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Festa Espirito Santo: 100 years of Azorean tradition
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Festa Events

Today: Centennial book launch in Sacred Heart Church Chapel at 5:30 p.m.; praying of the Rosary at 7 p.m.

Thursday: Praying of the Rosary in Sacred Heart Chapel at 7 p.m.

Friday: Praying of the Rosary in Sacred Heart Chapel at 7 p.m.; concert featuring Bombocas at 8:30 p.m.

Saturday: Praying of the Rosary at 7 p.m., Cantoria at 8:30 p.m.; dance from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., presentation of queens and officers at 10 p.m.

Sunday: Formation of Procession at 7 a.m., Mass celebrated by Rev. Padre Antonio Saldanha and Father Luis Cordeiro at Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Traditional sopas and meat will be served after Mass to all. Auction of gifts at 1 p.m., folklore dancers Grupo Etnografico de Espirito Santo from the San Joaquin Valley at 5 p.m. Traditional sopas and meat served to all at 6 p.m. Dance and singers at 8 p.m., followed by presentation of queens and officers at 10 p.m.

Monday: A Grand Gala of Old-Style Portuguese Bullfighting and presentation of queens and officers at 7 p.m. at the Stevinson Bullfight Arena.

The Portuguese community is celebrating its most historical event this week with the 100th anniversary of the Turlock Pentecost Association.  The seven day celebration allows people from all ages to enjoy the festivities that include folkloric songs, dances, and traditional Azorean food.

“The Festa is held to celebrate the present, honor the past, and secure the future through the promotion of culture and the rich spiritual traditions of the Azorean Islands,” said Pentecost Association President Bobby Estacio.   “Many important people are expected to come.  Father Antonio Saldanha of Rome and Father Luis Cordeiro will be present to celebrate the festivities on this momentous occasion,” he said.

This week’s celebration included a Mass honoring past presidents on Tuesday evening followed by a Rosary tonight.  Friday’s event holds a special concert featuring Portuguese group Bombocas. 

“Friday is a busy day for us in terms of food preparation.  We purchased about 20 thousand pounds of meat which we will be cooking all night.  On Saturday morning we will have about 1,800 pans ready to serve to the public,” said Estacio.

The Festa queens and officers will be presented on Saturday night followed by the formation of procession Sunday morning.  On Monday, the Stevinson Bullfight Arena will host its grand gala of old-style Portuguese bullfighting that will feature six bulls and local horsemen.

The Turlock Pentecost Association embraces this opportunity to educate the younger generation about tradition, the catholic faith, and the Azorean culture.  It has continued for 100 years and will continue to lead the way into the next century.