The annual Blessing of the Fleet and Reading of the Names ceremony is set for Saturday, May 6.
Organizers of the local event encourage the public to attend to honor commercial fishermen, past and present, and the industry as a whole at the start of the fishing season.
It’s taking place at 10 a.m. at the Alaska Commercial Fishermen’s Memorial next to Taku Smokeries. The blessing takes about an hour. The guest speaker this year is Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott.
The U.S. Coast Guard Color guard will present the colors, Girl Scout Troop #4018 will lead the pledge of allegiance, Fr. Gordon Blue of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church will give the invocation and bless the fleet, and Skipper Chris McDowell on the Marsons will conduct the laying of the wreath. Carl Brodersen will do the dedication and read the names that are to be engraved this year: Maurice Nelson, Lester Henkins, Rocky Reed, Paul Fredrick, and Steve Erickson.
This year marks the 27th year that the fleet has been blessed. Attendees are advised to dress warmly. For those who can’t attend or those on the water, the event will be broadcast over VHF Channel 10.
Correction: An earlier version of this article listed names that were added to the memorial last year, rather than those to be added this year. The article has been updated to reflect the change.