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Blessing of the Fleet

When the seasons change and spring starts to feel like summer, its impossible for boaters not to get the itch to be out on the water. There is nothing quite like that first summer boat ride, when you feel the warm breeze blow through your hair and rays from the sun kiss your face. It’s like sitting down with a friend you haven’t seen in a while, but picking up right where you left off. Absolute bliss.

Villagers are no strangers to this feeling. Many live for outdoor splendor and some will even say spending time on Tellico Lake is their happy place. It’s the place they go when they just need to escape, ease the mind and enjoy life’s pleasures. In fact, there’s even a club dedicated to making joyous memories on the lake. The Tellico Cruising club brings Tellico Village boaters together through activities while promoting safety practices for more enjoyable times on the water.

On that first real summer-like day the Cruising Club hosts its annual Blessing of the Fleet. This year, the day could not have been more gorgeous. In sunny and 80-degree weather, more than 35 boats from around the community lined up to receive a blessing to ensure a safe season.

The turnout was fantastic. Event attendees saw everything from fishing boats to party barges journey down the river to hear their blessing from Pastor Mark Rhodes. Slowly cruising by the dock, each boat received a special prayer using its name. Blessings were given to all types of seamen including the Coast Guard Auxiliary and boaters on creatively named watercrafts looking to have a little fun. Then, with a salute from a retired Naval Captain and a wave from friendly onlookers, they were off to safely make summer memories.

Fun didn’t stop with the blessing. Like all great celebrations, there was food – and lots of it. Neighbors and friends gathered to eat, mingle and just enjoy each other’s company as the first official event of the season. It was glorious, and the great news is, the festivities are just beginning. There are so many exciting Cruising Club activities to come like raft offs, socials and hot dog roasts. The invite always stands to go check it out.

Even if boating is not your thing, the Blessing of the Fleet reminds us to be grateful for the beautiful season ahead. There’s so much to look forward to this summer at Tellico Village. From golfing at Tanasi to hiking in the Smoky Mountains, the opportunities in East Tennessee are truly endless. Get out and enjoy it!

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