B'ville: Blessing of the Fleet

The Seneca River will be bustling with activity on Saturday June 16 as the Baldwinsville Chamber of Commerce sponsors an all-day, three-part event.

"It's a day of fun, food and prizes," said Valerie Getman, executive director of the chamber.

To begin is a free fishing derby from 9 to 11 a.m. for children ages 5 to 12 years old (accompanied by a parent or guardian).

Chaired by Mayor Joe Saraceni, the derby will be held at Mercer Park, which is also home to Baldwinsville's newest playground. The first 50 children to register at the Chamber of Commerce at 50 Oswego St. will receive a free fishing pole. Prizes will be awarded to two different age groups for biggest fish, smallest fish, most fish, least fish, first fish and last fish.

The annual Blessing of the Fleet will begin at 2 p.m. on the Seneca River. All local boaters are encouraged to participate by registering at the Chamber's office for $5. For the event, the boats will parade down the river in single file to the 690 overpass and then turn around and return to pass by the blessing stand on the Southwest Trail where Reverend Rhonda Kouterick of the First United Methodist Church will give a brief prayer of blessing to each boat.

As part of National Safe Boating Month, the Coast Guard will also be on hand providing free boat safety checks and water rescue demonstrations.

Following the Blessing of the Fleet will be a pulled pork barbeque on Paper Mill Island. Tickets are available for purchase at the Chamber office for $25 per person and include pulled pork, salt potatoes, salad, roll and beverage. The evening will conclude with a concert featuring Emerald City and Kane starting at 6 p.m. sponsored by Grand Stand Sales.

The group of local residents that has been working hard to organize this waterfront extravaganza includes Jack Baker, Tony Saraceni, Joe Saraceni, Brian Roberts, Dave Mott and Getman.

For more information, contact Getman at 638-0550.

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