News

Harbor Springs Area Historical Society’s Blessing of the Fleet June 27th

Historical Society’s Blessing of the Fleet offers free and fun activities for the community.

Parading our Past – June 27, 6:00 pm
Support the Harbor Springs Area Historical Society and celebrate our community’s maritime heritage at the Blessing of the Fleet boat parade. All types of watercraft are invited to join in the parade, especially historic vessels such as wooden boats, Chris Craft, and the like. This free parade has grown every year, and in 2018, more than 146 watercraft participated.

The historic motor yacht CANIM will serve as the parade’s flagship and participating watercraft will be blessed as they pass by CANIM on the parade route. For more information on registering for the parade, please visit HarborSpringsHistory.org.

No boat? No problem! Spectators are encouraged to watch the parade from the City Dock.

After the parade, friends gather at the Historical Society’s Summer’s Launch Party at the Walstrom Marine Showroom on Bay Street. The party begins at 7:00 pm and features a strolling supper, local beer, wine and cocktails, music, a silent auction, raffle and more! Tickets for the party are available at HarborSpringsHistory.org or by calling (231) 526-9771.

Free Dockside Tours– June 26 & 27, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm
The Historical Society is honored to welcome two special vessels to Harbor Springs as part of our Blessing of the Fleet event—CHAMPION and the UTOPIA. The cutter CHAMPION is 39-feet long, built of wood and is traditionally rigged. She belonged to the late Henry Barkhausen of Harbor Point who donated the vessel to the Maritime Heritage Alliance in 2008.

Today, CHAMPION spearheads an educational sailing program for at-risk youth. The UTOPIA is a 77-foot staysail schooner designed by the late Fred J. Peterson and built in 1946. UTOPIA made her maiden sea voyage in 1947 when she cruised the North Atlantic, the Mediterranean Sea and the Caribbean islands. In 2016 the schooner was donated to the Inland Seas Education Association to help further the association’s mission to inspire curiosity, stewardship, and passion for the Great Lakes.

Free, pubic tours of both vessels will take place on June 26 and 27 from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm at the Harbor Springs City Dock. The volunteer crews will serve as tour guides and interpreters welcoming the public aboard for hands-on tours. No reservations are needed so be sure to stop by and tour these floating pieces of history!