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New Roads community commemorates Memorial Day with a 'blessing of the boats'

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NEW ROADS - A wreath was tossed into False River at New Roads to remember fallen solders over the Memorial Day weekend.

"We set aside this Memorial Day to give thanks and recall all the blessings of life," Deacon Bob McDonner said.

The services for those who died in war are held simultaneously here every year here with a blessing of the boats.

Dozens of boats line up, waiting to get their blessing. It's a tradition that dates back longer than anyone can remember, and it's a must for boat owners in the area.

"In essence, it's to be safe, have a good time, and have God watch over us," McDonner said.

Many folks who live near the lake believe in the power of holy water, and they make it point to have their water craft doused in it.

"We want to have fun and we want to make sure we come on safely and we want to be safe.

And in New Roads where boating is big business, they're not only bless the boats for safety, but also for the local economy.

"There's thousands that come for the tourism industry, the restaurants, the stores, businesses in town. It's of the utmost importance," organizer Kenneth St. Romain said. "We are blessed to have a beautiful place like False River and we do our best to preserve it, honor it and keep it safe."

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