Get your fresh Mississippi Gulf Coast shrimp!
With shrimp season now open in the state’s territorial waters, the annual Blessing of the Fleet will be held in Biloxi this Sunday as a cermonial open to the season. The event, which gives shrimp-lovers a chance to cheer on boats and wish crews luck as they head out to sea, will begin at 2 p.m. with boats aligning in the west end of the channel.
Once the ceremonial wreath dropping takes place, a line of decorated boats will parade throughout. All participating vessels will also have a chance to win cash prizes based on who has the best decorations; $1,000 will go to the first-place winner, $500 to second, and another $500 participation award will be given to a selected working boat.
Captain Steve Dunham of Ocean Springs will carry the bishop blessing this year’s fleet along with the parade’s king and queen.
“We are cleaning up and decorating the boat, getting it ready,” Duham, whose family has been in the shrimping business since the 1700s, said. “You will hardly recognize it in the parade. It will look great.”
There will also be fresh shrimp for sale across the entire Coast, including but not limited to Ocean Springs, Biloxi, and Pass Christian. Two days into the season, it seems as if smaller shrimp are being caught but in abundance – which is a good sign – as shrimpers remain positive for a successful season ahead.
Here’s to a safe and prosperous shrimping season in 2023! See you at the Blessing of the Fleet!