NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — Thursday marks the return of the Feast of the Blessed Sacrament in New Bedford for the first time since before the pandemic.

The 106th feast features a variety of food, wine and entertainment including live music, a parade, a 5K road race and a carnival.

Rick Fernandes, president of this year’s feast, said he and his committee “have been hard at work to make this year’s Feast better than ever.”

The event is recognized as the largest Portuguese feast in the world, which brings tens of thousands of people into the city.

Vice President of this year’s feast, John Alves, said despite the large crowds, the feast is still a family affair.

“I think it’s going to be fun to see people and by this point, people have had babies we haven’t seen, you know?” Alves said. “It’s going to be wonderful to see the second and third cousins that you don’t see all the time, but you love.”

The four-day event kicked off at Madeira Field and runs through Sunday.