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Portuguese Fest returns to Turlock fairgrounds
Portuguese Fest
The San Joaquin Valley Portuguese Festival will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday with a traditional Portuguese parade through the fairgrounds (Photo contributed).

All things Portuguese will be celebrated this weekend at the third annual San Joaquin Valley Portuguese Festival being held at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds.

“The celebration is open to everyone to come discover the culture and heritage of the Portuguese people and honor their contributions to the San Joaquin Valley and the state of California,” said Julio Valadez of the Carlos Vieira Foundation, one of the event’s sponsors. “This family-friendly event will showcase traditional Portuguese dancing, music and cuisine.”

The festival will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday with a traditional Portuguese parade through the fairgrounds and an opening ceremony. The parade will be followed by folklore and philharmonic performances along with bull roping showcases. Cultural exhibits from the San Jose and the San Diego Portuguese Historical Museums will also be on display.

Valadez explained that there we be a formal stage at the fairgrounds for additional musical performances and entertainment shows.

“We will also have exciting performances on the 51FIFTY Stage throughout the day including Fado style singer Emily, Portuguese comedian Taylor Amarante and Alcides Machado, a local folklore singer,” Valadez added.

Additionally, the festival will host several performers from across the nation, including accordion player and singer Luizinho, Portuguese pop and folklore star Anthony Morais and singer David DeMelo accompanied by his band.

Sunday’s events will be centered around a bloodless bullfight at the fairgrounds’ AV Thomas Arena. While entry and parking into the festival is free for both days, there is a $15 entry fee for the arena and the bullfight. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Raise for Autism campaign that supports families living with autism. Musical performances and a comedy show by Vavo Brito will precede the much-anticipated bullfight.

Both days of the festival will feature a number of carnival rides and a variety of traditional Portuguese food options.

The event is hosted by the Carlos Vieira Foundation and presented by the Portuguese Fraternal Society of America. Admission and parking for the event is free.

More information on the San Joaquin Valley Portuguese Festival and a full itinerary of the weekend’s activities can be found on their website,