The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, Flotilla 10-07, hosted its second annual Blessing of the Fleet at Lee’s County Park Marina on Sunday, featuring a parade of boats that proceeded from Byram Bay to Lee’s Park. Once there, the blessing ceremony took place, follwed by festivities that included U.S. Coast Guard demonstrations, refreshments, safety and boating exhibits, vessel safety checks, and food and other refreshments.
The “Blessing of the Fleet” is a centuries-old tradition originating in southern European fishing communities. A blessing from the local priest was meant to ensure a bountiful and safe boating season.
Organizers said they were excited to continue such a tradition on Lake Hopatcong.
To learn how to become a part of the US Coast Guard Auxiliary, call 973-770-3645973-770-3645.
Christopher Scarlata, IPFC, master of ceremonies for the event.
The Rev. Ernest and Mrs. Barbara Kosa from Sparta. Rev. Kosa was the guest clergy at the blessing.
The Rev. Ernest Kosa, center, blessing the fleet. Holding the mic is his wife, Barbara. They live in Sparta.
Dominic Aldi used a trumpet with a recording device which played music for the event.
Arlene Petconaci, USCG Auxilary, listens to the blessing.
Flowers were ceremoniously dropped into the lake to bless loved ones no longer living.
Shelby, one of two dalmatians owned by Jefferson Twp firefighter Mickey DeLoreto, gets a drink of water from a friend.
Mickey DeLoreto, Lt. with Jefferson Twp FD #2, with his two dogs, Shelby and Hemi.
Jefferson Twp. FD #2 show off their water cannon by dousing a “burning” boat. Fire was simulated by using smoke bombs.
Jefferson Twp. FD #2 shows off their water cannon.
The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 10-07 Lake Hopatcong performed free inspections for all boaters.
Vera Reed, Vice Commander USCG Auxiliary Flotilla 10-07, inspects a boat owned by Ralph Venice from Park Ridge.