Blessing the Fleet ceremonies held

Blessing the fleet
The 50th Blessing of the Fleet on Sunday, May 1, began with a parade of boats. Led by the Chesapeake Breeze and Captain Linwood Bowis, vessels both large and small, for work and play, made their way down Cockrell Creek to start the service. Principal speaker Larry Chowning, who has written extensively about the lives of those working these water, spoke about the “diverse, significant and positive role the menhaden fishery has played in the life struggle of so many Tidewater Virginia families.” In addition to singing from the choirs of Bethany United Methodist Church, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church and the Reedville Festival Halle Chorus, the Kilmarnock and District Pipe Band played selected songs during the service. Harbormaster Charles Williams III, accompanied by the Northumberland High School ROTC, concluded the ceremony by placing a memorial wreath on Cockrell Creek in remembrance of those lost at sea. Photo by Jackie Nunnery