Bayfield and Pinehurst celebrate the blessing of the fleet

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blessing of the fleet imageAs spring is coming to an end and summer is rapidly approaching so comes the boating season upon Lake Superior and the Apostle Islands. Every year the Bayfield community offers a blessing to all of the boaters for a safe and plentiful season – this is called the Blessing of the Fleet.

History comes to life with the traditional Blessing Ceremony this Sunday, June 12th at 1:00pm: commercial fishing boats, tugs, powerboats, sailboats, excursion and transportation craft, and rowboats parade through Bayfield’s City Harbor. As they pass by the tip of the pier, clergy from the Apostle Islands community grant each vessel a blessing for safe passage and a prosperous season on Lake Superior. Lake Superior is Bayfield’s lifeblood. The Lake has drawn countless people to this area, from the Ojibwe, to the fur traders and missionaries, to commercial fishermen, and finally to tourists and pleasure boaters. In the late 1950’s Bayfield inaugurated the Blessing of the Fleet to honor its fishing families who formed the backbone of the area’s economy.

This event is open to all boaters, from kayaks and rowboats to fishing and sailboats. The Ferry Line has even been known to bring a few of their boats through for the annual blessing. Come to Memorial Park for a brief ecumenical service before the ceremony and then enjoy seeing the variety of boats get their blessing for a happy, safe and bountiful boating season.

If you are interested in participating in the Blessing, feel free to contact the Bayfield Chamber with any questions at 715-779-3335 or email Erin at erin@bayfield.org.

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