Festival that supports fishing fleet missing community
Since 1973 the Bodega Bay community has hosted an annual Fisherman’s Festival, a weekend packed with events for people of all ages – craft booths, live music, good food, entertainment and more.
The blessing of the Fishing Fleet is the highlight of the Bodega Bay Fisherman’s Festival. These solemn annual blessings had their start more than 50 years ago when the event was part of the “Discovery Days Celebration” and we had a thriving commercial fishing industry. Today it is part and parcel of the annual Bodega Bay Fisherman’s Festival weekend. Discovery Days commemorated the discovery of Bodega Bay by Lt. Bodega y Quadra while surveying these waters for the Spanish in 1775.
At the first “Discovery Days Celebration” event in 1958, some 17 festively decorated boats were blessed in the parade – appropriately led by Eddie, William and Steve Smith, members from the large local Miwok Indian family which began the commercial fishing industry in Bodega Bay in the 1920s.
Today, even with a declining industry, the traditional annual blessing of the fishing fleet is an important observance for the entire community and acknowledges the key role of those who farm the seas, often at great risk to themselves. Local clergy officiates at the Blessing and a flower wreath is cast upon the waters honoring the fishermen lost at sea.
It is with much regret that we cancel the 2021 edition of the Bodega Bay Fisherman’s Festival (as well as our 2020 festival). While we remain hopeful that Sonoma County continues to gain ground against the coronavirus threat, at this moment hosting the festival on its traditional Spring date creates too great of a risk for our volunteers, vendors, and guests. We thank our many volunteers and vendors who have made our past Fish Fests so successful and look forward to the renewal of this 48 year Bodega Bay tradition on April 30 and May 1, 2022.
Bodega Bay Fisherman’s Festival has not only been an opportunity to celebrate our fishing community but also to raise funds to assist over 25 local service organizations. The need for these organizations not only continues during the pandemic but in many cases, demand for their services has grown while funding has not always kept pace. Last year we were also compelled to cancel Fish Fest. Fortunately, thanks to generous contributions from Sonoma Coast residents and businesses, coupled with our prudent reserves, we were able to continue to support local service groups. This year’s challenge is even greater. We again seek your help.
Please visit our website at http://www.bbfishfest.org to donate online or mail donations to Bodega Bay Fisherman’s Festival, PO Box 576, Bodega Bay, CA 94923
The Bodega Bay Fisherman’s Festival is a 501(c)(3) California nonprofit charitable organization and is 100% volunteer-run by local community members. All proceeds from the festival benefit Bodega Bay Area community services. Until 2022, when we can safely resume the excitement and fun that is Bodega Bay Fisherman’s Festival stay safe and be well.
On behalf of the Board of Directors of Bodega Bay Fisherman’s Festival we thank you for your support.
Bodega Bay Fisherman’s Festival