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July 22, 2011 > Portuguese Festa returns

Portuguese Festa returns

By Julie Grabowski

This weekend the Newark Holy Ghost Festa celebrates 89 years of Portuguese heritage and beliefs. The two-day event is a tribute to the faith of the Holy Spirit, and St. Isabel and the "miracle of the roses." The sixth queen of Portugal, St. Isabel had a tender heart for the poor around her. One day her less compassionate husband caught her on her way to deliver bread to the needy. When he asked what was hidden in her mantel she replied roses, though they were scarce at that time of year. And when she revealed what she was carrying, the bread had turned into roses.

An 11 a.m. mass leads off Saturday's events at the Newark Pavilion, followed by the Bodo de Leite parade at 1 p.m. with the traditional Pezinho, sweet bread, milk, and cheese served to all present. A company of queens, sidemaids, ox carts, cows, horses, bulls and calves will travel the streets around the Pavilion and return to the grounds for a day of music, dance, food, and ceremony. Sopas will be served at 5 p.m., the traditional dish of slow cooked meat and beef broth over French bread with cabbage available to all.

On Sunday a parade makes its way to St. Edwards Catholic Church for mass and the coronation of the queens who serve as representations of St. Isabel. This year's Little Queen is Caitlyn Isabella Correia with sidemaids Madison Freitas and Isabela Sousa; Junior Queen Catarina Emilia Correia with sidemaids Nicole Camara and Sara Azevedo; Senior Queen Jordan Elizabeth DaRosa with sidemaids Alexis Souto and Megan Maciel; and Queen Saint Isabel is Natalia Rosa.

At the close of these events, the parade returns to the Pavilion accompanied by Portuguese bands, Recreio do Emigrante Portuguese of Newark and Nova Alianca of San Jose, and the Portuguese Band of Santa Clara. Sopas will be served, an auction and bazaar will be open, and dancing closes out the day.

Festa Do Espirito Santo de Newark
Saturday and Sunday, July 23 and 24
Saturday 11 a.m.
Sunday 10:30 a.m.
Newark Pavilion
6430 Thornton Ave., Newark
(510) 793-4062

Event schedule:
Saturday, July 23
11 a.m. - Mass in Hall 1
1 p.m. - Bodo de Leite parade
3 p.m. - Performances by local folklore groups
4 p.m. - Animal recognition
5 p.m. - Sopas served in Hall 4
6 p.m. - Concert with Filarmonica Recreio do Emigrante Portuguese
7 p.m. - Praying of Rosary in the chapel
8 p.m. - Dance with performance by Raca in Hall 1
8:15 p.m. - Presentation of Queens, President, and Officers
9 p.m. - Cantoria with local singers in Hall 4

Sunday, July 24
10:30 a.m. - Parade assembles
10:45 a.m. - Parade departs pavilion for St. Edwards Catholic Church
11:30 a.m. - Mass
12:45 p.m. - Parade from St. Edwards to Pavilion chapel
2:15 p.m. - Religious ceremonies
2:15 p.m. - Sopas served
3 p.m. - Auction and bazaar throughout the day
5 p.m. - Dance with performance by Raca in Hall 1

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