by The Portuguese-American Leadership Council of the United States (PALCUS)
As many of you know, the Day of Portugal, Camões and the Portuguese Communities is celebrated annually on June 10th. The holiday commemorates the death of the famed Portuguese poet, Luís Vaz de Camões, Portugal’s greatest poet. All across the world, including here in the United States, Portuguese communities celebrate the day with great fanfare. See below for some of the weekend’s celebrations.
In San Francisco, California, the colors of the Portuguese flag lit up City Hall for the first time. The ceremony, took place on Friday, June 9th. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee awarded Consul-General Nuno Mathias with a resolution, recognizing the Day of Portugal. The day’s festivities also included a Portuguese Heritage Night with the San Francisco Giants.
In addition, the Portuguese-American community of San Jose, California also celebrated with festivities at Kennedy Park. The celebrations at Kennedy Park took place on Saturday, June 10th, featuring performances, food, vendors & more.
The City of Palm Coast, Florida also commemorated the Day of Portugal for the first time. The ceremony occurred on Friday, June 9th at the City Hall of Palm Coast. Local members ofthe community and dignitaries attended, included the mayor of Palm Coast, Milissa Holland, Honorary Consul Dr. Caesar DePaço, Deputy of the Assembly of the Republic, Teresa Morais and Maria João Ávila. The weekend’s festivities continued with a celebration at the Portuguese American Cultural Center.
The City of Danbury celebrated the Day of Portugal on Sunday, June 4th. A flag-raising at the John Perry Memorial at Rogers Park opened the festivities. The mayor of Danbury, Mark Boughton was in attendance, as well as the Consul-General of Portugal in New York, Manuela Bairos. The celebrations featured a parade, followed by a festival at the Portuguese Cultural Center.
The State Capitol, in Hartford, also hosted a celebration on Friday, June 10th, featuring performances by the Tuna de Medicina of the University of Coimbra and the Rancho Folclórico of the Portuguese
Club of Hartford. Also in attendance were State Representative Rosa G. Rebimbas; PALCUS Board Member Fernando G. Rosa; Margarida Marques, Portugal’s Secretary of State for European Affairs, Domingos Fezas Vital, the Portuguese Ambassador to the United States; and Consul-General of Portugal in New York, Manuela Bairos. Three members of the Portuguese-American community were honored for their dedication and preservation of the culture: Fernando Cordeiro, Fernando Rodrigues, and Joe Gouveia.
In Newark, New Jersey, the Day of Portugal festivities commenced on Friday and concluded on Sunday with various performances by folklore groups, bands, and more. The highlight of the weekend’s festivities was the annual parade in the Ironbound. Eighty groups took part in the parade with thousands of spectators lining the streets.
On Friday, June 2nd, a flag-raising was also held at the City Hall of Elizabeth. The Day of Portugal festivities continued well into the weekend. The Day of Portugal Parade was held on Sunday, June 4th, featuring various groups from New Jersey. The Day of Portugal Parade was held on Sunday, June 4th, featuring the support of numerous groups.
On Saturday, June 3rd, the Consul-General of Portugal in Newark, Pedro Oliveira, also hosted a reception at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) to celebrate the Day of Portugal. The reception featured a concert by humorist Bruno Nogueira and Manuela Azevedo. Their series, “Deixem o Pimba em Paz” premiered in Lisbon and has toured throughout Portugal. Some of the evening’s guests included: Álvaro Mendonça e Moura, Portugal’s UN ambassador, the representative of the European Community of the United Nations, João Vale de Almeida, as well as the Honorary Consul of Portugal in Florida, Caesar DePaço.
The New York Portuguese-American Leadership Conference (NYPALC) organized the Day of Portugal celebrations in Mineola on the weekend of Friday, June 9th – Sunday, June 11th. The weekend’s festivities, featuring the Day of Portugal Parade on Sunday, were held at the Mineola Portuguese Center.
The Portuguese Circle Celebrates its 10th Anniversary
On Friday, June 9th, the Portuguese Circle celebrated its tenth anniversary and the Day of Portugal with a Pastel de Nata Extravaganza. A group of about 60 people came together in Midtown Manhattan to celebrate the networking group’s anniversary over pastéis de nata. Read more about the get-together in this article from Revista Visão and view more photos here.
On Tuesday, June 6th, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts celebrated its 33rd Annual Heritage Day of Portugal along with the Commonwealth’s Portuguese-American Legislative Caucus. Portuguese-Americans who have contributed to their respective communities were honored by their local government leaders. The Tuna de Medicina of the University of Coimbra also provided entertainment throughout the ceremony. Dr. Pedro Carneiro, the Consul of Portugal in New Bedford was honored for his work in the community.
The Day of Portugal in New Bedford celebrated its 20th anniversary this year. The festivities
commenced on Thursday, June 8th with a flag-raising at New Bedford City Hall followed by a reception at the Whaling Museum. On Friday, June 9th, a ribbon-cutting ceremony officially opened the festivities in the North End of New Bedford. Other highlights included a parade, performances and Portuguese food.
The Day of Portugal was also celebrated in Fall River, MA (June 15 – 18) featuring various performances from Portuguese artists, including the Portuguese Kids, Jorge Ferreira and Starlight. The first event of the festivities was a golf tournament which occurred on June 7th. On Thursday, June 15th, the weekend’s festivities opened with a food tasting on Thursday evening. The festival also featured a kid’s fair, folklore dancing and a public viewing of the Confederation’s Cup match against Mexico.
RI Day of Portugal held its 40th continuous celebration in downtown Providence on Saturday, June 10th. Rhode Island College through its Institute for Portuguese and Lusophone World Studies and RI Day of Portugal teamed up with WaterFire Providence for a full Portuguese-themed lighting of 80 braziers on the Providence river. Special guests who participated as torchbearers included H.E. Domingos Fezas Vital, the Ambassador of Portugal in the U.S., Dra. Margarida Marques, the Secretary of State for European Affairs, and Robert Sherman, former United States Ambassador to Portugal, among others. The torch and flag procession began at the river basin led by DOP President Leonel Teixeira and RIC President Frank D. Sánchez and filed into the ALEX AND ANI City Center at Kennedy Plaza to a waiting crowd of hundreds. Entertainment provided by Chico Avila, Portuguese food and dance continued into the night. The festivities also featured a multi-divisional parade on Sunday, including the participation of many Portuguese-American clubs and organizations in the area. Visit their website for more info on all the events. Representatives from the organizing committees sat down with the Rhode Island Show to discuss the weekend’s festivities in this video clip.
Message from the Department of State
Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson shared the following message on Monday, June 12th in recognition of the Day of Portugal.
“I am pleased to extend warm greetings on behalf of the United States on the occasion of Portugal Day.
The United States and Portugal share a close bond, dating back to the founding of the United States. Our alliance is built upon and strengthened by innumerable ties of friendship and family. The transatlantic relationship between the United States and Portugal remains vital today. Our two countries cooperate closely through NATO and the United Nations in support of global peace and security.
On this important occasion, we reiterate our commitment to further deepen the friendship between the United States and Portugal and look forward to continued cooperation with our Portuguese partners.”
Save the date!
We invite you to join us on Saturday, September 23rd for our 21st Annual Leadership Awards Gala. This year’s Gala will be taking place at the Portuguese-American Community Center of Yonkers, New York. Additional details to be announced on our website.
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In order to create a singular voice to advocate for the Portuguese-American and Luso-American communities at large, the Portuguese-American Leadership Council of the United States Inc. (PALCUS) was founded in 1991 as a 501(c)3 non-partisan, non-profit, organization headquartered in Washington D.C.
The PALCUS mission is to address domestic and international concerns of the Portuguese-American Community.
The Council conducts an expanding program of educational and public affairs activities on issues of interest to the Portuguese-American community and of salience to the Luso-American Relationship.
PALCUS is committed to serving the community through increasingly active government relations efforts, the promotion of a greater awareness of ethnic accomplishments and encouraging stronger ties between Portugal and the United States. In this role PALCUS advances the community professionally, politically and culturally while working to ensure that issues directly affecting our community are addressed through our network of government and community leaders.
PALCUS is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization incorporated under the laws of the District of Columbia. Donations are tax deductible to extent allowed by law.