Provincetown Celebrates 23rd Portuguese Festival

PROVINCETOWN – The 23rd annual Portuguese Festival kicked off Thursday evening in Provincetown.

The festival provides four days of live music, dancing, parades, food, games and more.

Guests from all over will head to the Outer Cape to celebrate the rich Portuguese heritage and culture in Provincetown.

Organizer of the festival Don Murphy said the festival has been successful for over two decades because of the work of volunteers.

“It happens because so many people love to do it and it comes from the heart,” Murphy said.

“It’s just so special and it’s all volunteers.”

Murphy said the highlights of this year’s festival are the same as previous years, but they continue to get better.

“We start again with amazing, amazing food,” he said.

The celebration begins with the “Share our Table” dinner under the tent at the Bas Relief at 5 p.m.

The dinner showcases the best food from the Outer Cape. The “Share our Table” event has been sold out for weeks.

Major events continue Friday with the Portuguese Soup Tasting at the Bas Relief from noon to 3 p.m.

The Lobster Bake is Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. at Bas Relief and is presented by The Lobster Pot and Cape Tip Seafood.

“That’s incredible,” Murphy said. “If you like lobster, boy, that is the place to come.”

Murphy said Saturday focuses on family-friendly events at Portuguese Square along with the Portuguese Festival Parade on Commercial street from 3 to 5 p.m.

“Everybody just loves to come and watch [the parade], and it is all Portuguese,” Murphy said.

Bishop Edgar DaCunha, of the Fall River Diocese, will return to Provincetown on Sunday for the annual Fishermen’s Mass at St. Peter the Apostle Church at 10:30 a.m.

The mass will be followed by the 72nd Blessing of the Fleet at MacMillan Pier at 1 p.m.

Murphy said the fleet has changed from just fishing boats and now includes pleasure craft.

“But it is still a very colorful event and people just love it,” Murphy said.

Murphy said another key to success for the festival is that the focus has remained on the town’s rich Portuguese heritage.

“There is so much pressure sometimes for organizations to add other things to try to expand out,” Murphy said.

He said it is a beautiful event that is authentic.

“People really appreciate what the Portuguese community is and what the Portuguese people are and they have no trouble enjoying that,” Murphy said. “They don’t need other things to accommodate that pleasure.”

For a complete schedule of events for this year’s festival, visit

About Brian Merchant

Brian Merchant grew up in Central Massachusetts and now lives in South Dennis on the Cape. He has been part of the news team in the NewsCenter since the spring of 2014. He studied radio broadcasting at the University of Tennessee.
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