Scroll down for more information

Click here to go to the Our Lady of the Rivers Shrine website for more information about the statue.

Blessing of the Fleet updates are also posted on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/BlessingoftheFleetSTL

  • HOME
  • Press
  • Poster
  • Benefit
  • Schedule
  • Boat Parade
  • Awards
  • Directions
  • Photos
  • Supporters
  • History
  • Past Themes
  • Winners
  • Board
  • Contact

Want to own the STL250 Cake that has been on display at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Rivers? Well here's your chance! The STL250 cakes that have been displayed around the area are being auctioned off to help fund the 1764 Society to create Founders Plaza located around the statue of Pierre Laclede that stands west of St. Louis City Hall. More information here: https://www.biddingforgood.com/auction/auctionhome.action?auctionId=228222228 Direct link to the bidding on the cake at the Shrine: https://www.biddingforgood.com/auction/item/item.action?id=228227940

 

 

 

 

 

 

Update October 20th, 2014:

Blessing of the Fleet committee meeting of 10/18/2014 highlights:

  • Theme for 2015 will be "Gilligan's Island".  Side note - the cast just celebrated its 50th anniversary.  1st episode aired September 26th, 1964.  Several other great themes were suggested and will probably come up again in the future.
  • Benefit for the Blessing of the Fleet will be Saturday June 20th, 2015, tentative location is Yacht Club of St. Louis.  Format, including the "Great Ball Splash and Grab" will be similar.
  • Blessing of the Fleet / Parade of Boats will be the third Saturday in July as is custom, actual date is Saturday July 18th, 2015.  Considerable discussion about pushing the date back due to floods but the bottom line is we can push it back but if we set it too late in the year that option is gone.  Parade routes will remain the same.  Judges will be on the deck at Palisades Yacht Club, awards will be presented at the LaRosa Cabana Bar / My River Home Marina.
  • Karen Brncic and Maureen Absolon will be working on getting together 8 "Marina Prize Packages" to be given to each winner in the Blessing of the Fleet.  So, if you are or know any marina owners point them towards Karen or Maureen.  This will be in addition to the plaques traditionally given to the winners.  Discussion centered on weekend dock rental prizes or their equivalent.  We will probably do a random drawing and allow each winner to pick a prize package rather than set a particular one to a specific class.  Similar to how the prizes are awarded at the "Great Ball Splash and Grab".
  • Maureen will again be spearheading the gathering of prizes for the "Great Ball Splash and Grab" at the Benefit.
  • Poster design contest.  In the next couple of weeks we will be putting out a press release and a big part of it will be a whole new way to come up with the annual poster design.  We will have an open competition where the public can submit their designs, the winning design will get some sort of VIP treatment the day of the Blessing and the poster will have the designer's name on it.  Still working on details but this will be fun.  Dave Stolze, who prints the posters at no charge, usually had his graphics guy do them.  He left the company a few years back and I've been doing them just so we could have them ready for the St. Louis Boat Show.  This year the Boat Show starts later (March 4th) so we will have time to do this and get them printed and distributed.
  • Donation to the Shrine of Our Lady of the Rivers.  This year we were able to donate to the ongoing planned renovations to the statue thanks to all our supporters and those that participated in the Benefit for the Blessing.  Without the statue there would be no Blessing of the Fleet.  This is something we can all be proud of.

Thanks to all,
Darryll Weil, President, Blessing of the Fleet Inc.

 

The planned renovations of the Shrine of Our Lady of the Rivers are well underway. We are proud to have been able to contribute to the upkeep of the Shrine Thanks to our supporters, particularly those that come to our annual Benefit for the Blessing of the Fleet. Here's a photo from Mark Newlin of Portage des Sioux of the work going on.

Shrine renovations by Mark Newlin

Update August 15th 2014:

Posted pictures of this year's Blessing of the Fleet / Parade of Boats from Lisa and Maureen. Click here or on the Photos tab to see all the pics.

Update August 10th 2014:

Fox2Now has the video about the Blessing of the Fleet on their website at http://fox2now.com/2014/08/09/blessing-of-the-fleet-happens-after-flood-delay/

Update August 9th 2014:

Today is the day! Here's a screen cap from http://fox2now.com/2014/07/02/weekends-on-the-web/

Update on 8/7/2014:

Friday August 8th at 10 AM members of the Blessing of the Fleet will be on KSKD Channel 5's "Show Me St. Louis". Click HERE or scroll down for a video from last year's appearance.

Update on 7/31/2014:

Approximate Entertainment schedule the day of the Blessing of the Fleet:

9 AM Longshot Saloon / My River Home Poker Run begins.

9:30 Gypsy Rose Pirate Ship at LongShot's courtesy dock shooting off cannon as Poker Run starts.
The Gypsy Rose will be available for viewing until about Noon.

11 AM to 7 PM Chris's Smoke House Food Truck at Palisades Yacht Club.

Mike's LaRosa Cabana Bar and Longshot Saloon will have food available all day.

11:30 AM Unleashed Entertainment DJ at Palisades Yacht Club.

2 PM to 6 PM River City Blues Band at Mike's LaRosa Cabana Bar.

2:15 to about 3:30 PM Blessing of the Fleet / Parade of Boats passes. Awards given to winners.

After Awards are done the band PUSH plays poolside at Palisades Yacht Club.

6 PM Longshot Saloon / My River Home Poker Run boats return.

8 PM to Midnight the band Hotrod Moped plays at Longshot Saloon / My River Home

Update on 7/28/2014:

The STL250 Cake is back in place at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Rivers. Flood waters have receded and the Shrine site is cleaned up and ready for the Blessing of the Fleet / Parade of Boats.

stl250 cake

Update on 7/20/2014:

Blessing of the Fleet new date has been set for Saturday August 9th

The 57th Annual Blessing of the Fleet / Parade of Boats will be held on Saturday, August 9th, 2014. Theme for decorating is "Noah's Ark". The only changes at this time are the Antique and Classic Boat Society / Mississippi Valley Chapter will not be able to attend and Captain Dutch Hauhe will turn over lead boat duties to his Co-Captain of previous years Randy Bicknese. All other aspects and times will remain the same. Upper Pool Parade will begin in front of Yacht Club of St. Louis at 1 PM, Lower Pool Parade will begin at Alton Marina at 1 PM, both parades will merge and pass the Shrine of Our Lady of the Rivers at 2:15 PM. All boaters are welcome to join the parades at any point along the routes.
More information is available on the Blessing website at www.BlessingoftheFleetSTL.com and www.RiverBills.com
We will be asking for volunteers to assist in cleaning up the Our Lady of the Rivers Shrine site in the next week or so. Anyone that can help in removing the debris or that may have chainsaws and bobcat type equipment to remove the trees that have been left behind by the flood waters would be especially helpful. Cleanup date will be posted on the Blesing website and RiverBills.com.
Darryll Weil, President, Blessing of the Fleet, Inc. Telephone 314-303-2819

FOX2News new boat "AquaFOX" is scheduled to be in the parade filming along with a crew on shore. Many Thanks to them and Joel Rauch of State A Mind Watersports.

AquaFOX
In the photo above: Chris Higgins from FOX2, Joel Rauch from State A Mind and Darryll Weil, President, Blessing of the Fleet Inc.

Update on 7/15/2014:

Interview on FOX2 about the Blessing of the Fleet being postponed.

Update on 7/7/2014:

Blessing of the Fleet is being postponed indefinitely.
Due to the flooding currently going on it has become necessary to postpone the Blessing of the Fleet. Once the level on the Grafton gauge drops below 21 feet we will need at least a week to allow for cleanup of the Shrine of Our Lady of the Rivers site, local roads and businesses. Currently Palisades Yacht Club is closed and Longshot Saloon / My River Home is using the rear entrance off of LeClaire Street, the LaRosa Cabana Bar is closed. Current projections show about 22.7 on July 19th, the original date. Check the Blessing website at www.blessingofthefleetstl.com and www.riverbills.com for updates. Here is a link to the Mississippi River at Grafton gauge for reference. http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=lsx&gage=grfi2&prob_type=stage
Darryll Weil, President, Blessing of the Fleet Inc.

Update on 6/30/2014:

Just a heads up for anyone wanting to participate in the Blessing of the Fleet. The 57th Annual Blessing of the Fleet scheduled for Saturday July 19th may be at risk of being postponed. River level projections now call for Grafton to go to 25.9 feet about July 11th before falling slowly. Critical levels at Portage des Sioux are in the 21 to 21.5 foot range. I will be posting updates both on the Blessing website at www.blessingofthefleetstl.com and facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/BlessingoftheFleetSTL If you want a simple page to bookmark to keep an eye on the levels I have one at http://www.riverwebcams.com/river.html that shows current radar, weather and river gauge graphs.
Darryll Weil, President, Blessing of the Fleet

Update on 6/16/2014:

The Benefit for the Blessing of the Fleet held at Alton Marina on June 14th, 2014 more than doubled our expectations! We had the transient docks full with lots of fun people all weekend. The pool party and "Great Ball Splash and Grab" on Saturday was a blast. Many Thanks to everyone. I must mention a few that went way beyond all weekend. First off my Maureen who put all the great prizes together, then Karen Baker Brncic, manager of Alton Marina, her harbormaster Greg Brown and all their great staff. The "D" Dock DJs Scotty and Craig, RiverBills.com Bill Kelley and the RiverBills girls Sherri and Jill, members of the Blessing committee Charles and Marilyn Aten, Karlan and Caryl Kastendieck, Janet Rogliardi, "Follow Me" boat Captains Dutch Hauhe and John Bloch and many others that just pitched in to help with anything. Click here to see some pictures taken by Lisa Hickey.

Darryll Weil, President, Blessing of the Fleet Inc.

Update on 6/10/2014: It's getting closer! Got our Coast Guard approval for this year's Blessing of the Fleet / Parade of Boats on Saturday July 19th. Many Thanks to Charles Aten for taking care of this again this year. Hope to see everyone at this year's Benefit for the Blessing of the Fleet this coming Saturday at Alton Marina.

Benefit on Saturday June 14th update: Talked to Karen from Alton Marina this evening. Had questions about food the day of the Benefit. Here's what Alton Marina has planned. BBQ Meal will be $7.95 / Pulled Pork Sandwich or quarter pound Brat with a choice of two of the following….Baked Beans….Potato Salad….Chips on Saturday. They will also have a one man band / Karaoke playing after the Benefit poolside. Their deli will have breakfast available each morning also. Sounds like we don't have to worry about going hungry or having something to do. See you all this weekend!

USCG Approval screen cap

"Like" us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BlessingoftheFleetSTL

Fun Trivia Fact: According to the Social Security Administration Noah was the most popular baby name for boys in 2013!
It ended the 14 year run of Jacob being the most popular.

Make your reservations now for a fun weekend at Alton Marina.
Two (2) nights slip rental for the price of one (1) night!
Full information on the "Benefit" tab.

Benefit for the Blessing of the Fleet raffle prizes so far, more added as they come in, check back often.

Check out the baby quilt hand made by one of our Judges, Barbara Rhoades! Size is about 33 X 40, this is just one of the great prizes available.

Click here to see all the prizes

 

The Shrine of Our Lady of the Rivers (where the Blessing of the Fleet takes place) in Portage des Sioux MO was one of the locations selected for the "Cakeway to the West" celebrating the St. Louis area's 250th Birthday. It will be on display at the entrance to the Shrine through the end of 2014. More information on the cakes can be found on the organization's website http://www.stl250.org/ More pictures are posted on the Shrine's website http://ourladyoftheriversshrine.org/

 

 

 

 

 

Hand made model of the Blessing of the Fleet by Glenn Folkerts

Click here to see all the pictures

 

MANY THANKS TO ALL OUR PARTICIPANTS AND HELPERS!

7/20/2013 Nice article in the Alton Telegraph this morning about the Blessing of the Fleet. http://www.thetelegraph.com/news/local/article_f0c27f74-f0ba-11e2-8d08-001a4bcf6878.html

7/17/2013 Some members of the Blessing of the Fleet committee were on KSDK Channel 5 Show Me St. Louis program Wednesday July 17th promoting the upcoming Blessing on Saturday, July 20th 2013. Maureen's grandbaby Camden was definitely the scene stealer!

 

7/17/2013 Blessing of the Fleet update:
Talked to Dave Wann, Events Coordinator for the Mississippi Valley Chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society, sounds like they will not only have a good group of antique runabouts but several antique cruisers also!

Don't have a boat and want to be in the Blessing of the Fleet Boat Parade? Here's a solution!

Hakuna Matata

Grafton Harbor’s new tour boat Hakuna Matata will be joining the 2013 Blessing of the Fleet. The cost of the Blessing Tour will be $40.00 per person. This will include pulled pork sandwiches, chips and dip and dessert. We will have a cash bar and tons of fun if anyone would like to join us! Call them for reservations at 618-786-7678.

Sounds like KSDK Channel 5 will be there videoing the Parade again this year. Watch their newscast Saturday or do like we are doing and set your DVRs to record it! So when you pass the Judges stand be sure and ham it up! Lots of smiling and waving!

7/15/2013 Click HERE to read the article in the Alton Daily News about this year's Blessing along with audio clip from WBGZ radio.

STLToday.com had a nice article about the Blessing in Sundays paper. Here's a link to it:

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/blessing-of-the-fleet-today-features-mark-twain-theme/article_e2e6bb16-d344-11e1-82d6-001a4bcf6878.html

Channel 5 was on site during the Blessing and had video and a story on the evening news Saturday.

Heartland Boating Magazine posted a reminder about the Blessing of the Fleet on their Facebook page.  We had sent them the event information a few months ago and it has been running in the magazine since.  Here's a direct link to their facebook page so you can "Share" the posting on your pages.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/HeartLand-Boating-Magazine/100608114445

There are many great places to view each section of the parade. Palisades Yacht Club and Longshots Saloon / My River Home Marina in Portage des Sioux immediately upstream from the Shrine, The Boathouse Food & Deck at North Shore Marina, Alton Marina and the Alton Riverfront park, Grafton Harbor, the Grafton Riverfront park, the Loading Dock in Grafton to name a few. Several of these locations will have entertainment, food and drink specials during and after the parade. Here's an incomplete list:

Palisades Yacht Club, 1670 Riverview Drive, Portage des Sioux, MO 63373

Longshot Saloon / My River Home Marina, 1545 Riverview Drive, Portage des Sioux, MO 63373
Outdoor bar and tent by their courtesy docks.

The Boathouse Food & Deck, 601 North Shore Drive, St. Charles, MO 63301
The Boathouse's large decks to view the parade.

Grafton Harbor, 215 West Water Street, Grafton, Illinois 62037

Alton Marina, 1 Henry Street, Alton, Illinois 62002

The Loading Dock Bar & Grill, 400 Front Street, Grafton, Illinois 62037

The Alton Telegraph newspaper has a very nice article about the Blessing of the Fleet in today's (7/13/2012) edition.  Here's a direct link to it:

http://www.thetelegraph.com/articles/spectators-72974-blessing-year.html

Click HERE to read the article in the Alton Telegraph about the 2011 Blessing of the Fleet!

 

Update on 7/20/2014:

Blessing of the Fleet new date has been set for Saturday August 9th

The 57th Annual Blessing of the Fleet / Parade of Boats will be held on Saturday, August 9th, 2014. Theme for decorating is "Noah's Ark". The only changes at this time are the Antique and Classic Boat Society / Mississippi Valley Chapter will not be able to attend and Captain Dutch Hauhe will turn over lead boat duties to his Co-Captain of previous years Randy Bicknese. All other aspects and times will remain the same. Upper Pool Parade will begin in front of Yacht Club of St. Louis at 1 PM, Lower Pool Parade will begin at Alton Marina at 1 PM, both parades will merge and pass the Shrine of Our Lady of the Rivers at 2:15 PM. All boaters are welcome to join the parades at any point along the routes.
More information is available on the Blessing website at www.BlessingoftheFleetSTL.com and www.RiverBills.com
We will be asking for volunteers to assist in cleaning up the Our Lady of the Rivers Shrine site in the next week or so. Anyone that can help in removing the debris or that may have chainsaws and bobcat type equipment to remove the trees that have been left behind by the flood waters would be especially helpful. Cleanup date will be posted on the Blesing website and RiverBills.com.
Darryll Weil, President, Blessing of the Fleet, Inc. Telephone 314-303-2819

FOX2News new boat "AquaFOX" is scheduled to be in the parade filming along with a crew on shore. Many Thanks to them and Joel Rauch of State A Mind Watersports.

 

2014 Press Release, click HERE or on picture below to view / download the full Adobe Acrobat pdf file for printing.

Press Release, click for Adobe Acrobat pdf file for printing

BENEFIT TO HELP CONTINUE THIS 57 YEAR TRADITION

SATURDAY JUNE 14TH, 2014 AT THE BEAUTIFUL ALTON MARINA

Update 6/10/2014: Talked to Karen from Alton Marina this evening. Had questions about food the day of the Benefit. Here's what Alton Marina has planned. BBQ Meal will be $7.95 / Pulled Pork Sandwich or quarter pound Brat with a choice of two of the following….Baked Beans….Potato Salad….Chips on Saturday. They will also have a one man band / Karaoke playing after the Benefit poolside. Their deli will have breakfast available each morning also. Sounds like we don't have to worry about going hungry or having something to do. See you all this weekend!

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE RAFFLE PRIZES, MORE ADDED OFTEN

This event is held to raise the funds to keep the Blessing of the Fleet going from year to year.
Saturday afternoon from about 2 to 6 there will be a Pool Party, music poolside by the “D Dock DJs the official DJs of www.RiverBills.com”, raffle prizes, t-shirt sales, the RiverBills Girls, and the “GREAT BALL SPLASH AND GRAB” raffle (it involves the pool).

The "RiverBills" girls from www.riverbills.com will be there selling raffle tickets!

Many of our fellow boaters are already planning on making this a weekend boating getaway by arriving at Alton Marina on Friday to take advantage of the "2 NIGHTS DOCKING FOR THE PRICE OF 1" offered by Alton Marina. Great way to make it a full weekend of FUN!
Call Alton Marina for slip reservations at 618-462-9860

We welcome everyone, boaters and non boaters, to come out for what will surely be a fun way to help us continue this great river tradition.

Here's a one minute video of the "Rubber Duck Plunge" from last year at Grafton Harbor.

 

Benefit for the Blessing of the Fleet raffle rules: The "Great Ball Splash and Grab" explained. well, sort of, anyway, here goes. When you buy a chance in the Great Ball Splash and Grab you will be given a wristband. Out of all the rubber balls a number of them equal to the number of prizes will be given a number ranking them as 1 thru whatever (the rubber balls already have numbers). The total number of rubber balls thrown into the pool will equal the number of chances taken. You can buy as many chances as you want at $10 per chance and will be given a wrist band for each one. When the time comes everyone will be asked to get out of the pool. At that time all of the rubber balls will be thrown in and then the signal will be given for everyone with a wrist band, or their designated "Ball Grabber" will jump into the pool and grab a ball for each entry they have. Once all the balls have been claimed the winning numbers will be called and the winners can come up and claim their prize. Simple enough right? Organized chaos? Right again! Much more fun than looking at numbers on a paper ticket (we hope).

2014 Benefit raffle prize donors:

JB Fence LLC

Alton Marina

Grafton Harbor

Longshot Saloon

My River Home Marina

St. Louis Rams

Bloch Marine Service / TowBoatUS

Palisades Yacht Club

Frito Lay

Polestar Boating Center

Tara Point Inn & Cottages

Duck Club Yacht Club

Webster University

Chrissy's Place

Port Charles Harbor

Grand Slam Bar & Grill

Hessler's Pub and Grill

The Boathouse Food & Deck

North Shore Marina

Cardinal Cares

G & W Sausage

Sundowners at YCSL

Two Rivers Marina

Barbara Rhoades

Hendrickson's Inc

Quality Equiment

Port Charles Harbor

Yacht Club of St. Louis

 

BLESSING OF THE FLEET AND PARADE OF BOATS

DATE: SATURDAY, AUGUST 9th, 2014

THEME: "NOAH'S ARK"

PARADE STARTING POINTS:

1:00 PM Yacht Club of St. Louis lead by Captain Randy Bicknese in the cruiser "Lady Di II"

1:00 PM Alton Marina lead by Captain John Bloch in the cruiser "Audy B II"

2:15 PM Blessing Commences at Shrine of Our Lady of the Rivers

CELEBRANT:

Reverend Robert L. Banken - St. Francis of Assisi Parish

JUDGES:

Diana Arisman - Coast Guard Auxiliary Division Vice Commander
Greg Colletta - Commodore of Con Trios Yacht Club
Bill Kelley - Webmaster of www.RiverBills.com

Awards presentation immediately after the Parade

Decorate YOUR BOAT and JOIN US!

VIEWING THE PARADE FROM LAND

Non boating spectators are invited to watch from the Shrine, Palisades Yacht Club and neighboring LongShot Saloon / My River Home Marina where courtesy boat docks are available. Palisades Yacht Club and Longshot Saloon will both have live entertainment, food and drink available. They are within walking distance of each other so you can enjoy a full day of fun on the river. Other locations to watch the parade pass by are The Boathouse Food & Deck. Duck Club Yacht Club, Grafton Harbor, Alton Marina

 

 

PARADE ROUTE:

The "Upper Pool" Parade of Boats lead by Captain Randy Bicknese in the "Follow Me" boat "Lady Di II" will begin at 1 PM in front of Yacht Club of St. Louis heading downstream passing by Grafton IL by using the "2nd cut" below Mason Island. Any boaters that are not comfortable to go thru there are welcome to continue downstream to the Confluence Buoy area and rejoin the parade.

The "Lower Pool" Parade of Boats heading upstream will be lead by Captain John Bloch in the "Follow Me" boat "Audy B II" will begin at 1 PM in front of Alton Marina by the Alton Bridge heading upstream.

Both of these parades will merge just below the Statue and will pass the Shrine for the Blessing at 2:15 PM.

As always, boaters are invited to join the parades anywhere along
the routes and pass the Shrine for a Blessing with the others.

2012 Parade Route

 

 

2013 Awards

Awards by the Blessing of the Fleet, Inc. in five (5) categories and three (3) additional:

Best Decorated Cruiser

Best Decorated Houseboat

Best Decorated Pontoon Boat

Best Decorated Runabout

Best Decorated Sail Boat

Three additional "Judges Choice" awards will also be presented this year.

Awards based on Best Decorated to the year's selected theme as judged by this year's panel of Judges;

 

Special Prize Sponsors

 

From the St. Charles area take Highway 94 North about 12.5 miles north of Interstate 370 to Highway J.

From North St. Louis County and Illinois take Highway 94 about 9 miles West from Highway 67 to Highway J.

For GPS directions use the address: 1670 Riverview Drive, Portage des Sioux, MO 63373

Portage des Sioux MO

Picture Galleries from previous years, all albums will open in a new window.

Blessing of the Fleet / Parade of Boats pictures by Lisa Hickey and Maureen Absolon

Benefit for the Blessing of the Fleet 2014 photos by Lisa Hickey

Some random pictures of the volunteers at the 2013 Blessing of the Fleet

Hand made model of the Blessing of the Fleet by Glenn Folkerts

Click here to see all the pictures

2013 Blessing of the Fleet photos by Sherry Lorance

2013 Blessing of the Fleet photos by Bob White

2013 Blessing of the Fleet photos by Lisa Hickey

2013 Blessing of the Fleet photos by Bob White, Tom Stolze and Maureen

2013 Benefit photos by Lisa Hickey

2013 Benefit photos by Maureen and video by Mary Beth

2012 Blessing of the Fleet photos by Maureen

2012 Benefit for the Blessing of the Fleet at The Boathouse

2011 Blessing of the Fleet aerial pictures courtesy of Mike and Sherri Stanczak

2011 Blessing of the Fleet pictures on Lisa Hickey's facebook page
you need to be a member of facebook and logged on to view Lisa's album

2011 Blessing of the Fleet photos by Tom Stolze.
Tom also broadcast the parade live on the internet via his website http://ofallonweather.org/

2011 Pictures by Maureen aboard the Follow Me boat "Scoundrel"

2010 Pictures by Lisa Hickey aboard the "Texas Lady"

2010 Pictures by Sharon from the Follow Me boat "Scoundrel"

2010 pictures by Pat Reid of Crystal Photography

"Gypsy Rose" Pirate Ship

Historical Photos Courtesy of Rick Estes

2008 photos courtesy of Darryll Weil

2007 photos courtesy of Mike and Sherri Stanczak

2007 photos courtesy of Lynn Tighe

2007 photos courtesy of Darryll and Maureen

2006 photos courtesy of Tim and Lynn Tighe

2005 photos courtesy of Tim and Lynn Tighe

2004 photos courtesy of Darryll Weil

2004 photos courtesy of Tim and Lynn Tighe

2003 photos courtesy of Tim and Lynn Tighe

Thank You to the Supporters of The Blessing of the Fleet

2014 Benefit raffle prize donors:

JB Fence LLC

Grafton Harbor

Longshot Saloon

My River Home Marina

St. Louis Rams

Bloch Marine Service / TowBoatUS

Palisades Yacht Club

Frito Lay

Polestar Boating Center

Tara Point Inn & Cottages

Duck Club Yacht Club

Webster University

Chrissy's Place

Alton Marina

Port Charles Harbor

Grand Slam Bar & Grill

Hessler's Pub and Grill

The Boathouse Food & Deck

North Shore Marina

Cardinal Cares

G & W Sausage

Sundowners at YCSL

Two Rivers Marina

Barbara Rhoades

Hendrickson's Inc

Quality Equiment

Port Charles Harbor

Yacht Club of St. Louis

 

 

 

 

 

Past contributors:

"Lil Bubba T"

"Nina J"

Liberty Harbor in Portage des Sioux

"Linky's Cats"

"VinTINage"

Kevin Kenny

Two Rivers Marina

Hessler's Pub & Grill

Dr. Pepper / Snapple

JB Fence LLC

Grand Slam Sports Bar & Grill

Scoundrel Enterprises / Captain Dutch Hauhe

Palisades Yacht Club

LongShot Saloon / My River Home Marina

Bloch Marine Service / TowBoatUS

Grafton Harbor

Alton Marina

Raging Rivers

Book N Barber

Fin Inn

Loading Dock

The Whole Scoop

Crystal Photography

Bernie Patrico

Kelly Gamblin

Brian & Trish Hamm

Jill Kennedy

Greg & Peg Colletta

Tiffany & Kyle Marsh

Kevin Frieman

Nick Cauupps

Brad Peachee

Ruthie Durmeier

Katy Estes

John & Linda Strum

Mark and Pam Beck

"Shotz Ship"

"We-Z Gone Wild"

"River Pig"

Adam Evers

"Ching"

"Wet Addiction"

"Anita Cocktail"

Nora Moore

"Y2Katy"

Northwest Tire and Auto / Croft Trailer

Polestar Boating Center and Marina

Heartland Boating Magazine

Con Trios Yacht Club

www.RiverBills.com

The Boathouse Food & Deck

www.RiverWebCams.com

Printing furnished by Stolze Printing Company, Inc., Bridgeton, MO.

Live Video of the Parade courtesy of Tom Stolze of OfallonWeather.org

Grafton City Hall

John's Boat Harbor

Iron Decor N More

Tara Point

Sundowners

Ed Hodapp

Carl Tiemann

Rick Haines

Shelly Kennedy

Aron Lappe

Valerie Djordjovich

Dusan Djordjovich

John Hartmann

Don Acord

Debbie Moore

Lynn Sansone

Tim Tighe

Scott and Lisa Hickey

"Paradise"

"Bull Ship"

ACBS (Antique and Classic Boat Society)

Ed Koch

"Xpensive Therapy"

CTYC Fleet Captain Bill Tullock

"Storm Treasure"

 

HISTORY OF THE BLESSING OF THE FLEET, INC. We are proud to announce that The Blessing of the Fleet, Inc., an organization whose purpose is to promote safe boating, will be celebrating their 57TH Anniversary on Saturday, July 19, 2014.

The Blessing of the Fleet, Inc. is responsible for organizing an annual event on the river rich in tradition, The Blessing of the Fleet and Parade of Boats. This event is held on a mid-summer afternoon in July on the Mississippi River between Mel Price Lock and Dam in Alton, Illinois and the Winfield Lock and Dam, Missouri.

The Shrine of Our Lady of the Rivers in Portage des Sioux is the actual site of the ceremony and gets her name from the fact that three major rivers - the Illinois, the Missouri and the Mississippi - all meet within a few miles of the statue. The first pleasure Boat Blessing materialized as a result of a flood that threatened Portage des Sioux in the early 1950’s. The towns’ parish, headed by Rev. Edward Schlattmann, prayed together to the Virgin Mary for the town of Portage des Sioux to be spared from the perils of the raising waters. They together coined a name for the Virgin Mary, Our Lady of the Rivers. As history records, the flooding waters parted and traveled just above and below the river town without entering it. To pay tribute to their Lady, the town people and parishioners, Schlattmann and local businessmen and local boatmen formulated plans for the first religious fiberglass statue.

Eventually the 25’ Statue of Our Lady of the Rivers and a 25’ Base were erected at the site of Portage des Sioux. It remains today as the fourth tallest statue of Mary in the world. Over the years it has served as a navigation aid for the area and the podium from which the annual Blessing of the Fleet takes place. As each vessel approaches the base of the Shrine and slows to idle speed a blessing is bestowed as they pass imploring heaven to protect and bless them in these waters. This tradition has proven to be the highlight of the areas boating season and each year attracts hundreds of participating decorated pleasure craft, as well as, spectators to the area. Together they display an exquisitely executed celebration of the season, exhibiting a long inspired passion for boating and relating knowledge of history.

Participants compete for awards in specific categories by decorating to a designated theme for each year and are invited to gather following the parade and blessing for a fun and festive awards ceremony held at a local area marina.

The Blessing of the Fleet works in conjunction with area marinas, harbors, various related area businesses, as well as civic and local organizations and has the cooperation of the City of St. Louis Fire Department-Marine Division, The City of St. Charles, Mo., U.S. Coast Guard and U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, the U.S. Power Squadron, Missouri Water Patrol, and Our Lady of the Rivers Shrine Committee of Portage des Sioux, Mo.

To all past and present officers and committee members of the Blessing of the Fleet, Inc. who have dedicated their time and talents over the past fifty plus years to preserve and maintain this tradition, we are honored to congratulate you on achieving this 55th Anniversary. To generations yet unborn, The Shrine and this Annual Tradition will together serve as a symbol of our generations appreciation of the nautical sensibility and natural beauty of this area where three rivers meet near the site of the Statue of Our Lady of the Rivers, Portage des Sioux.

Congratulations Blessing of the Fleet, Inc. on these Accomplishments

Year
Theme
1982
25th Anniversary of the Blessing of the Fleet
1983
1984
Something Golden (To Celebrate Father Schlattmann's Golden Jubilee as a Priest)
1985
Mark Twain's 150th Anniversary Celebration
1986
Miss Liberty (In honor of the torch re-lighting ceremony after the two year renovation)
1987
The Founding of Portage des Sioux (Founded in 1799)
1988
Use Your Imagination
1989
Around the World (The Country of your choice)
1990
Holiday Celebration
1991
Circus
1992
500 Years of History (Celebrating Columbus' Discovery)
1993
Canceled due to flooding
1994
Your Favorite Sport
1995
Let's Just Decorate
1996
Our Lady of the River Shrine - 40 Years on the Mississippi
1997
Parade of Nations
1998
Dixieland
1999
Red, White and Blue for Portage des Sioux
2000
Highlights of the 20th Century
2001
Your Favorite Nursery Rhymes
2002
God Bless America
2003
Music and All That Jazz
2004
Lewis and Clark
2005
You Decorate and We'll Judge
2006
Vacation Fun under the St. Louis Sun
2007
Toast Our Golden Anniversary (50th annual parade)
2008
Margaritaville
2009
Luau
2010
Pirates
2011
Mermaids
2012
Mark Twain
2013
Sharks

2013 Winners
Click on a picture to see a larger version

Cruiser

"The Shark"
Cruiser Crew

"The Shark"
Houseboat

"Sea Hag"
 
Pontoon Boat

"Attack of the Tooner Sharks"
Pontoon Crew

"Attack of the Tooner Sharks"
Runabout
Runabout from Port Charles
 
Sailboat

"Tranquility Base"
 
Judges Choice

"Oh Yeah"
 

Judges Choice

"Ora Lea"

 
Judges Choice

"Sound of Pleasure"
Judges Choice Crew

"Sound of Pleasure"
Con Trios Yacht Club Member

"The Shark"
Con Trios Yacht Club Member Crew

"The Shark"

 

2012 Winners
Click on a picture to see a larger version.

Storm Treasure
Cruiser - "Storm Treasure"
crew
Captain Royce LaMarr & crew
runabout
Runabout - "The Shark"

crew
Captain Greg Colletta & crew

houseboat
Houseboat - "Sea Hag"

Captain Jay Adams & crew (photo not available)
Pontoon
Pontoon
crew
Captain Brian Kickline
Sailboat
Sailboat - "Saint Somewhere"
crew
Captain Tyler Mitchell & crew

After the Blessing of the Fleet awards were given it was brought to our attention that one of the boats may have been misclassified as the side profile appeared to be one type of vessel but when the pictures were looked at it should have been in a different category. The other boat in that category will be recognized with an award and is congratulated on their decorating effort. We will try to avoid this in the future even if it means having to readjust the categories. The Blessing of the Fleet committee Thanks all participants and is already looking forward to next year.

Congratulations to A. J. and Toni Grapenthin and the crew of "Good Problems"!
Great Job decorating guys.


Runabout - "Good Problems"

Captain A. J. Grapenthin & crew

 

2011 Winners
Click on a picture to see a larger version.

Storm Treasure
Storm Treasure
Cruiser Category
Storm Treasure
Sandy M  
Houseboat Category
Sandy M
Ginger Bell  
Pontoon Category
Ginger Bell
The Shark The Shark
Runabout Category
The Shark
Gypsy Rose II  
Sailboat Category
Gypsy Rose II
Storm Treasure Storm Treasure crew
Con Trios Yacht Club
Storm Treasure

 

2010 Winners
Click on a picture to see a larger version.
Thanks to Pat Reid of Crystal Photography for the pictures.
To see all the pictures Pat took click HERE.

Cruiser cruiser
Cruiser category Winner
houseboat houseboat
Houseboat category Winner and Best In Show Winner
pontoon pontoon
Pontoon category Winner
runabout runabout
Runabout category Winner
sailboat sailboat
Sailboat category Winner
con trios winner crew
Con Trios Yacht Club Winner

 

2009 Winners:

Theme: "Luau"

Best Decorated Cruiser: "Storm Treasure" Royce and Gayle LaMarr

Best Decorated Houseboat: "Aquatraz" Dave and Karen Wilmouth

Best Decorated Sailboat: "Insatiable" Harry Stoner

Best Decorated Pontoon: "June" June Polster

Best Decorated Runabout: "Summertime" John Spraul

Best Decoarated Upstream Boat: "Aquatraz" Dave and Karen Wilmouth

2008 Winners:

Theme: "Margaritaville"

The Best Decorated Cruiser award was "Night-N-Gale"

The Best Decorated Houseboat was "Aquatraz"

The Best Decorated Sailboat was the "Kontaloa"

Best Decorated Pontoon Boat was "Misbehavior"

The Best Decorated Runabout had no name

Best Decorated Con Trios Yacht Club member boat was "Sound of Pleasure"

2007 Winners: 

Theme:  Toast Our Golden Anniversary!

Acrylic Commemorative Trophies Provided by Blessing of the Fleet, Inc.

 FIVE CATEGORIES AWARDED FOR BEST DECORATED TO THE THEME

CRUISER CATEGORY: Edward and Rosemary Bialecke, “GRIFFIN”

  HOUSEBOAT CATEGORY: Alan Deutschmann, “SOUND OF PLEASURE”

   RUNABOUT CATEGORY: Glen and Darlene Hartman, “DARLENE”

  SAILBOAT CATEGORY: Don and Mary Ellen Morrison, “RAGTIME”

  PONTOON/DECKBOAT: Alan Bull, “ODYSSEY”

 AWARDS BASED ON BEST DECORATED TO THE YEAR’S SELECTED THEME
AS JUDGED BY THIS YEARS PANEL OF BLESSING OF THE FEET JUDGES.

  THE GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION JUDGES:
James A. Svoboda, Past Commodore, Con Trios Yacht Club
Mark D. Warner, Mayor, Portage Des Sioux, MO
Harry T. Bussmann, III, Our Lady of the Rivers Shrine Committee

 THREE CASH AWARD PRIZES
DONATED BY “SHOW ME THE MISSISSIPPI”

 BEST OVERALL ENTRY IN SHOW WINNER – Check in the Amount of $500.00

 FIRST PLACE PRESENTED TO:  Alan Deutschmann, “Sound of Pleasure”

 SECOND PLACE – CHECK IN THE AMOUNT OF $300.00

 PRESENTED TO: Tom and Mary Lou Smith, “FarNeite II”

THIRD PLACE – CHECK IN THE AMOUNT OF $ 200.00

 PRESENTED TO:  Owners Unknown, “Playen II”

 Judges for Show Me the Mississippi – Cash Awards – Were Linda Sanchez, President of Show Me the Mississippi and Several Members Selected from this years “Show Me”, Membership.

  SPECIAL CORPORATE SPONSORED AWARDS
 (These Awards were Judged by and Sponsored by Each Respective Company Owner and or their Representative.)

SEA RAY WINNER – Best Decorated Sea Ray
 Sponsored By:  MarineMax, St Charles, MO

 Winners:  Dee Berkley, “Some Day Came”, 26’ Sea Ray Sundancer

 GIBSON HOUSEBOAT WINNER – Best Decorated Gibson Houseboat 
Sponsored by Wahoo Sales and Service, St. Charles, MO 

Winners:  Tom and Nancy Meyers, “Sparky”

 REGAL – Best Decorated Regal 
Sponsored by Dan’s Boats, St. Peters, MO 

Winners:  Jason and Louise Haldiman, "We-Z-Goin’ Wild”

  CON TRIOS YACHT CLUB WINNER

Best Decorated CTYC Member Entry in Parade :  Alan Deutschmann, “Sound of Pleasure”

Board Meeting April 2013

2013 Board of Directors

Darryll Weil

Mike Baisch

Alan Deutschmann

Charles Aten

Marilyn Aten

Craig Tredway

John Bloch

Amy Lewis

Scott Lewis

Andy Dalwitz

Rick Flier

Contact Information

Darryll Weil, President, Blessing of the Fleet Inc.

Telephone: 314-303-2819

Email: captainweil@sbcglobal.net

 

 

Website design and hosting compliments of CaptainWeil Computer Services LLC