The Shrimp King and Queen

One of the oldest continuous Catholic traditions of the Mississippi Gulf Coast region will be held Saturday and Sunday, June 1 and 2, 2019: the Biloxi Blessing of the Fleet. A highlight of the Fais Do-Do (Cajun dance party) will be the coronation of a Shrimp King and Queen.

The dropping of the memorial wreath

To remember those fishermen from past years who are now deceased, a helicopter flies overhead to drop a memorial wreath.

The Blessing of the Fleet in Biloxi

Here, Fr. Greg blesses the Doris Mae in 2018. The festival marks the beginning of the shrimp-fishing season.
Fr. Greg blesses another boat.

The Shrimp King and Queen join the priest at the blessing

The Queen is a young woman with family ties to the seafood industry; the King is an older man with experience working in the seafood industry.  Both are awarded a tiara to wear for the weekend; the Queen receives a sash designating her as Shrimp Queen. Both join the priest on the Blessing Boat.

Shrimp boats lined up for a blessing

Originally, the priest would climb from boat to boat, but due to an unfortunate accident the priest today blesses the boats while remaining on one anchored boat. The boats power by and Father blesses each one.

The 2018 Shrimp King and Queen pose with Fr. Greg