Blessing of the Fleet and Seafood Festival

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) - The Blessing of the Fleet and Seafood Festival has grown into such a recognized event that it has become a destination - spawning a week of activities centering on the shrimping industry.

It has outgrown its original venue and has been relocated to the new Memorial Waterfront Park at the foot of the Arthur Ravenel Bridge.

Mount Pleasant Mayor Billy Swails welcomed the move and looked forward to greater attendance this year. "The Blessing of the Fleet at Alhambra Hall and Park has attracted an increasingly larger crowd over the years.

Its popularity has overwhelmed vehicle and pedestrian routes in the Old Village and has posed a serious challenge to public safety, thus prompting the need for a new home," he said. "Our Memorial Waterfront Park will provide an unmatched panoramic view of the fleet, a state-of-the-art playground, and sprawling lawns for our chefs, our crafters and our artist guild. Handicapped parking and handicapped access will be greatly enhanced and ample parking will accommodate the more than 12,000 people who attend the festival each year. This is a perfect fit. You'll come for the spectacular views of our shrimping fleet and you'll stay for our award-winning seafood, our shag dancing contest, and other exciting activities centering on our local maritime culture."

Presenting sponsor East Cooper Medical Center is leading sponsorship pledges said Town of Mount Pleasant Special Event Planner Nicole Harvey. "Inquiries are coming in steadily and highlight the civic commitment of our local businesses. An added bonus is the higher visibility of our new venue. Attendance will include visitors accessing the Sweetgrass Cultural Arts Pavilion and the Visitor Center."

The festival wraps up a week of activities centering on the shrimping industry. They will include lectures, cooking demonstrations, dancing on the pier and more!