Last weekend the Carlos Vieira Foundation hosted the San Joaquin Valley Portuguese Festival presented by the Portuguese Fraternal Society America (PFSA) to benefit the Race for Autism at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds.
This family friendly event was free to the public displaying traditional Portuguese dancing, music and food. There were many activities offered for kids and adults during the festival including: carnival rides, cultural exhibits, wine and cheese tasting, and various vendors there.
Many families attended the festival with their kids either enjoying the culture and activities provided or parents trying to show their kids about their own heritage.
Nichole Vera from Merced, Ca said, “I just wanted to show my kids the Portuguese heritage, since we are half Portuguese.”
It is their first year attending the festival but they know they will be coming back next year,
“I feel at home being here," she continued.
There were performances such as the of a bloodless bullfighting, the Portuguese Kids Comedy Show, Eratoxica (Portuguese rock band), Starlight Band and Grupo de Fados de Medicina do Porto.
Grupo de Fados de Medicina do Porto is 25 years old portraying a traditional Portuguese genre of music expressing destiny and fate. It is called a generation group meaning the students that have been taught are now taking responsibility of the group.
Joao Pereira, one of the members of the group said, “Our favorite part is definitely being among Portuguese brethren and playing for them as well as playing for foreigners, the American people, so that we can make some type of cultural exchange.”
This past Saturday was a time where families got to celebrate a culture they shared as well as supporting a great cause.