Blessing, shrimp fest is this weekend

The 83rd annual presentation of the4 Blessing of the Fleet and Shrimp Festival, one of Biloxi’s time-honored traditions, takes place this weekend.

On Friday, the festivities will begin at 5 p.m. with a reception honoring all past royalty and this year’s 2012 King and Queen Contestants. The event is being held in conjunction with the Department of Marine Resources Great Mississippi Seafood Cook-off, a preliminary to the Great American Seafood Cook-off held in New Orleans annually. Entertainment for the evening is Steve Sekul. This event is open to the public and will be held at the Slavonian Lodge, 159 Maple St.

The Blessing Mass at St. Michael Catholic Church, located on Highway 90, will be on Saturday, June 2 at 4 p.m. The Fais Do-Do – a French term loosely translated as “street dance” — will be held Saturday on the Biloxi Town Green from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. The affair will include continuous live entertainment, craft vendors, local artisans, and fresh seafood dishes. Admission is $5.00. This festive party will climax at 5:30 p.m. with the coronation of the King and Queen, then beginning at 7:00pm the band Isis will perform.

On Sunday, the ceremonial wreath dropping takes place at 2 p.m. Boats will form in the west end of the Biloxi Channel near the Beau Rivage Casino and then parade east in the Biloxi Channel. Shrimp and recreational boats are welcome to receive blessing for a safe and bountiful season. Boat participants do not need applications. Cash prizes will be given; $1,000 will be given to the 1st place best-decorated boat, $500 will be given to 2nd best decorated boat, and a $500.00 participation award will be given to a selected boat. For more information please go to the Biloxi Blessing of the Fleet web site.