and recognize the sacrifices and hard work of the fishermen who risk their lives every day to provide seafood for the community.

In conclusion, the Blessing of the Fleet is a unique and special event that brings together the entire Destin community. It celebrates the traditions and faith of the fishing community, while also recognizing the importance of this industry to the local economy and way of life. The Blessing of the Fleet is a testament to the enduring spirit of Destin and the people who call it home.

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