Thursday night marked the opening of the 101st Feast of the Blessed Sacrament.

The weekend was kicked off by the annual opening ceremony in front of the Madeiran monument and the recently added plaques of the founding fathers on the corner of Madeira Avenue and Hathaway Street.

2015 Feast president Nelson De Gouveia says those four plaques will be taking a very special trip in the near future.

"We're actually going to bring these back to Madeira. We're going to take those plaques back to Madeira and they're going to go back to their village," De Gouveia said.

The Madeiran, Portuguese, and American flags were raised to their respective national anthems and local officials spoke about the significance of the Feast.

Mayor Jon Mitchell says the Feast is such a major symbol of the community, when strangers from the city meet, they always have something in common.

"You end up talking about the Madeira wine, and the cacoila and the whole experience. The reason for that is that it is a source of common experiences for our whole community. There's something special here," said Mitchell.

Thousands of visitors are expected to take part in the festivities and enjoy music, food, and drink over the next three days.

The Feast will be open 12 noon - 12am Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

2015 Feast president Nelson De Gouveia - Greg Desrosiers/TSM
2015 Feast president Nelson De Gouveia - Greg Desrosiers/TSM

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