Fisherman's Birthday
(St. Peter's Birthday)
Blessing the fishing fleet at Gouyave

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Fisherman's Birthday Celebration
Gouyave, Grenada

The Fisherman's Birthday festival in Grenada (June 29) honors St. Peter, the patron saint of fishermen, and it's held in Grenada's fishing capital, the town of Gouyave.

The Fisherman's Birthday festival includes a host of events including a sailboat race and mini-carnival of soca music and fireworks.

The most important element is the blessing of the local fishing fleet by town's Roman Catholic priest.

By the time the celebration finally ends, Gouyave once again will have proved its reputation as “Action City, the town that never sleeps.” (See Gouyave's history as a party town.)

Prior to the blessing of the fleet, a mass is held inside the local cathedral. Mixed in with the prayers are lots of singing and even speech making by island politicians.

The mass starts on Caribbean time, an hour late. Few fishermen are interested in going inside the church but would rather sit together on the beach talking and drinking Carib beers.

They're more interested in the blessing of their boats than themselves.

When the mass ends, about two hours later than scheduled, the priest leads a procession through the streets that ends at a large tent on Gouyave's beach.

The priest is accompanied by altar boys, trumpet players, bass drummers and most of the church goers.

It's well into the rainy season and showers have threatened all morning but they never materialized. Instead, the sun is intense.