Southport kicks off season with parade, fleet blessing, concert Saturday
Southport will kick off the village's warm-weather season on land and sea Saturday with its annual parade and blessing of the fleet.
The day long-festivities include marching bands, antique cars, horses, colorful boats in the harbor, pageantry and free food -- capped off by a classical music concert in the evening.
The day begins with a free pancake breakfast that will be served from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. at Eagle Hill School on Main Street.
The parade steps off at 11 a.m. from the Trinity Church parking lot on Pequot Avenue and winds down Main Street to Harbor Road to the Ye Yacht Yard at Lower Wharf.
Marching units include the Governor's Horse Guard and five fife-and-drum corps in traditional regalia. Grand Marshal Jim Wiser, a marine model maker and longtime Southport resident, will ride the route in a robin's egg blue Chevrolet Corvette.
Marchers also are expected to include state and local officials and scores of children. Units will include: Stony Creek Fire and Drum Corps, Mattituck Drum Band, Grand Republic Fife and Drum Band, New York Ancients Fife and Drum, and Moodus Fife and Drum.
The parade culminates at Lower Wharf, where the blessing of the fleet will follow about noon.
Before the blessing, about 50 boats -- big and small -- are expected to pass beneath a huge arc of water, pumped by a Southport Fire Department engine, across the harbor and above the vessels.
Six local clergy will offer prayers for the boats and their safety as they sail south out of the harbor. Clergy include: the Revs. Nicholas Porter and Mark Glidden of Trinity Church; Paul and Laura Whitmore and Sharon Blackburn of Southport Congregational; John Twiname of Green's Farms Congregational Church, and Deacon Daniel Ianieillo of St Thomas Church.
Free food will include hot dogs and sodas at the Lower Wharf provided by the Southport Volunteer Fire Department's Women's Auxiliary, and strawberry shortcake will be provided by Southport Congregational Church.
The day concludes with the 7 p.m. concert in Trinity Church, in which the Knights Chamber Orchestra will perform Beethoven's Fifth Symphony.