To our 99th Annual CelebrationAugust 1-4, 2013
World's Largest Portuguese Feast - New Bedford Ma
Why do you visit the feast?
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My dad Manuel Teixeira who once lived in New Bedford Mass. was a member of the Feast of the Blessed Sacrament. I remember going there every year since I was a kid, and watching the parade and helping out in the stands. It is so nice to hear that it is still going on in 2012.
I have been visiting the feast since I was just 7 months old. My great grandfather and grandfather were both members of the club and served on many feast commitees as I continue to do today and carry on my grandparents traditions. I will visit the monument every year on opening day and pay respects to them and watch the opening ceremonies. After the cermonies I will visit the Santana House and have a shot of Madeira wine with friends and family before heading to the famous barbecue pit and cook several pounds of Carne D' Espesto like my grandparents did. Now I carry on this tradition and hopefully will pass it on to my daughter who is next in line. After eating with family and friends it's off to work and volunteer my time to the feast selling tickets, ID wristbands, or in food stand or wherever help is needed.My wife, daughter, mom, and friends and other family also help during the four days and up to 2 weeks before the feast preparing fo it all in carrying on my grandparents traditions and culture. Many thanks to them and have a safe happy feast.
This picture was taken in the year 2008 when three (3) generations of the Baptista familes served as Festeiros or Committee members of the Feast ! We were told that, that was the first time that NINE members of one family have ever served in the same year ! There was me and my three sons and my brother Frank and his three sons. Also in the pictures was my grand son . In 1994 I served along with my five ( 5) brothers .This is one family tradition that we hope to continue with for years to come.
For years, I have been joining with my family on a quiet Sunday afternoon- after the parade and enjoying a tasty carne d'espeto sandwich with a cup of Madeira wine. It reminds me of my childhood and has become the thing to do every summer. I have the Feast in my blood, even though I'm only part Portuguese. I can't wait another month!
Three generations of the Baptista Family have had the honor of serving as Festerios on the Feast committee.. First was my Uncle Manuel Ferreira who served in 1928 and then my father Manuel Baptista in 1929. All five of my brothers, namely Manuel ( Mel ) , John, Charles, Francisco,and Joe along with myself have been festerios and severed on the Feast Committee numerous times. All of our sons and there are quite a few of them have also served as festerios and most of their sons have served as well. For years the Baptista 's have been in charge of the Dining Room and needless to say there are lots of Baptista's there to be found .As you enter the serving area of the Dining Room a picture of my mother and father , Manuel and Rosa Baptista watch over us as we serve the many patrons who come to the feast to enjoy the Portuguese Cuisine, music and of course the Madeira Wine ! With the good Lords Blessing's we hope to continue on with this great family tradition and pay honor to our Madeiran Heritage !! Long Live The Feast Of The Blessed Sacrament !
I been coming to this feast since I was a little girl. Its become a tradition for me and my family to come to this feast. One person that made it so much fun was my uncle Joe ( bless his soul). My uncle, Joseph Castro was a big part of the feast...he was a member of the feast and was well known through out New Bedford for many many years.His picture hangs in the museum which I am so proud!!! He adored being around the music, friends, family and especially the Madeira wine. My Uncle Joe was born in Madeira and resided here many many years ago. Sadly to say Uncle Joe passed few years back and it left a hole in my heart..he was loved by not only family but by so many friends not only in New Bedford but also where we he lived in Ct. We miss Uncle Joe at the feast, his smile, his unbelievable sense of humor, dancing and singing with him and his loving heart. So today we continue to go to the feast in his honer and raise our Madeira wine glasses and say bless you Uncle Joe we will never forget you!!!!!
I go to the Feast for the music and the food. I'm not too crazy about the drunks though.
I had gone to the feast for years when I was a kid; both my father (Virgil de Sousa Andrade) and his father (Joao de Sousa Andrade) were members. It had been years since I had gone. After my father died in 2006, I decided I wanted to go again... and it was great! The food... the music... I had such a great time, reliving my memories as a kid, that I've been going every year since.
I have been doing my family tree and have been struck how close we are all related. Many family friends I knew growing up are distant cousins in one way or another. This is mostly due to the island being uninhabited prior to 1419 so most everybody descends from one of those initial immigrant families. I encourage everyone to do their family tree; it is a wonderful experience.
If you have any interest, there are a group of us online that do Madeira genealogy and would be glad to hook you up. If your family is from Sao Roque / Santo Antonio / Arco da Calheta (my Mom's family) or Sao Vicente / Ponta Delgada / Seixal (my Dad's). I would love to help you as I have already done a lot of research in those parishes: we are likely cousins, closer than you might think!
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