This past weekend the Turlock Pentecost Association and Portuguese community celebrated their faith and culture through their 102nd annual festa – a celebratory period of traditional food and events.
The celebrations began early Friday morning when a crew of over 20 men of the Turlock Pentecost Association hauled in more than 20,000 pounds of beef to the Turlock Ballroom for the Association’s annual sopas. Between Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon thousands of pans of the traditional dish — a broth made of wine, spices, cabbage, tomato sauce and garlic poured over a large piece of French bread, topped with beef and garnished with mint — were consumed by the entire community.
“This is the biggest event of the year,” said Martin Cunha, former president of the Association.
Sunday also marked the Association’s annual parade, which brings the crowned queens from nearby towns and other organizations together to collectively march in traditional costumes between the ballroom and Sacred Heart Catholic Church while bands perform cultural music. The celebration continued Monday night as the Portuguese community made their way to the Stevinson Pentecost Bull Fighting Arena to witness young men test their grit against onery bulls in an arena encircled by a crowd of thousands.
For a more in-depth look at these Portuguese traditions check out the next episode of Studio 209 on Thursday at turlockjournal.com/multimedia and youtube.com/user/turlockjournal.