Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Blessing of the Fleet

The stone crab boats are lined up for Everglades City’s annual blessing of the fleet on the Barron River. SUBMITTED PHOTO

The stone crab boats are lined up for Everglades City’s annual blessing of the fleet on the Barron River. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Submitted

Before you know it, we’ll be eating delicious fresh stone crab claws again, but do we think about the boats that go out at 4 AM each morning, whatever the weather?

They will set their traps soon to pull them up laden with the rare local goodies on Oct. 15, when the season for harvesting officially begins.

To make sure they have a good send off, Everglades City is holding its annual “Blessing of the Stone Crab Fleet” on Saturday, Sept. 27, at the historic Rod & Gun Club on the Barron River. The event runs 1-4 PM with fun for the entire family. There will be arts and crafts booths, music and a frog-jumping contest for the kiddies before local pastors bless

A tradition, the Coconut Guava Cake Baking Contest features this local specialty, and the winner takes home $100.

A tradition, the Coconut Guava Cake Baking Contest features this local specialty, and the winner takes home $100.

each boat at 2 PM. Contest results will be announced after the blessing.

New events this year are a Stone Crab Art Contest for youngsters and a Stone Crab Story Contest for middle and high school students. The winners of the art contest will have their pictures hung in the Museum of the Everglades during October and the winning stories will be printed in “The Mullet Rapper” (www.evergladesmulletrapper.com).

One traditional highlight is the Coconut Guava Cake Baking Contest with a prize of $100 to the winner. Recipes for this local specialty have been handed down over the years and remain family secrets.

The celebration is being organized by the Everglades Society for Historic Preservation (www.evergladeshistorical.org). For more information, call 239-260-4577 or follow us on FaceBook (www.facebook.com/pages/Blessing-of-the-Stone-Crab-Fleet/102906976439347).

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