Tens of Thousands Expected for Annual Provincetown Portuguese Festival

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PROVINCETOWN – Tens of thousands are expected to head to Provincetown this weekend for the annual Portuguese Festival and Blessing of the Fleet.

The family-friendly festival, which gets underway Thursday evening, features food, entertainment and activities to celebrate Portuguese heritage.

Event organizer Don Murphy says the opening night showcase of restaurants always draws a crowd.

“People just look forward to it,” he said. “Even though it gets sold out we try to fix that problem but I don’t know how you solve the problem of getting sold out. You can’t make the tent any bigger.”

The Seamen’s Bank Compartilhe Na Nossa Mesa “Share Our Table” event showcases Provincetown restaurants under the tent at Bas Relief. The event runs from 5 to 10 p.m. and reservations are required.

Food continues to be the theme on Friday with the Portuguese Soup Tasting at the Bas Relief from noon to 3 p.m.

Bas Relief will also host the Lobster Bake which has been brought back for a second year from 5 to 8 p.m. and is provided by the Lobster Pot restaurant.

“That thing is absolutely phenomenal,” Murphy said. “People get almost two pounds of lobster and last year we ran out of lobsters very quickly.”

The festival finale will be Sunday and starts with a mass at St. Peter the Apostle Church at 10:30 with Bishop Edgar daCunha as celebrant.

The service will be followed by a procession to MacMillian Pier for the 69th Blessing of the Fleet at 1 p.m.

This year’s festival will also honor carpenters and builders who helped build up the community.

Murphy said over 30,000 people are expected throughout the weekend.

“We’re celebrating the Portuguese heritage and everybody loves doing it,” Murphy said.

A complete schedule of events can be found provincetownportuguesefestival.org.

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