Bayfield Chamber and Visitor Bureau

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Blessing of the Fleet

June 11, 2017 at 1pm

History comes to life with the traditional Blessing Ceremony on Sunday at 1pm, as commercial fishing boats, tugs, powerboats, sailboats, excursion crafts, kayaks and rowboats parade through Bayfield’s City Harbor. As they pass by the tip of the pier, clergy from the Apostle Islands community grant each vessel a blessing for safe passage and a prosperous season on Lake Superior.

All boats in the Chequamegon Bay area are invited to participate in the ecumenical service and Blessing Ceremony. The service begins at 1pm in Memorial Park. From there, the clergy proceed to the City Dock to begin the Blessing. All are welcome at this event.

The United States Coast Guard Auxillary will direct the boats through the harbor via marine radio (VHF Channel 9) and/or megaphone. Boaters with questions concerning participation in this historic parade should contact the Bayfield Chamber and Visitor Bureau at (715) 779-3335.

To participate as a boater please out the Boater Registration Form and return it to the Bayfield Chamber and Visitor Bureau by June 10.

Lake Superior is Bayfield’s lifeblood. The Lake has drawn countless people to this area, from the Ojibwe, to the fur traders and missionaries, to commercial fishermen, and finally to tourists and pleasure boaters. In the late 1950’s Bayfield inaugurated the Blessing of the Fleet to honor its fishing families who formed the backbone of the area’s economy.

In the 1800’s fishing was second only to logging as Bayfield’s main industry. Millions of pounds of trout, whitefish and herring were harvested and exported throughout the United States. Although commercial fishing has declined since its early boom, many families still count on Lake Superior’s bounty for their livelihood. Although they now share the waters with a multitude of new vessels: charter fishing services, sightseeing tours, pleasure boaters, kayaks, canoes, and government craft, the pulse of the commercial fishing industry still runs strong in Bayfield, and its citizens are proud to honor this vital part of their Lake Superior Heritage.

In keeping with tradition, a Blessing of the Fleet music concert will be offered at the Bayfield Lakeside Pavilion on Saturday, June 10th, beginning at 5:30pm, as part of the Bayfield Summer Concert series. Please explore our calendar of events for other spring Bayfield activities.