A Prayer & A Party: The 8th Annual Chatham Blessing of the Fleet

Plan on kicking off your Memorial Day Weekend at our 8th Annual Chatham Blessing of the Fleet at the Chatham Fish Pier.

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On Saturday, May 28th, we’ll honor a longstanding fishing community tradition; the blessing of our fishing fleet to ensure a safe and bountiful season for our fishermen. It is a centuries-old tradition in fishing communities around the world and a decades-old one on Cape Cod. The ceremony begins at 11:00 a.m. with a blessing offered by Reverend McGurk, of St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church in Chatham, after which we’ll set a ceremonial wreath out to sea to honor lost loved ones. Prayers will be read by W.O.F.F. members, as well as children from Chatham Elementary School and area fishing families.  DSC_0253 (2) (530x800)

Musical performances during the blessing include a song from the SeaFire Kids, Sarah Marchio playing bagpipes, a performance by the Monomoy Regional High School Handbell Choir, and Brooke Linnell and Laura Barabe singing. The blessing is nondenominational and people of all faiths are welcome.

After the prayer comes the party.

We’ll have live music from the SeaFire Kids, featuring W.O.F.F.’s own Shannon Eldredge, along with Russell Kingman, and Brett and Danielle Tolley. Libations will be available for purchase to get everyone into party-mode, as will coffee, chowder, chili, clam cakes and a raw bar to keep everybody fueled up for the fun. We’ll also have new ‘W.O.F.F. Wear’ items available. seafire

For the kids – and kids at heart – we’ll have fishy face painting, a sea critter touch tub, surprise fishing games, and ‘survival suit dips’ where kids can put on a survival suit and lay in a pool of ice to get an idea of how it feels for the fishermen to don one for protection in cold water.

This fun-for-all-ages event is free and open to the public. Donations are encouraged! All proceeds benefit the Women of Fishing Families, a 501-C3 non-profit organization supporting fishermen beyond the boat since 2006. DSC_0004 (2) (531x800)

The Details:

When: Saturday, May 28th from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Where: Chatham Fish Pier, corner of Shore Road & Barcliff Avenue, Chatham

Parking: Chatham Elementary School, 147 Depot Road; free shuttle service to pier runs from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Our thanks to these local businesses for so generously donating food and spirits: