All Aboard for Blessing of the Fleet

By MARIA SCANDALE | Jun 10, 2019
File Photo by: Margot Miller

Barnegat Light — A Barnegat Light maritime tradition falls on Father’s Day again this year. Blessing of the Fleet is Sunday, June 16. The ceremony begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Barnegat Light Yacht Basin, 18th Street and Bayview Avenue, next to the Viking Village commercial fishing dock.

Admission is free.

A dockside program including the U.S. Coast Guard, clergy from several area churches and musicians is the first portion of the event. After that, the public can board either the Miss Barnegat Light or the Carolyn Ann III for a free ride out the inlet and back. Other boat owners join in by water. The scene is memorable as the procession of boats rumbles out past the lighthouse and back, past clergy on a Coast Guard vessel who bestow a blessing on each one.

The ceremony has been held for the past 30 years to ask for blessings of safe passage for all the vessels that travel the waters, and bountiful returns for those who make their living on them, as last year’s program pronounced.  —M.S.

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