FORT PIERCE INLET AT 100
BOAT PARADE, BLESSING
U.S. COAST GUARD
A boat parade and blessing of the fleet on May 8 will be the
highlight of the monthlong celebration observing the 100th anniversary
of the opening of the Fort Pierce Inlet.
A centennial committee headed by Charles Hayek of Fort
Pierce has planned the celebrations throughout the month.
Three U.S. Coast Guard vessels will escort boats participating
in the parade and blessing. Boaters are asked to assemble
at the turning basin — the area where the Fort Pierce Inlet and
Indian River Lagoon meet — at 11 a.m. and follow the lead
Coast Guard vessel for an 11:30 a.m. parade starting time.
Parade officials will use VHF Channel 82 to keep in contact
with boaters throughout the parade. Roy Summerlin, a member
of the Summerlin family who fished in Fort Pierce long before the
inlet’s opening, has been named grand marshal of the parade.
The parade can be viewed from the causeway or from Museum
Park under the Peter P. Cobb Bridge, where a barbecue
will be held afterward.
After assembling in the turning basin, the parade will head
east through the inlet, making a U-turn approximately at
Manatee Island Bar & Grill. Boats heading west in the inlet will
then be blessed by the Rev. Canon Brust, rector of St. Andrew’s
Episcopal Church in Fort Pierce, and his wife, the Rev. Cynthia
Brust, also an Episcopal priest, both of whom will be aboard a
Coast Guard vessel. Captains are asked to give their boat name
on VHF just before approaching the Coast Guard vessel so that
boat names can be announced over the radio.
Owners of small crafts such as kayaks, canoes and jet skis
are asked to beach their vessels near the ramp at Causeway
Park for a blessing by the Rev. Yves Geffrard, pastor of Notre
Dame Catholic Church in Fort Pierce.
Fleet blessings by a local priest originated in Mediterranean
fishing communities in southern Europe an were meant to
ensure a safe and bountiful season.
For the latest updates on the centennial
celebration, visit fortpierceinletat100.com