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Posted on: April 28, 2017

Great Tips to Enjoy the 30th Annual Blessing of the Fleet & Seafood Festival

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30th Annual Blessing of the Fleet & Seafood Festival
Memorial Waterfront Park
Sunday, April 30, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

ATMs:
ATMs are available outside the Beer Garden (Visitor’s Center) and near the playground. As with all ATMs, there is a fee for use.

Beneficiaries: East Cooper Meals on Wheels and Charleston Port & Seafarers’ Society are the beneficiaries of this year’s proceeds.

Blessing of the Fleet and Boat Parade: The Blessing Procession begins at approximately 12:45 p.m. at the pier plaza and the Blessing Boat Parade will begin at 1:00 at the end of the pier. Father Len Williams of the Charleston Port & Seafarers Society and Reverend Ted Duvall of Christ Church are the ministers this year. The Blessing lasts about 45 minutes. The Blessing is being broadcast live on 94.3 WSC and will be played from the stage for those who remain in the park.

Bus Routes: Parking is limited at Memorial Waterfront Park. Free shuttle buses run continually from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. A dedicated handicapped accessible bus will run continually throughout the event from East Cooper Medical Center to the park and a handicapped accessible van will run from the Cheryll Woods-Flowers Sports Complex at Patriots Point. Riders are welcome to bring chairs and festival gear on the bus! The last bus will leave the park at 5 p.m.

Bus 1 & 2:
• East Cooper Medical Center, Mullis Building, 851 Leonard Fulghum Blvd.
• James B. Edwards Elementary, 855 Von Kolnitz Road

Bus 3 (handicapped accessible):
• East Cooper Medical Center, Mullis Building, 851 Leonard Fulghum Blvd.

Bus 4:
• Town Hall, 100 Ann Edwards Lane (Bus will stop in front of Town Hall near the CARTA Route 40 stop…ride CARTA & skip driving entirely!)

Bus 5:
• Farmers Market Pavilion/Moultrie Middle School, 645 Coleman Boulevard (Simmons Street side)

Children’s Activities: Free art activities are offered by Fear No Easel in the lawn area between the Craft Show and the fenced-in playground, which includes a brand-new toddler area modeled after the Yorktown. Face painting, balloon art and magician are available for free. There will be Magic Shows with Cupcake the Clown at 2:30 and 4:30 in the playground.

Craft Show: Art and craft vendors are setup near the Sweetgrass Cultural Arts Pavilion.

Drinks: Available at most restaurant tents, the Pier Shop and at small food vendor booths. There is a craft beer garden in the Cooper River Room for participants 21 years old and over.

Entertainment: Saluda Shoals will play on the main stage from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The East Coast Party Band will play from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Island Duo will play in the Pier Plaza, The Charlestones will sing midway down the pier and Nick Collins will play at the end of the pier at 2 p.m.

Exhibitors: CARTA, SC Department of Natural Resources, Mount Pleasant Artists Guild, Mount Pleasant Waterworks, South Carolina Aquarium, Town of Mount Pleasant Stormwater Division and Historical Commission, US Coast Guard Auxiliary, Mount Pleasant Community Arts Center Committee

First Aid: The Mount Pleasant Fire Department will have a First Aid tent on the back side of the Visitor’s Center next to the Cooper River Room.

Fishing: No fishing from the Pier during the festival.

Food & Beverage: 11 local restaurants and caterers will serve up some of the Lowcountry’s finest seafood. Food tickets are NOT needed to purchase food. Menus are posted at each tent. Beer & Wine is sold only in the Beer Garden in the Cooper River Room/Visitor’s Center and at the Pier Shop. Alcohol must be in a cup or can with koozie. No glass bottles. No alcohol is allowed in the playground or child activity area. Please drink responsibly! Public intoxication and other alcohol related offenses will be enforced.

Golf Carts: Golf cart shuttles are offering free rides from the grass parking area. This is primarily for the disabled, elderly, pregnant women, and families with small children.

 Lost Children:
Please go to the Mount Pleasant Fire Department First Aid tent on the back side of the Visitor’s Center next to the Cooper River Room.

Mount Pleasant Artists Guild: The Mount Pleasant Artists Guild is presenting its annual display in the lawn area near the War Memorial and pier shop. Free of charge. Vote for the People’s Choice Award!

Pets: We love pets, but we do not recommend bringing them as there are large crowds and a lot of activity/noise at this event.

Pier: The pier is open throughout the event. The Blessing will be at the end of the pier at 1:00 p.m. No dogs/animals are allowed on the pier at any time. No fishing and no bicycles during the festival. Chairs may be set up on the pier.

Restrooms: Located in and around the Visitor’s Center, Pier Shop, and on the roundabout circle between the pier and park.

Riverwatch Café: The pier shop is run by Charleston County Parks and Recreation, which sells food and beverages along with gift items.

Shag Contest sponsored by Harris Teeter: 4:00 p.m. on the lawn in front of the stages. No ticket needed to enter. Hosted by DJ Jimmy Bowers. Prizes sponsored by Harris Teeter.

Shrimp Eating Contest sponsored by Gilligan’s Seafood Restaurant: 3:30 p.m. on the stage. Purchase a raffle ticket for $1 for a chance to participate in the shrimp eating contest. Must be over 18 to participate. Meet at the stage lawn area for ticket drawing. Maximum of 10 participants. Local shrimp and prizes provided by Gilligan’s Seafood Restaurant.

Tents: Festival goers cannot set up tents or large umbrellas that will obstruct the view of others.

T-Shirt and Merchandise Sales: All event merchandise is available at the tent behind the Visitor’s Center. Cash, MasterCard, and Visa accepted. Proceeds benefit this year’s charities. No checks are accepted.
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