NEW PORT RICHEY — The 40th Blessing of the Fleet is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Palm Sunday, April 13, at the Gulf Harbors Yacht Club.
The ceremony is open to the public and all boats are welcome. Spectators coming by land can view the event from the seawall of the Yacht Club at 3926 Marine Pkwy., New Port Richey.
A special invitation is extended to boat owners in Gulf Harbors Woodlands, Gulf Harbors, Sea Forest and surrounding communities. Skippers should bring their boats to the basin of the Yacht Club at 12:30 p.m. Sunday and monitor channel 68 for instructions.
Dignitaries are scheduled to appear, including Sheriff Chris Nocco, Pasco Commissioner Kathryn Starkey and Michael Ciminna, and aide to U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Palm Harbor. Commodore Kathy Hockenberry will begin the ceremony at 1:30 p.m. with the introduction of guests.
Gulf High School students will provide the music. William Rutherford will direct the color guard.
The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and Pasco County Sheriff’s Marine Patrol will provide boats to accompany the procession led by the Pasco County Marine Patrol down the channel and back to the Yacht Club Basin.
There the vessels will receive blessings from the Rev. Sebastian Earthedath, pastor of Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church. Blessing of the Fleet certificates will be issued to all participants.
Following the dockside service, all boats will follow the Marine patrol boat to the Gulf for the scattering of the ashes. The boats will then follow the Marine Patrol back to the Gulf Harbors Yacht Club to tour the facilities. The club offers waterside dining, along with facilities for weddings, banquets and parties.
For information call Fran Lampman at (727) 847-5462 or Hockenberry at (727) 844-7460.