What you need to know for Blessing of the Fleet

  • Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Join the fleet and its captains as the season is blessed for a bountiful harvest Sunday. PHOTO PROVIDED

The 26th annual Blessing of the Fleet & Seafood Festival presented by East Cooper Medical Center will be held Sunday, April 28 from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Memorial Waterfront Park, 99 Harry M. Hallman Jr. Boulevard.

Everything you need to know:

Alcohol

Alcohol is sold only in the Beer Garden in the Cooper River Room/Visitor's Center. The Pier Shop also sells beer and wine. Coolers are allowed.

Alcohol must be in a cup or can with koozie. No glass bottles. No alcohol is allowed in the playground or child activity area.

Artist Guild


The Mount Pleasant Artists Guild will present its annual display in the tent near the War Memorial and Pier Shop. Free of charge.

Vote for the People's Choice Award.

ATM Access


ATMs will be available outside the Beer Garden (Visitor's Center) and near the Pier Shop. As with all ATMs, there is a fee for use.

Baby Changing


Stations will be available inside the restrooms (Visitor's Center/Pier Shop).

Bands


Southwood will play from 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. and then again from 1:45 – 3 p.m.

The East Coast Party Band will play at 3 until 6 p.m.

Beneficiary


The Charleston Port and Seafarers' Society is the beneficiary of this year's Blessing of the Fleet proceeds.

Boat Parade


The Blessing Procession will begin at 12:45 p.m. and the Blessing will begin at 1 p.m. at the Blessing Stage at the end of the pier.

Father Len Williams of the Charleston Port and Seafarers Society and Father John Parker of Holy Ascension Orthodox Church are the ministers this year.

The blessing lasts about 30 minutes.

The Blessing will be broadcast live on 94.3 WSC and will be played in the park from the end of the pier for those who don't want to walk to the end of the pier.

Bus Routes


There will be three free shuttle busses running continuously from 11:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Dedicated Route


A dedicated handicapped accessible bus will run continually throughout the event from East Cooper Medical Center to the park.

Riders are welcome to bring their chairs and festival gear on the bus.

The last bus will leave the park at 6 p.m.

Mathis Ferry Route:


• East Cooper Medical Center, 2000 Hospital Drive (Handicapped shuttle available at this location.)

• Former Miller/Baker Cadillac, 512 Johnnie Dodds Boulevard

• James B. Edwards Elementary, 855 Von Kolnitz Road

• Laing Middle School, 1560 Mathis Ferry Road

Coleman/Patriots Point Route:


• Farmers Market Pavilion/Moultrie Middle School, 645 Coleman Boulevard

• Cheryll Woods-Flowers Soccer Complex, 85 Patriots Point Boulevard

• Charleston Harbor Resort Pavilion Lot only, 20 Patriots Point Road

Crafts

Free crafts will be offered by ArtBuzz Kids in the children's area.

Craft Show


The arts and craft vendors will be setup near the Sweetgrass Cultural Arts Pavilion. The craft show will be available all day.

Drinks


Will be available at most restaurant tents, the Pier Shop and at small food vendor booths.

Exhibitors


• Birds of Prey

• Department of Natural Resources

• Reptile Innovators

• Mount Pleasant Land Conservatory

• CARTA

Fishing


No fishing from the pier during the festival.

Golf Carts


Free golf cart shuttles will offer rides from the grass parking area. This is primarily for the disabled, elderly, pregnant women, and families with small children.

Injuries/First Aid


See firemen at First Aid area on Visitor's Center porch.

Kids Area


Kids can play in the fenced playground and in the lawn area between the playground and the Sweetgrass Cultural Arts Pavilion. Face painting, balloon art and magician will be available for free. There will be Magic Shows with Cupcake the Clown at 3:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. on the playground.

Lost Children


See firemen at First Aid Area on Visitor's Center porch.

Pets


Town staff love pets, but please leave them at home for this event.

Pier


The pier will be open throughout the event. The Blessing will be at the end of the pier at 1 p.m. No dogs/animals are allowed on the pier. No fishing during the festival. Chairs may be set up on the pier. Coolers can be taken on the pier. No bicycles on the pier during the festival.

Pier Store


The pier store is run by Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission. They are selling food and beverages along with gift items.

Restaurants


There will be 11 Mount Pleasant seafood restaurants serving up some of the Lowcountry's finest seafood. Food tickets are not needed to purchase food. Each restaurant is responsible for its own money. Menus are posted at each tent. The event is inspected and permitted by DHEC.

Restrooms


Located in the Visitor's Center, next to the Pier Shop, and on roundabout circle between pier and park. Handicap-accessible bathroom are also available in the Visitors Center, in the restroom near the Pier Shop and on the roundabout circle between the pier and park.


Shag Contest At 4:20 p.m. at the main stage. No ticket is needed to enter. Hosted by DJ Jimmy Bowers. Prizes sponsored by Piggly Wiggly.

Shrimp Eating


4:30 p.m. at small stage. Purchase a raffle ticket for $1 for a chance to participate in the shrimp eating contest. You must be over 18 to participate. Meet at small stage for drawing of tickets. Max: 10 participants. Prizes sponsored by Gilligan's Seafood Restaurant. Local Shrimp provided by Gilligan's Seafood Restaurant. The event is hosted by Tom Crawford of WCIV Channel 4.

Tents


Festival goers cannot set up tents or large umbrellas that will obstruct the view of others.

Sales


All event merchandise will be available at the tent in the middle of the Grand Lawn between the stage and the sponsor tents. Cash, MC, Discover and Visa accepted. Proceeds benefit the recipient charity. No checks are accepted.

Artists Guild


The Mount Pleasant Artists Guild will be presenting its annual display in the tent near the War Memorial and Pier Shop. Free of charge. Vote for the People's Choice Award.

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