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Southport Enjoys Blessing of the Fleet Parade

SOUTHPORT, Conn. — A large crowd was on hand under beautiful blue skies for Saturday’s annual Blessing of the Fleet Parade.

The parade, which featured six marching bands and civic groups, proceeded from Pequot Avenue to Harbor Road, where clergy blessed a fleet of boats that floated past the crowd.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Congressman Jim Himes attended the parade and spoke briefly at its conclusion.

“Washington could learn a lot from this picture about community,” Blumenthal said.

“We feel so much more American today than we do on other days,” said Himes.

The parade, which has a 20-year history, featured the Fairfield Gaelic Pipe Band, the New York Ancients Fife and Drum Corps, the Moodus Drum and Fife Corps and other groups who played vibrant music as they marched passed the cheering crowd.

State Sen. John McKinney presented a citation to Steve Galpin, the longtime Southport resident who served as the parade’s grand marshal. Galpin was on a boat at the time, preparing to be blessed, and McKinney said he was the first to ever receive a citation from land while he was on the water.

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