2014 Blessing of the Fleet and Decorated Boat ParadeThe Blessing of the Fleet and Decorated Boat Parade will take place at 1:30 pm on the Amelia River, Sunday May 4th, during the 51st Annual Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival that runs May 2 – 4, 2014.

Home to the birthplace of the modern shrimping industry, Fernandina Beach holds this annual festival to celebrate our shrimp fleet and show other communities that we support wild caught shrimp.

Do you want to bring your boat to Fernandina Beach for this exciting water parade? Visit ShrimpFestival.com and fill out your application today.

The Blessing of the Fleet takes place around the world with each port praying for a bountiful season. In Maryland, they celebrate to open the oyster harvesting season, here on Amelia Island, we seek blessings for plentiful shrimp. The Priest says a prayer and asks for a safe and productive travel as shrimp boats, commercial vessels, recreational and pleasure crafts line up to be blessed with a sprinkling of Holy Water. This traditional ceremony came to Amelia Island with the immigrants that settled here from Mediterranean fishing communities.

Prizes will be awarded to the Best Decorated Shrimp Boat and all participating boats are invited to be in the Boat Parade and the Blessing of the Fleet.

Even if you don’t have a boat, you will still want to make it to the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival for shrimp, fun, arts, crafts, antiques, entertainment and scores of pirates!

There is NO admission fee to attend!

Festival hours are Friday, May 2, 6:00 to 10:30 pm; Saturday, May 3, 9:00 am to 6:00 pm; and on Sunday the festival is open from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

For more information about entertainment, contests and where to “Park and Ride” please visit ShrimpFestival.com.

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