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Blessing of Fleet April 16-18

Annual festival focuses on waterfront

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POSTED: April 6, 2010 2:22 p.m.
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Shrimp boat owners deck out their rigs for the parade that accompanies the blessing.

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DARIEN - Spring has arrived on the coast of Georgia and to celebrate, McIntosh County puts on a festival that draws crowds from near and far.
You'll want to be in historic Darien on the weekend of April 16-18 for the 42nd annual Blessing of the Fleet.
Through time the event has grown, but it retains the core activity of Sunday's magnificent parade of shrimp trawlers, each approaching the Darien Bridge to obtain a blessing for the coming year of fishing. Flags and banners wave, while people cheer and diesel engines rumble. It is truly a sight to behold.
The festival attracts food vendors with delicious offerings, craft vendors with must-have items, Classic Car Show and a juried art show that draws artistic talent from across the Southeast. Kids' activities like the Fishing Rodeo and Shrimpbox Derby are perennial favorites along with the games, helicopter rides and the Kids Zone, located under the bridge.
The fun will begin Friday at 5 pm with arts and crafts, food and children's activities. The Waterfront Park will come alive at 7 pm with the music of the Mike Miller Band followed by the Grammy and CMA award-winning SHENANDOAH Band. Top-notch entertainment will also be in the Waterfront Park Saturday evening with the Second Chance Band at 7 p.m. and a fireworks display at 9.
The 5K River Run/Walk is slated for Saturday morning at 8 followed by a street parade led by a kilt-clad Scottish color guard and a U.S. Army color guard. The vendor booths and activities will open at 10 and remain open until 10 p.m. Saturday.
There's nothing like strolling under the stately oaks in a beautiful city park, listening to live entertainment and viewing beautiful art work. Art in the Park will once again be a two-day event, running from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday in Vernon Square, just a few steps from the waterfront. Michael Hulett and his soulful saxophone are confirmed as an entertainer on both days. Additional entertainment will be present along with a student art exhibit and a tent with kids' art and craft activities.
Admission is $5 for age 13 and up on Friday and Saturday. Twelve and under are admitted free with a paying adult. There is no admission charge for Sunday's events. Visit the web site at www.BlessingoftheFleet.com or call 912-437-6684 for additional information.

 

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