Fools Parade and The Blessing of the Fleet


Occidental Fools Parade, Occidental, CA

Two contrasting annual traditions merge seamlessly with the season in West Sonoma County. The Occidental Fools Parade continues to grow exponentially since its inception six years ago. Everyone is invited to participate, and people of all ages bring instruments and march in elaborate costume around Occidental’s tiny square. The event feels spontaneous and contemporary, yet resonates with a deeper familiarity, as though people are blooming in sync with the orchard trees surrounding the town, unable to suppress a display of vernal exuberance.


Blessing of the Fleet, Bodega Bay, CA

With origins in the Mediterranean centuries ago, sea ports around the world commence the fishing season with a blessing of the fleet, usually involving text from Psalm 104, verses 24-41 & Psalm 107, verses 23-32. In Bodega Bay, salmon boats are decked out and paraded out of the harbor to receive their blessing on Bodega Bay, at the edge of the Gulf of the Farralones, one of richest habitats for marine life along the Pacific Coast.


I will continue to document local seasonal celebrations, traditions and  cultural ephemera as an extension of my phenological inquiries.