Darien,GA and the Blessing of the Fleet

April 7 – April 12, 2016

Sorry this is sooo long, but hang in there, the best is at the end.

We found this cute little campground in Darien, GA to be close to some historical areas that we wanted to explore.  Wow, what at gem.  We arrived on Thursday and checked in at Inland Harbor RV Park.2016-04-11 13.14.0520160411_13144720160411_131544Our 5th wheel is the second one on the left with the main slide only 1/3 of the way out.20160409_140324

And we are off to find the visitor center and see what we can find.  The first stop is in the historic downtown Darien.  The town was settled in 1736.  It is the second oldest planned city in Georgia.  And you ask, What is the oldest planned city in Georgia?  I am sure everyone knows that one – Savannah in 1733.20160409_12090720160409_120911Fort King George was the first fort built by the English on Georgia soil in 1721.  This area was still part of South Carolina when they built the Fort.20160407_133839St. Cyprian’s Episcopal Church was built by former slaves.  Made of Tabby (a type of concrete made by burning oyster shells to create lime, then mixing it with water, sand, ash and broken oyster shells) and restored after suffering severe damage during the hurricane of 1898. This church still has an active congregation.20160407_133825The streets in this small town have these beautiful trees.20160407_13385520160410_10282420160407_135827The Federal troops tried twice to burn this church.  A hurricane destroyed it in 1881 and the current structure was built in 1883.

Then to the Smallest Church in America20160407_142938This church was built in 1949 by Agnes Harper. She was a rural grocer at the time and had limited funds. She said it was the thought that mattered, not the scope.  She built a 10 x 15 foot building in the woods.  She wrote the deed in the name of Jesus Christ and she invited everyone, even the critics, to worship.20160407_14305320160407_143007Mrs. Harpet installed stained-glass windows from England and the pews had a fold-away knee rest.20160407_143112During our stop, renovations were going on.  Per the brochure, it has had its share of vandalism. As you can see, it just sits in the woods, off the beaten path.20160407_143217

On Friday we went to St. Simons Island and Jekyll Island.

We just happened to arrive in Darien on the best weekend ever.  It is the “Blessing of the Fleet” Festival.  http://www.blessingofthefleet.com/   They have a 3 day festival that includes a parade and then the Priest bless the shrimp boats before they start their season. There are food carts, art vendors and boats. 20160409_08501220160411_082209Saturday was the parade and we walked through the vendor booths and had some shrimp from one of the food vendors. Antique cars began the parade.

20160409_10111120160409_10150520160409_101547The National Guard and some recruits.20160409_10160120160409_102010Miss Blessing of the Fleet Queen, is the one in the back. Wimberly Stregles.20160409_102108The high school band20160409_102402The Shriners20160409_102616Tiny Miss Blessing of the Fleet20160409_114834In Georgia, they don’t ride Bulls, they ride Bull Dogs.20160409_114840This little girl was having a ball.  She just kept getting back on.20160410_102628This guy was just waiting in the truck.20160410_102743Vernon Square with all the artist around the fountain.20160407_131126The downtown waterfront.20160410_113624On Sunday, we were back for the Blessing.  Cliff tried Ox tail.  Amazing good. The glob on the top left is Mac-n-Cheese. The most cheese I have ever seen. and a side of rice.

They had a gospel concert in the Waterfront Park.  We took our chairs and sunscreen and enjoyed watching the people. 20160410_124043The boats are all decorated and ready for the Blessing.20160410_124501The Knights of Columbus escort the priests to the bridge.20160410_12450720160410_125131A little blurry, but they are in the middle.  Look for the Knights of Columbus hats.20160410_125613The boats come in one at a time and come right up to the bridge and stop.  The priest says a blessing over the boat and crew and the boat moves back and another arrives.  The Master of Ceremony announces each boat by name, who the captain is and what year the boat was built.20160410_125827It seems to be a party on every boat.20160410_12590120160410_12592120160410_13005320160410_13110220160410_13111120160410_131723Miss Blessing of the Fleet was on the front of this big Shrimper.

We cannot believe we were here for this.  We loved it. Thanks Darien.

We leave for South Carolina tomorrow.  Praying it won’t rain too hard.

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