NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — The Whaling City is hosting its 105th annual “Feast of the Blessed Sacrament,” which kicked off Thursday evening.
The four-day-long feast is recognized as the largest Portuguese feast in the world.
The event began Thursday and will be open during the following dates and times:
- Thursday, August 1: 6-11:45 p.m.
- Friday, August 2: Noon-11:45 p.m.
- Saturday, August: Noon-11:45 p.m.
- Sunday, August 4: Noon-11:45 p.m.
Jennifer Nunes – the wife of President of Feast of the Blessed Sacrament Carlos Nunes – tells Eyewitness News the feast is “about loving where you came from” and keeping traditions alive.
She said that is why her husband became involved. She said it’s all about sharing who the Madeiran people are.
“It’s about community,” Carlos Nunes said. “Everyone from the south coast, to around the county, and the world come here.”
According to Nunes, approximately 100,000 people are expected to attend the annual event.
With that many people, Chief of New Bedford Police Joseph Cordeiro said it’s important for all guests to be aware of their surroundings.
“We really rely heavily on public support to expand our eyes and ears to make sure everyone is safe,” Cordeiro said.
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker attended the opening ceremony for the event Thursday.
Entrance to the feast is free of charge, though attendees must pay for parking. Parking can range between $5 to $10, depending on where you park.
Organizers are reminding those attending of the bag policy that is in place:
- No backpacks, oversized purses, or coolers will be allowed.
- Only clear backpacks, clear ziplock bags, small purses, wristlets, handheld bags, medical bags, and baby bags will be allowed.
There is also a list of prohibited items available online. Some prohibited items include drones, pets, alcoholic beverages, coolers, fireworks and hoverboards. Outside food and beverages are also not allowed at the event.