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Annual Blessing of the Fleet Festival Returns to Thunderbolt
Legacy Tradition Returns to the Coastal Empire with Parade and One-Day Festival
The Town of Thunderbolt announces the return of the second annual Blessing of the Fleet under Mayor Dana Williams’ administration. This year's festival is presented by Tubby’s Tank House and planned for Saturday, April 29, 2023 from 11am to 4pm on River Drive along the Wilmington River in Thunderbolt.
The day kicks off with a parade down River Drive, where five food trucks and more than 90 vendors have confirmed attendance, as well as stage performances, live music, and other various entertainment throughout the day. Attendees can also enjoy a beer garden (VIP area for sponsors), and of course the blessing, by Bishop Parkes of the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Savannah.
Originally celebrated as a way to pay tribute to Thunderbolt’s vibrant shrimping and fishing industries, the day now seeks to honor the legacy of the community’s foundation. On hiatus since the 1980s, the festival triumphantly returned in 2022 with more than 3,000 in attendance. The Blessing of the Fleet tradition started in the early 1900’s, where a priest or pastor brought all the shrimp boats together and blessed them for a successful, safe, and prosperous shrimping season. Over the years shrimp boats and other vessels were included in the Blessing. Thunderbolt will continue to honor the Town’s community and legacy, by providing events to strengthen, educate, and improve community development. Thunderbolt will continue to honor the Town’s community and legacy, by providing events to strengthen, educate, and improve community development.
Thunderbolt Mayor Williams, along with town council members and town administration, have worked to develop a community events calendar, establishing its 2023 agenda to include seven family-friendly events in Thunderbolt. “For years, everyone has been talking about the return of the Blessing, and I wanted to do it: To bring our people together and celebrate our town’s unique history,” says Mayor Williams. For up-to-date information on all things Thunderbolt, please visit www.botfga.com.