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Wind makes blessings come to the boats at Pass Christian Blessing of the Fleet

The high winds on Saturday kept the boats in the harbor, but the blessings were brought to...
The high winds on Saturday kept the boats in the harbor, but the blessings were brought to where they sat during the 44th annual Pass Christian Blessing of the Fleet.(wlox)
Published: May. 21, 2022 at 6:01 PM CDT
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PASS CHRISTIAN, Miss. (WLOX) - The wind gusts kept the boats at the docks for the 44th annual Pass Christian Blessing of the Fleet on Saturday.

So, instead of the boats coming to the blessing, the blessing came to the boats.

The pandemic sidelined the festivities in 2020 and 2021. Organizers decided to make the come-back event into a party.

“I wanted to bring this back and I wanted to bring it back in a very good style,” said organizer Kirk Kimball. “I wanted to take it back off the mantle, dust it off, polish it, put it back where it belongs, put it in safe place. We really wanted to do this in style and this is the first of many.”

Darlene Forte, wife of King Fisherman Jerry Forte, was happy to see it back.

“I’m so glad that we started the blessing of the fleet,” she said. “We missed it. It’s a wonderful function to bless the boats and get them ready for the shrimp season.”

Roscoe Liebig, owner of Roscoe’s Live Bait Works, added that the fishermen need the blessings, and then some.

“We need about three times,” he said. “The price of fuel is up to $4.70 a gallon, and the price of shrimp dropped down about 60 cents a pound.”

Liebig has been a shrimper for 18 years. Selling bait is how he makes ends meet.

Fishermen have had a rough few years, and this season isn’t looking too good either – not for the lack of shrimp. The Louisiana catch is looking good. But for the cost of hauling them in.

“It’s going to be a hard one,” Liebig added. “I mean a lot of these boats, they do shrimp, we do live bait. But they’re going to burning so much fuel, they will be trading their fuel money for the shrimp. They’re just going to be trading out. They’re going to catch shrimp, they’re going to unload shrimp and then they’re going to fill their boat back up with fuel and hopefully make a dollar or break even.”

That’s where blessings come in.

“It’s one of those things that we want to continue to do,” Kimball added. “This is vital to our economy. This whole harbor is an economy all to itself.”

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