The Blessing of the Fleet & Seafood Festival is a beloved annual event, ranked as one of the top 20 by the Southeast Tourism Society. It’s been going on each spring for more than three decades.
It’s an opportunity to bless our local ships (many of them decorated), shrimpers and fisherman who are heading out to sea, praying for their safety and for a bountiful harvest to come.
Our local shrimpers are a hardy lot. But they’ve faced tough times, what with foreign competition, rising fuel and maintenance costs and other challenges. This is a chance for us in the community to express our appreciation and encourage them to keep on fishin.’
The blessing and boat parade are the core of the festival, but it’s grown into a full-fledged, day-long celebration of all things shrimp and beyond. There will be tons of tents with vendors, seafood of all sorts, beverages for all ages, an expansive arts and crafts area, kids’ activities and plenty of live music from the likes of the Shakin’ Martinis and the East Coast Party Band.
Be sure to check out the ever-popular Shrimp Eating Contest as well as the Shag Dance Competition. After all, the shag is the official state dance of South Carolina.
The venue is ideal and picturesque… underneath the Ravenel Bridge, overlooking Charleston Harbor, at Mount Pleasant Waterfront Memorial Park (99 Harry M. Hallman Jr. Boulevard). Admission is free, and proceeds go to local charities. Parking is also free, and there will be shuttles from ancillary lots around town. Check the website for all the details.