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 7-9, which has historically attracted 35,000 visitors when the weather cooperated.
Admission is $5 for age 13 and older on Friday and Saturday. Twelve and under are admitted free with a paying adult. There is no admission for Sunday’s events.
The 49th 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 at 5 p.m. Friday, April 7, with arts and crafts booths, abundant amounts of food and dancing-on-the-lawn music. Enjoy live music at the Darien Waterfront Park at 7 p.m. with the sounds of The Swinging Medallions.
Art in the Park, a two-day juried art event that draws artistic talent from across the southeast, runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on April 8-9 in Vernon Square, just a few steps from the waterfront. Michael Hulett and his soulful saxophone are confirmed as an entertainer appearing from 2-4 p.m. April 8 and 12:30-2:30 p.m. April 9 at Art in the Park venue. Lawn chairs are welcome and encouraged to fully enjoy the entertainment.
The vendor booths and activities continue from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. April 8. Other Saturday activities include the 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. to 4 p.m. The entertainment will kick off on the waterfront at 7 p.m. 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.
April 9 opens with vendor booths and Art in the Park at 10 a.m. At 11 a.m enjoy religious rock and soul music on the Waterfront Park Stage. Then the core activity of Sunday’s parade of shrimp trawlers, each approaching the Darien Bridge to obtain a blessing for the coming year of fishing, begins at 2 p.m. Awards are announced at 4 p.m. with closing remarks and photo opportunities.
Visit the web site at www.BlessingoftheFleet.com or call 912-437-6684 for additional information.