The 32nd annual Blessing of the Fleet & Seafood Festival at Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park featured the boat parade, shrimp-eating contest, shag dancing competition, craft show and other activities on Sunday, April 28, 2019.
The Annual Blessing of the Fleet & Seafood Festival was presented by Harris Teeter and East Cooper Medical Center and is one of the most highly anticipated events of the year! The festival pays tribute to Mount Pleasant’s local shrimping and fishing industry. Participants are treated to a boat parade and ceremonial blessing of the shrimp/fishing fleet, savory seafood samplings sold by some of Mount Pleasant’s best restaurants, live music, a craft show, Mount Pleasant Artists Guild art exhibition, Shag and shrimp-eating contests, and family-friendly activities.
There are over a dozen Lowcountry shrimping boats that call Shem Creek home.
On Sunday, most of them participated in the traditional Blessing of the Fleet by driving by the Waterfront Park Pier while a minister prayed over their season. Mount Pleasant Mayor Will Haynie says this is part of what makes the town such a great place.
“There are not many towns with their own shrimping fleet. It’s a blessing to us and them,” Haynie says.
Some shrimpers say this could be their last year at their docks if the Army Corps of Engineers decides to move forward with their plan of filling in sections of Crab Bank Island. Their original plan could close the mouth to Shem Creek in as little as two years.
The town of Mount Pleasant hired their own specialist to find the best place to put that dredging material but the study hasn’t been completed yet. They say once it is, they will continue to work with the Army Corps of Engineers to form a plan.
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