Cape Charles Virginia Blessing of the Fleet and Maritime Heritage Celebration

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The opening of crab season will have a special significance this year as the Town of Cape Charles and the Northampton County Chamber of Commerce launch The Blessing of the Fleet and Celebration of Our Maritime Heritage on April 4, 2008.

At 5:00pm, five members of the local clergy will board the Coast Guard vessel to pay homage to the 30 to 45 commercial fishing boats that will come into the Cape Charles Town Harbor from all over the Chesapeake Bay Region. In keeping with the long tradition of the Blessing of the Fleet that occurs all over the world, Mayor Dora Sullivan will begin the formal ceremony which will include the tolling of bells in memory of lost watermen, a cannon salute and the tossing of a memorial wreath into the Cape Charles Harbor. Council Member, Christopher Bannon will be the Master of Ceremonies. The children’s choir from the Cape Charles Baptist Church will sing the National Anthem and Eternal Father.

A grand celebration with food and music will follow at the Town Harbor under the leadership of Harbor Master, Smitty Dize.

Crabs donated by the watermen will be steamed and sold with monies raised going to the local Watermen Associations.

The Cape Charles Volunteer Fire Department will prepare their distinctive “fire house” clam chowder, crab cakes and steamed clams. Deserts specially prepared by the Culinary Arts Students from the Northampton County High School and the local and exceptionally fine wine from Holly Grove vineyard will also be available along with hotdogs, hamburgers and turkey legs for the expected crowds. Beer and soda are also being sold to wash down these fine foods.

Music will be provided by Salt Grass, an Eastern Shore traditional bluegrass and gospel band.

This is a true celebration of local treasurers. Everyone who loves the things the Eastern Shore has to offer should plan to attend.

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