Special to the Enterprise
As spring starts arriving on the coast of Georgia, the little fishing village of historic Darien readies itself for the annual three-day Blessing of the Fleet Festival on the weekend of April 12 – 14, 2013 which has historically attracted 35,000 visitors when the weather cooperated.
The 45th annual festival attracts food vendors with delicious offerings, craft vendors with must-have items, Classic Car Show and a juried art show that draws artistic talent from across the Southeast. There is a 5K Run/Walk, Street Parade, Marine Parade, and numerous live performances at two entertainment venues.
The fun will begin Friday, April 12, at 5 pm with arts and crafts booths, abundant amounts of food and dancing-on-the-lawn music. Enjoy live music at the Darien Waterfront Park at 7pm, Friday, with the sounds of Nashville recording artist Brent Browning and the County Line Band.
Art In The Park, a two-day juried art event that draws artistic talent from across the southeast, runs from 10am to 5pm on Saturday and Sunday in Vernon Square, just a few steps from the waterfront. Michael Hulett and his soulful saxophone are confirmed as an entertainer appearing on Saturday from 2 until 4pm and Sunday from 12:30 until 2:30pm at Art In The Park venue. There’s nothing like strolling under the stately Live Oaks in a beautiful city park, listening to live jazz performers, sipping lemonade and viewing beautiful works of art including Painting, Sculpture, Photography, Drawing, and Fine Crafts (fiber art, pottery, jewelry, stained glass). Lawn chairs are welcome and encouraged to fully enjoy the entertainment.
The vendor booths and activities continue Saturday morning at 10am and remain open until 10pm. Other Saturday activities include the 5-K River Run/Walk at 8am, the Street Parade with a military and Scottish color guard and the annual Classic Car Show from 11am until 4pm. The entertainment will kick off on the waterfront at 4:00pm with some great musical acts including Soul Gravy, Mason Waters and the Groove All-Stars andVic Waters will rev-up the evening at 7pm on the Waterfront Stage. Then the evening comes to a close with a grand fireworks display at 9pm.
Sunday morning opens with vendor booths and Art in the Park at 10am. At 11am enjoy religious rock and soul music on the Waterfront Park Stage. Then the core activity of Sunday’s magnificent parade of shrimp trawlers, each approaching the Darien Bridge to obtain a blessing for the coming year of fishing, begins at 2pm. Flags and banners wave, while people cheer and diesel engines rumble. It is truly a sight to behold. Awards are announced at 4pm with closing remarks and photo opportunities.
Admission is $5 for age 13 and up on Friday and Saturday. Twelve and under are admitted free with a paying adult. There is no admission charge for Sunday’s events. Visit the web site at www.BlessingoftheFleet.com or call 912-437-6684 for additional information.