The festival pays tribute to Mount Pleasant’s local shrimping and fishing industry, offering a boat parade, live music, craft show and lots of free activities with the picturesque Ravenel Bridge and Charleston Harbor for a backdrop! The event is scheduled for June 28, 2020 at Mt Pleasant's Waterfront Park.
As we have highlighted over the previous few weeks, commercial fishing and shrimping is not for the faint of heart. Boats frequently spend a week or more at sea, often dealing with dangerous weather and equipment as they work to bring in those gifts from the sea. Due to the danger faced by these rugged individuals centuries ago, Mediterranean fleets began the tradition of blessing the fleet to ensure their safe return with a bountiful harvest. Immigrants to the east coast of the U.S. brought the tradition with them, which has spread to many ports and harbors.
The Mount Pleasant Blessing of the Fleet and Seafood Festival was started in the late 1980s by the Magwood family, local shrimpers based on Shem Creek, to continue the age-old tradition with a Lowcountry flavor. The Festival is a fundraiser that distributes proceeds to worthy non-profits. Over the years, the event has grown into one of the most popular and fun activities in the region.
Did you know that South Carolina has a state dance? It's called The Shag and is thought to have originated in the African-American community in the Lowcountry during the 1930s. The dance gained in popularity since the 40s as it was often paired with "beach music". That perfect combination of dance and music will also be a part of the Blessing of the Fleet and Seafood Festival. Don't know how? Dust off your dancing shoes during our lock-down and check out the multiple YouTube tutorials. You can learn a new skill and get some exercise!
As we finish our 7th week at home, don't forget to take the MtP History at Home ArtWork Challenge #MtPGiftsfromtheSea. We invite the children of the community to help us promote our past and cultivate an interest in our history through their eyes with this simple challenge.
Here's how it works:
All submissions are eligible for display at the Mt. Pleasant Historical Commission table at The Blessing of the Fleet and Seafood Festival scheduled for June 28th, 2020.
Stay safe Mount Pleasant!
Blessing of the Fleet & Seafood Festival
For more information: Experiencemountpleasant.com: Blessing of the Fleet & Seafood Festival and Post and Courier (April 24, 2013)
Image Credit: Post and Courier (April 24, 2013)
The Town of Mount Pleasant Historical Commission releases Quick Fact Fridays about the history of Mount Pleasant and about the Commission, its programs and activities. Historical facts are drawn largely from the Our History section of the Town's website and the Commission's own Mount Pleasant Historical website and app. Follow their links by clicking on the images below to discover what makes Mount Pleasant such a distinctive historical place! To receive Quick Fact Friday messages click here to subscribe. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you're interested in learning more about a particular Mount Pleasant history topic!
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