Leonardtown, MD —  The annual Blessing of the Fleet has been held the first weekend of October for more than 50 years, and is always a favorite family event.

Presented by The 7th District Optimist Club, the event will be held Saturday and Sunday, October 5-6, at the St. Clement’s Island Museum in Colton’s Point, MD.

The Blessing celebrates St.Mary’s County’s ties to the Chesapeake Bay watershed and the watermen who work its waters.

This year’s event, featuring a revamped format, will showcase fun for all ages.

Activities include tours of St. Clements Island, Blackistone Lighthouse & St. Clement’s Island Museum, live performances by popular music acts, free boat excursions, Southern Maryland food, art and craft vendors, boat blessing ceremony, Sunday parade, evening concert, activities on the Island, children’s activities, fireworks and more.

This year’s live performances are by local talent Robbie Boothe and headliner Nathan Osmond and the Cabana Dogs. Gates are open from noon until 9 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Admission is $10 for adults; children 12 & under are free. To stay up to date on the festivities, please visit Facebook.com/BlessingOfTheFleetSOMD.

If you are an artist, craft person or non-profit organization and would like to have space at the event, please contact Jayne Walsh at jayne.walsh@stmarysmd.com to register.