The Harbor Springs Area Historical Society’s 2021 Blessing of the Fleet Boat Parade sets sail on Thursday, July 1st at 6 pm, and there are many ways the entire community can participate. Now in its 9th year, this parade has become the official kick-off to summer, while celebrating the rich maritime history of the area.
“The essence of Harbor Springs is tradition, history and legacy. Our theme is ‘Traditions Live On,’ and it seemed important to have something to celebrate and a sense of a return to normalcy. We are excited about this event, not only as a celebration on the water, but as an opportunity to come together as a community, in support of our local businesses. We hope to again see boats and merchants decorating with nautical flags,” said Sharon Mihalik, event chair.
The event is the Historical Society’s signature fundraiser and was created in 2013 by past board members Pat Anton and Lisa Sutter. Vessels of all shapes and sizes are welcome to take part in the blessing boat parade, from kayaks and paddleboards to sailboats and yachts. Decorations are encouraged and registration is appreciated for water safety. To date, the event has raised $395,000 for the society’s operational and programming funds. “We thank our sponsors, host committee and community participants for continuing to support us. These funds help us to preserve and share our heritage, and maintain our historic buildings,” Executive Director, Kristyn Balog stated. “We greatly appreciate the enthusiasm and really look forward to a colorful parade on the water, with lots of decorations.”
In order to offset the loss of funds provided by the Summer’s Launch Party, usually held after the parade but cancelled this year due to COVID, the Historical Society is offering a chance to win one of four great prizes: a Pedego Electric Bike, Elizabeth Blair Fine Pearls, J.McLaughlin Shopping Spree and Walstrom Sunset Cruise. Tickets are $25 each or 5 for $100. They will be offered through the Museum and also at the Harbor Springs Farmer’s Market this Saturday, June 19th.