• Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Anita Crone/For the Times
The Rev. Dr. B. Mike Alexander blesses the Inlet on Saturday during Belin Memorial United Methodist Church’s annual celebration. Hundreds gather every year for food, faith and fun.

A little chill and a bit of rain did little to dampen the enthusiasm Saturday as food, fellowship, music and, of course, the ceremony drew a crowd to Belin Memorial United Methodist Church for the annual Blessing of the Inlet.
The Rev. Dr. B. Michael Alexander told the attendees to be joyous and to celebrate the beautiful inlet, as he reminded them that David danced and was joyous.
Several people took him up on the offer as music and dance poured from the church, led by the Living Waters Praise Team and the Belin Chancel Choir.
The sounds wafted to the food tent, where more than one person found his favorite food, prepared by Inlet area restaurants or church
organizations. Crowd favorites, as usual, were strawberry shortcake and funnel cake for the adults, and pizza for the youngsters.
As always, vendors were doing a brisk business, and civic organizations, including animal rescue groups, gardeners, public safety groups and ecological promoters took advantage of an audience to talk about what they do and how they do it.
Kentril Washington was happy to show off the sweetwater baskets heís been weaving for decades. He learned the art from his grandmother and great-grandmother, and said he hopes to pass it on to his son.
His own art, he says, encompasses the skills of both women. ďMy weave isnít quite as tight as my great-grandmotherís, but itís a bit looser than my grandmotherís,Ē he explained. When heís not weaving, he models.
For children, there was a special area, and the little ones took advantage of games, face painting and a dunk tank.
The fish tank was doing a brisk business as youngsters cast their lines into the box. Although not everyone was successful on the first try, each child netted a bag of Goldfish for his efforts.
The Blessing of the Inlet is a 17-year tradition of the church, which uses the money raised for its missions. Already organizers are looking to next year, inviting artists to submit designs for the official T-shirt that celebrates the day.

By Anita Crone
For The Times

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