Lakewood Yacht Club’s activities calendar stays full year round, but the Annual Blessing of the Fleet is one of the longest-standing traditions at the club that members look forward to each spring.
This year’s Blessing will take place March 31 on the club’s beautifully decorated grounds in front of many members and guests who will dress for the occasion. Men will don their white slacks and blazers, and the ladies will raid their wardrobes for classy nautical attire.
“Each year, members who have recently joined Lakewood, those who have purchased a new vessel, long-term members who have not previously christened their boat and those who enjoy the ceremony and want to re-christen their boat, participate in this afternoon of celebration and naval tradition,” says LYC Fleet Captain Gary Romer.
“Participating boats Dress Shipand participants invite friends and family to join them in celebrating the christening of their boat, the blessing of the Lakewood fleet and the opening of the Club’s sailing season.”
Traditional Irish bagpipers as well as the Clear Springs High School Marching Band will be on-hand to help observe the occasion. Each Blessing participant will be introduced, have a little information about their boat shared with the guests and then will receive a Lakewood Burgee, commemorative plaque and a bottle of champagne to bathe the bow.
Members will be able to enjoy a fun-filled weekend that includes a crawfish boil on Saturday night, and then on Sunday, a Champagne Brunch, the Blessing ceremony, a poolside soiree, and a post-ceremony Tour de Fleet, where participants host guests aboard their boats.
The act of “Blessing of the Fleet” has been observed among boaters as a fun celebration as well as a formal blessing; a tradition that dates back thousands of years.