For 54 years, the annual Blessing of the Destin Fishing Fleet has taken place in the Destin Harbor on Ascension Day. On this day, local pastors gather to bless each charter fishing boat for safe passage and bountiful catches.
Today, the Blessing of the Fleet has grown—along with the community and its businesses—becoming a weeklong celebration starting Sunday, May 13 and continuing through Thursday, May 17.
After years of participation in the original blessing of the fleet, Capt. Mike Parker asked Father Mike Hesse of Immanuel Anglican Church if this blessing could be expanded to embrace the whole community. Father Mike heard this as confirmation of a discussion he had recently had with Mel Ponder. The then-City Council member had made the same suggestion, and so the clergyman got the two together.
The rest is history. Just as the business in Destin has expanded from the fishing industry into much more, so has the scope of this traditional one-day blessing, now known as Destin’s Week of Blessings.
Area churches, civic leaders and businesses will join together to offer a variety of additional faith-focused events over a five-day period under the banner Destin’s Week of Blessings.
Kicking off the week is the Blessing of the Families Sunday, May 13. This will be followed by a citywide day of prayer and fasting on Monday; a pastor-led Team Ministry Day Tuesday; and the Blessing of the Marketplace on Wednesday. The marketplace event takes place from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. Lunch will be provided at the Destin United Methodist Church located on Beach Drive. On Thursday, Destin’s Week of Blessings will end with the 55th Annual Blessing of the Fleet at Destin’s Fishing Fleet Marina. Service will begin at 4 p.m. with a fish fry for donation at 5:30.
The Week of Blessings preserves Destin’s character as a faith and family-oriented community and is intended to bless and support the Destin community.
For more information for about Destin’s Week of Blessings, visit www.destinblessings.com.