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Blessing of Fleet Scheduled for May 6

The first Sunday in May at 2 p.m. will start off the same as it has for the past 56 years at the Mount Vernon Yacht Club and the surrounding community. Members, guests and local politicians will dress in nautical blue and white attire to officially start the 2012 boating season on May 6.

The Rev. Ruth Walsh, who served in the U.S. military in Iraq and is the interim pastor at St. James Episcopal Church, on Old Mill Road, will offer the prayers for the safety of boaters on the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay.

The U.S. Coast Guard's Color Guard and Drill Team will present the proper flags and a precision drill. The Mount Vernon Community Band will play and the Mount Vernon High School Crew Team will race in view of the ceremonies at the Yacht Club at 4817 Tarpon Lane in the Yacht Haven community.

Also expected are Virginia representatives from county and state government, including Del. Scott Surovell. The Fairfax County Fire Department Search and Rescue Team 420 will dock its boat at the marina. Representatives of the Potomac River Yacht Clubs Association and Coast Guard Auxiliary Auxiliary Flotilla 25-8 will also be on the program.

Friends and neighbors are welcome to attend, according to Past Commodore Bonnie Breneman, who will act as Master of Ceremonies. Current Commodore Ron Reinsel will also preside over the 235-family member club's annual event. Owners of sail boats and power boats will decorate their vessels to compete for the "best dressed" title prizes.