The first preliminary event of Utah's quincentenary observance of Christopher Columbus' "discovery" of America will be held Saturday, May 11, at the Great Salt Lake Yacht Club.

The public is invited to a full day's slate of activities, including a children's boat parade at 10 a.m. At 11:30 a.m., boats will assemble for a traditional "blessing of the fleet," officiated by Bishop William Weigand, of the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City. At 2 p.m., there will be races and cruises.Sponsored by the Utah Columbus Quincentenary Commission, the event is the first of numerous statewide observances to mark the 500th anniversary of Columbus' arrival in the Americas.

The celebrations will culminate on Columbus Day, Oct. 12, 1992, with a multiethnic festival at the Utah State Fairgrounds.