Portuguese American Journal

Madeira: 97th Feast of Blessed Sacrament – New Bedford, MA

The 97th Annual Feast of the Blessed Sacrament will take place August 4-7, in New Bedford (MA).

Founded in 1915, by the immigrant community from Madeira, the event has become one of the largest Portuguese feasts in the United States and the largest ethnic festival in New England.

Over 100,000 people are expected to gather at the heart of New Bedford’s north end — at the intersection of Earle Street and Acushnet Avenue – to celebrate Portuguese American culture.

Visitors will enjoy Portuguese food and refreshing beverages, live music and entertainment, carnival rides and the city’s largest parade.

The parade schedule for 2 p.m., will include over 40 different organizations marching the one mile route from Brooklawn Park to the Feast grounds at Madeira Field.

The Feast of Blessed Sacrament, with all of its entertainment remains an admission free event, including a visit to the Museum of Madeiran Heritage which will be open to the public at no charge throughout the festival.

The Museum is the only one of its kind in America and houses a comprehensive collection of photographs and artifacts that tell the story of Madeiran immigration to the United States.

The Portuguese connection with New Bedford developed from early eighteenth-century whaling. In the 1860s, they comprised up to 60% of whaling crews. From 1870 to 1924, residents of Madeira and mainland Portugal joined Azoreans in looking for opportunities in emerging industries, particularly the textile mills, of New Bedford.



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