The full service for the annual Blessing of the Seas ceremony will take place on Sunday 8th January.
The event is the Greek Orthodox celebration at Epiphany marking the baptism of Christ. Margate was chosen for the honour in the mid-20th century because there is a large community of Greek Cypriot residents in the town.
It’s organised by the local Greek Orthodox Church, the community of the Archangel Michael, whose Archbishop leads the devotions.
Doves are released, prayers given and a decorated cross is hurled into the waters to be retrieved by a young diver.
Due to the pandemic the ceremony was not held in 2021 and last year the blessing took place but the procession did not.
This year the procession is back and leaves Westbrook Cottages at 12.30pm to arrive at Margate Main Sands for the service.
The Mayor of Margate, Cllr Heather Keen, will be joined by Frank Martin Deputy Lieutenant of Kent, 22 mayors and chairmen from across Kent and further afield, Margate’s two Burgesses Iris Johnston and Cllr Mick Tomlinson, and other civic guests as well as 22 from the Cinque Port Liberty of Brightlingsea.
The Right Reverend Bishop Rose Hudson-Wilkins, Sir Roger Gale MP and Craig Mackinlay MP will also join the procession.
The Greek guests will include His Grace Bishop Athanasios, the Greek Ambassador to the Court of St James’ and the General Consul of the Republic of Cyprus as well as other Dignitaries.
The procession will be followed by the service on the beach conducted by Bishop Athanasios and the Blessing of the Waters.
With the possible exception of the annual Justice Service, this is the largest gathering of Mayors, Chairmen and other Civic Dignitaries annually in Kent.