Two parades, one by land and one by water will launch Southport’s summer season: The Southport Street Parade and the Blessing of the Fleet. On Saturday, June 8, 2013 the Southport Street Parade will take off at 11am from Trinity Church parking lot and end at Southport’s Lower Wharf. It will feature five fife and drum corps and one pipe band, the Governor’s Horse Guard, various federal, state, and local dignitaries, and a delegation from Pequot Library.
Grand Marshal for the parade will be William P. Russell, Jr., President of Pequot Library’s Board of Trustees. Timothy Russell of The Russell Agency in Southport says, “It is an honor to have Bill Russell as our Grand Marshal. The Grand Marshal is chosen by committee to recognize a person whose conduct and actions show a deep commitment to the Village of Southport. Bill’s work, along with countless others, to restore Town funding to the Pequot Library shows that level of commitment. Bill joins a long line of notable Grand Marshals like Hoyt “Hop” Perry, Dr. Bill Kueffner, and Medal of Honor recipient Mike Daly. “
The fife and drum corps and pipe band will be: New York Ancients Fife & Drum Band, Bluff Point Quahog Digger Band of New England, Junior Colonials Fife & Drum from Westbrook, CT, Stony Creek Fife & Drum Corps, Mattituck Drum Band, and the Fairfield Gaelic Pipe Band.
The Blessing of the Fleet is a tradition that began centuries ago in Mediterranean fishing communities. Past commodore of the Pequot Yacht Club, Steve Galpin brought the Blessing of the Fleet to Southport Harbor almost 21 years ago. Mr. Galpin says “Our hope was, and is, that the Blessing of the Fleet would lead to safer boating in the summer for all who participate."
Starting at 12pm at Southport’s Lower Wharf, The Blessing of the Fleet will have fifty or more boats passing in review and blessed by five local members of the clergy: The Reverend Nicholas T. Porter and The Reverend Dawn Stegelmann of Trinity Episcopal Church, Revs. Laura and Paul Whitmore of Southport Congregational Church, and Deacon Daniel Ianiello of St. Thomas Aquinas RC Church in Fairfield. Dressed from their mastheads with decorative signal flags, sailboats, motorboats, and sometimes kayaks and canoes, pass under a giant arc of water pumped across Southport Harbor by a local fire engine. The boats will all be blessed by the clergy posted at the Lower Wharf’s fishing dock.
Eagle Hill School, located on the line of the march will be producing a pancake breakfast starting at 8:30am. Southport Congregational Church will be offering brownies with whipped cream, while at the Lower Wharf the Southport volunteer firemen will be serving hot dogs, with voluntary donations encouraged, and Parker Rodgers will supply popsicles. Look for a summer giveaway item from Trinity Episcopal Church, celebrating the Blessing of the Fleet and 150 years of being part of Southport's history!
The Russell Agency is a full service insurance agency serving Southport, Fairfield, Westport and all o Connecticut. Please stop in and see us when you are in Southport!