The Feast of the Blessed Sacrament takes place this weekend with the opening ceremonies beginning Thursday night.

Paul Leconte, President of the 2016 Feast Committee for the 102nd Feast of the Blessed Sacrament, told WBSM's Phil Palelogos says that the ceremony begins at 5:30 p.m. then, once it wraps up, the festivities begin.

"At 6 o'clock everything is done with the opening ceremonies, then we set off the canon and that starts the fiest, entertainment immediately starts on Stage One with the Freeze Pops," said Leconte "we have five stages of entertainment, four on the Fiest ground and one at down at the Madeiran museum."

The headliner for Thursday night will be the band Tonic playing on Stage One between 10 p.m. - 11:45 p.m.

While the event is known for fun, food, and revelry Leconte said it's important to remember that it is in fact a religious celebration.

"It started out, and is to this day, it's a religious event," said Leconte "the religion is the glue that holds it together."

Leconte also said this year's Feast has been dedicated to his mother.

"She's the lady who raised me and two siblings and she instilled in us a love of the culture of Madeira and the Portguese and everything that went along with it," said Leconte "it's thanks to her that I'm doing what I'm doing today so I dedicated the Feast to her."

The feast commences with the Assembly of the Festeiros at the Intersection of Earle St. and Acushnet Ave., followed by the opening ceremony which begins at 5:30 p.m. at Madeira Field in New Bedford.

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