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51st Annual Blessing of the Fleet Festival

Friday, April 5 – Sunday, April 7, 2019

Darien, Georgia – 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 5-7, 2019, which has historically attracted 35,000 visitors when the weather cooperated.

 

The 51st 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 on Friday, April  5, at 5 pm with arts and crafts booths, abundant amounts of food and dancing-on-the-lawn music.  Bring a blanket or chair and enjoy live music at the beautiful Darien Waterfront Park Friday at 7 p.m., with the coastal sounds of The Grains of Sand Band with a view of the decorated shrimp fleet.

 

Art in The Park, a two-day juried art event that draws artistic talent from across the Southeast, is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 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 12 until 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. until 5 p.m. 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 will continue on Saturday morning at 10 a.m. and remain open until 10 p.m.  Other Saturday activities include the  The YMCA Blessing of the Feet 5-K River Run/Walk at 8 a.m., the Street Parade with a military and Scottish color guard, and the annual Classic Car Show from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.  The entertainment will kick off on the waterfront at 7:00pm as The Tams rev-up the evening on the Waterfront Stage. Then the evening comes to a close with a grand fireworks display at 9 p.m.

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. The Slackwater Band will take the stage immediately following the Marine Parade.  The closing ceremony will begin at 4pm , with the  awards being announced, 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.

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