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28th annual Blessing of the Fleet set for April 1

Calling all boaters! The City of Jacksonville and Captains’ Club present the 28th annual Blessing of the Fleet, Sunday, April 1 at 2 p.m. This annual event will feature the blessing of vessels on the Northbank Riverfront of the St. Johns River.

The Blessing of the Fleet is a ceremony similar to those held in the Iberian and Mediterranean regions. The purpose of this annual event is to bless the armada to ask for good weather and safe boating conditions for the upcoming navigational season.

Boaters are encouraged to arrive downtown at 1:30 p.m. and tune in to VHF channel 72. There is no limitation on the size of the vessel and registration is free.

Participating vessels will be blessed by Father Kamal Al-Rahil of the St. George Antiochian Church. Father Al-Rahil will deliver the blessing from the Northbank Riverfront Park located at the Hogan Street gazebo between The Jacksonville Landing and the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts. The parade of boats can be observed from both the Northbank and Southbank.

Individuals without sea legs can take a stroll along the Riverwalk and enjoy the splendor of the St. Johns River while watching as each boat receives its blessing for the coming year.

On Sunday, April 1, the Main Street Bridge will be closed to vehicular traffic from 1:30 – 4 p.m. Hogan Street will be closed from Water Street to the St. Johns River from 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. Sister Cities Road will be closed beginning Friday, March 30 at 8 a.m. to Sunday, April 1 at 6 p.m. The St. Johns River will not be under any extra restrictions.

The 28th annual Blessing of the Fleet is part of the Make A Scene Downtown! Series. For more information, visit www.makeascenedowntown.com, call 904-630-3690, or e-mail events@coj.net.


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