The Feast of the Blessed Sacrament, known around the area as the Portuguese Feast or just the Festa or Feast, is an essential New Bedford cultural experience and can not be missed. It is the largest ethnic festival in New England, and will bring over 100,000 visitors this summer. The Feast celebrates Portuguese heritage—especially the culture of Madeira, a small Portuguese Island off the Atlantic coast of North Africa—and there are carnival rides, musical performances, and craft vendors.
Feast-goers can enjoy Portuguese cuisine, such as linguiça sandwiches and sweet fried dough malassadas. There is a 40 foot barbeque pit where feast-goers can roast marinated cubes of beef on skewers, called carne de espeto. For drink, the sweet and delicious Madeira Wine is very popular, and comes shipped in barrels directly from the island. In addition to the ethnic food and drinks selections, there are traditional fair offerings from vendors in the carnival area. For a break from the festivities, take a walk to the Museum of Madeiran Heritage to learn about the Madeiran culture that has had such an impact on the area.
August 1, 2013 Thursday 6:00 p.m. to midnight
August 2, 2013 Friday 6:00 p.m. to midnight
August 3, 2013 Saturday 10:00 a.m. 5K road race
Feast: Noon to midnight
August 4, 2013 Sunday Noon to midnight
2:00 p.m. Parade