Photos by Marco Mariano
By William Tauro
This past Saturday under cloudy skies over the Mystic River, the Annual Blessing of the Fleet Celebration took place.
The day began with the Blessing of the Boats Parade. As boats from Medford’s Mystic Wellington Yacht Club, Somerville’s Winter Hill Yacht Club and Riverside Yacht Club of Medford paraded along the Mystic River: Host Mystic Wellington Yacht Club Commodore Paul Moran, Father Paul Coughlin from St. Raphael Parish in Medford, Yacht Club Flag Officers from yacht clubs along the Mystic and Medford Mayor Stephanie Muccini Burke were on hand to help bless the boats and the waters of the Mystic to kick off the 2018 Summer season.
All the boats then returned to Mystic Wellington Yacht Club in Medford where friends and families celebrated a fun day of great food, music and dancing into the night.
Medford Mayor Stephanie Muccini Burke also stopped by and presented the Mystic Wellington Yacht Club Scholarship Awards that are presented annually to two Medford High School students.
The practice of the Blessing of the Boats began hundreds of years ago and has become an annual tradition. The actual Blessing the boats is believed to be a ritual to ensure a safe and bountiful season.