Photos copyright Roel Loopers. Click on images to enlarge.
Although I am not religious the annual Fremantle Blessing of the Fleet procession is one of my favourite events of the years and I have rarely missed it in the last 20+ years. It is a true community event that should get a heritage listing because it is very special.
Even with God on one’s side not everything goes smooth, and while the parade through the city centre did not get rained on the Transperth 531 bus broke down at the roundabout of Queen and Adelaide streets and the procession had to snake around it, which almost decapitated the Madonna.
Here some impressions of today’s event and some of the best photos I have taken off it, if I may say so myself on my birthday.
Come and join the special yearly Blessing of the Fleet today. It has become a community procession for all and is a great event that I never miss. It starts at the St Patrick’s Basilica at 2 pm and ill wind through the cbd and west end to the fishing boat harbour. It should not be long before you’ll hear the first firing of the cannon.
The procession will stop at St John’s church where that priest will join the parade. Let’s hope the rain will stay away till after the Blessing.
The Truck Stop Fremantle Festival event yesterday attracted many people. I had to work in Perth so could not be there but driving past at 3pm on my way home the inner city was alive with many hundreds of people and looked very revitalised.
Truck Stops are now the new black with a food truck market at Garden City on Fridays and one in the Perth Cultural Centre on Fridays and Saturdays.
The annual FREMANTLE FESTIVAL starts this weekend with the Blessing of the Fleet on Sunday. The procession will leave the St Patrick’s Basilica at 2 pm so come and join this great community event.
At the Townhall the construction of a pop up bar is under way and it looks as if John Curtin is not very happy with it, but that is probably only because the bronze sculpture is not great art.
The festival has all the traditional goodies with one significant change of the Wardarnji Aboriginal Festival moved to an evening event instead of daytime.
I love Freo’s festivals. They are always good fun, but I would love to see some creative changes to the Fremantle Festival as it has become very much a carbon copy of previous years, year in year out, and that is too predictable to still be exciting.
Here some photos of Sunday’s Fremantle Festival activities.
I went to the Fibonacci Centre, the Tweed Run, Norfolk Lanes Youth Festival and Esplanade Youth Plaza and the Blessing of the Fleet.
When there was traffic chaos on a few occasions during last year’s Fremantle festivals, the City promised they would change to a local company who were familiar with the street lay-out of the inner city.
Today it showed that whichever company did the so-called traffic management for the Blessing of the Fleet does not have a clue either because it was utter rubbish what they produced. I am sure they’ll get thousands of dollars payed for it by the COF though who appear to support mediocrity
I mentioned on this blog the last times that it is pretty simple to manage traffic in the West End. Close Pakenham, Mouat, Henry and Cliff streets at Phillimore Street and you’ve got some semblance of organised traffic management.
But today again cars were allowed to turn from Phillimore into Pakenham, to then find they had to turn right into High to end up in a traffic jam and standing traffic at Cliff Street.
The farce got even worse though! Traffic was allowed to enter Cliff Street from Phillimore Street but less than 50 metres in they were forced to turn right at High Street and ended up doing U-turns at Little High Street.
English is not my first language, so maybe the directors of ‘Traffic Control’ company could tell me what the word is for the chaos they created. Traffic management or control it wasn’t!
Oh and to the ‘traffic control’ guy in the full body high visibility outfit. Mate we wanted to photograph the procession, not mister yellow ignoramus walking straight ahead of the priests. They did not need you to know how to walk straight down High Street.
This coming weekend is the start of the 2014 FREMANTLE FESTIVAL so get ready Freo.
There are a lot of things happening including the traditional Blessing of the Fleet on Sunday. It starts at 2 pm from the Basilica.
But let’s just slowly wind into it on Saturday with the huge Garage Sale at Kings Square from 8 am and the open house at the Fib-Fibonacci Centre in Blinco Street from 11 am.
But also try to make the short trip to Hammy Hill for the Bakers Square Community Fiesta. It’s all going to be relaxing fun, and stuff the weather forecast, a bit of rain won’t dampen our spirit, we are after all a port city.
The traditional Maria Tindari- Black Madonna procession happens every year in Fremantle about a month before the Blessing of the Fleet, and the 3 pm daylight fireworks always come as a big surprise to the Sunday crowd, as it did again on Sunday.
The procession starts at the Basilica in Adelaide Street and wanders through the West of the city and Cappuccino Strip.
The Blessing of the Fleet is on again the last Sunday in October.
It is going to be very busy in Fremantle this Sunday with road closures in the morning for the Fremantle Fun Run, so it might be a bit more difficult to get to your favourite West End cafe. The event starts on the Esplanade at 8 am.
In Beach Street is the Customs Cars Coffee event between 9-11 am, and from 2 pm on the procession of the Black Madonna will snake from the Basilica through the city centre and that will also involve road closures.
But that should not discourage anyone from coming to Fremantle, as it is going to be a glorious day just perfect for a day out and having a nice alfresco lunch while soaking up the sunshine and atmosphere in gorgeous Freo. What better place to be to celebrate the Dockers’ win over Port Adelaide.
Here some photos of today’s BLESSING OF THE FLEET in Fremantle and from the again disappointing Seafood Festival in the Fishing Boat Harbour. The latter is not substantial enough to be called a festival, and the organisors should drastically improve it next year it or cancel it.
The Blessing of course is always worth going to town for as it is such a lovely tradition that is deeply rooted in the Italian culture. I love it.