Check Out the Ultimate Guide to the 2014 Blessing of the Fleet & Seafood Festival

  • Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Here is everything you need to know about Sunday’s annual Blessing of the Fleet held at Memorial Waterfront Park.

•Alcohol

Alcohol (Beer and Wine) is sold only in the Beer Garden in the Cooper River Room/Visitor’s Center or at the Pier Shop. Alcohol must be in a cup or can with koozie. No glass bottles. No alcohol is allowed in the playground or child activity area.


•ATM Access

ATMs are 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

Available inside the restrooms (Visitor’s Center/Pier Shop).


•Bands

Permanent Vacation will play on the main stage from 11:30 to 12:45 p.m. and then again from 1:45 to 3 p.m. The East Coast Party Band will play from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. Pete Ledbetter will play from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. on the end of the pier.


•Beneficiaries

East Cooper Meals on Wheels and the Charleston Port and Seafarers’ Society are the beneficiaries of this year’s Blessing of the Fleet proceeds.


•Blessing of the Fleet and Boat Parade

The Blessing Procession begins 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 & Seafarers Society and First United Methodist Church Youth Minister Harry Sewell are the ministers this year. The blessing lasts about 30 minutes. The Blessing is being 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

Parking is limited at Memorial Waterfront Park. There are free shuttle busses running continually from 11:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. 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 6:00 p.m.

Mathis Ferry Route - Durham School Services:

-East Cooper Medical Center, 2000 Hospital Drive (Exclusive Handicapped shuttle available at this location straight to park with no other stops.)

-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 - Lowcountry Loop:

-Farmers Market Pavilion/Moultrie Middle School, 645 Coleman Boulevard (Simmons Street side)• Cheryll Woods-Flowers Soccer Complex, 85 Patriots Point Boulevard


•Crafts for Kids presented by Art Buzz Kids

Free crafts are offered by Art Buzz Kids in the children’s area.


•Craft Show

Art and craft vendors are setup near the Sweetgrass Cultural Arts Pavilion. The craft show is available all day.

•Drinks

Available at most restaurant tents, the Pier Shop and at small food vendor booths.


•Exhibitors

• Department of Natural Resources

• US Coast Guard Auxiliary• Reptile Innovators

• CARTA


•Fishing

No fishing from the Pier during the festival.


•Golf Carts

Golf cart shuttles are offering free rides from the grass parking area. This is primarily for the disabled, elderly, pregnant women, and families with small children.


•Injuries/First Aid

Please visit the Mount Pleasant Firemen at the First Aid area on the back patio of the Sweetgrass Cultural Arts Pavilion.


•Kids’ Area

Fenced playground and in the lawn area between the playground and the Sweetgrass Cultural Arts Pavilion. Face painting, balloon art and magician are available for free. There will be Magic Shows with Cupcake the Clown at 3:00 and 5:00 on the Playground.


•Lost Children

Please send to Mount Pleasant Firemen at the First Aid area on the back patio of the Sweetgrass Cultural Arts Pavilion.


•Mount Pleasant Artist Guild

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


•Pets

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


•Pier

The pier is open throughout the event. The Blessing will be at the end of the pier at 1:00 p.m. No dogs/animals are allowed on the pier at any time. No fishing and no bicycles during the festival. Chairs may be set up on the pier.

•Pier Store

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


•Restaurants

We have 12 local restaurants and caterers serving up some of the Lowcountry’s finest seafood. Food tickets are not needed to purchase food. Menus are posted at each tent. Our event is inspected and permitted by DHEC.


•Restrooms

Located in and around the Visitor’s Center, Pier Shop, and on the roundabout circle between the pier and park.


•Shag Contest sponsored by Harris Teeter

4:20 p.m. at the main stage. No ticket needed to enter. Hosted by DJ Jimmy Bowers. Prizes sponsored by Harris Teeter.


•Shrimp Eating Contest sponsored by Gilligan’s Seafood Restaurant

4:30 p.m. at small stage. Purchase a raffle ticket for $1 for a chance to participate in the shrimp eating contest. 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. 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.


•T-Shirt and Merchandise Sales

All event merchandise is available at the tent in the middle of the Grand Lawn between the stage and the sponsor tents. Cash, MasterCard, and Visa accepted. Proceeds benefit the recipient charities. No checks are accepted.

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