After decades of absence, boats blessed in Des Allemands

Event drew more than 100 vessels to Des Allemands

From the deck of Chad Matherne’s boat, Lac Des Allemands had become the scene of more than 100 boats lining up for the area’s first boat blessing in years.

“It worked a lot better than expected,” Matherne said. “It seemed like an event people were already wanting to do – and it happened.”

Watercraft from the area, as well as Vacherie and Chackbay, all joined the event in sunny weather so beautiful it seemed everyone commented on how fortunate they were to have it for Des Allemands’ blessing of the fleet.

“I was very impressed yesterday, but I knew our locals would come out,” said Mitzi Petit, who was thrilled over the turnout but struggled with the sudden loss of her mother, Deborah Tregle, who was a major organizer with the event.

In just two months, Petit and Father John Ryan of St. Gertrude Catholic Church in Des Allemands, were able to bring the fleet blessing together as a fundraiser for the church. Donations were accepted for the blessing.

“I think everyone who worked on it did a great job,” Petit said. “I think it could have greater implications for the town to have a community, family type event that we like to have for Des Allemands.”

On Lac Des Allemands, vessels steadily lined up to be blessed by Father Ryan, who said a prayer and sprinkled the vessels with holy water.

Des Allemands resident Brian Matherne, who rode on a friend’s mud boat in the blessing, said he was pleasantly pleased with the turnout, too.

Vessels that showed for the event included party barges, houseboats, airboats, fishing boats, commercial fishing boars, water skis, mud boats and even pleasure boats.

People also lined the banks of the lake, both from St. Charles and Lafourche parishes. There were also boats and airboats with the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office and Bayou Gauche Fire Department.

Sherry Folse, also a member of the boat blessing committee, said the response to the event has been impressive.

“All we keep hearing is it was phenomenal,” Folse said. “It was absolutely gorgeous. We couldn’t have planned a more perfect attendance than what we got.

“We had an awesome turnout, and we just plan for it to be bigger and better next year.”

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