Gussy Up Your Boat For Galilee's Blessing of the Fleet
The annual event on the last Saturday in July also features a competition for best design.
Every year on the last Saturday in July, vessels ranging from historic fishing boats to jet skis make their way to the Harbor of Refuge in Narragansett for the Blessing of the Fleet. The procession begins at about noon, as boats pass through the channel lined with spectators, Jerusalem to the left and Galilee to the right, to receive a sign of the cross from Father Francis Kayatta, pastor of St. Mary Star of the Sea Church. “Sailboats, canoes, anything you got,” says organizer Mark Deresienski. “Anyone who wants to be blessed.” Some festooned with flags or manned by a crew outfitted as pirates, the vessels compete for the best design. But the Blessing of the Fleet also stays true to its solemn roots, as names are read out. In addition to members of the Narragansett Lions Club who have died, Deresienski says “we’re honoring all the fishermen lost at sea from Galilee.”