A parade of boats will participate in the 60th annual Blessing of the Fleet Saturday on the Mississippi River.  The blessing originated in 1956's when a flood threatened Portage des Sioux, Missouri. The towns Catholic parish prayed together to the Virgin Mary for the town to be spared, and the flooding waters parted and traveled just above and below the river town without entering it.

Over the years, the statue has served as a navigation aid for the area and the podium from which the annual Blessing of the Fleet takes place.  As each boat approaches the base of the Shrine, it slows and receives a blessing.  Darryll Weil, event spokesman, tells The Big Z three parades will come together at the statue to form one big procession

Click here for Weil's comments

After the parade there will be a party at the bar at My River Home Marina, which will offer courtesy docks for visiting boaters.  He says the party will include the presentation of awards and live music from 2-6pm. 


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