Everyone who has been to New Bedford's Feast of the Blessed Sacrament knows that street parking is difficult bordering on impossible from Thursday through Sunday around Madeira Field, especially during peak feast hours. That's why a few years ago the feast partnered with Joe's Auto Mall to provide premium parking that's affordable and accessible to all feast patrons.

The official feast parking lot is located across the street from Joe's Auto Mall at 547 Belleville Avenue, just south of the feast grounds. The fee for parking is $20 per vehicle and the proceeds go to great causes throughout our community.

"All the proceeds that we get from the lot will go to support feast charities, and that's why we do it," said Carl Alves, President of PAACA, who has managed the feast lot every year since its inception.

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The lot also provides the most accessible off-street parking during feast weekend. Just a short walk across Belleville and up Tinkham Street will bring you to the feast's east entrance, or you can go west up Hathaway Street for the western entrance of the feast where the vendors and fairgrounds are located.

The lot typically fills up every evening Thursday through Saturday, and during the day on Sunday for the parade; so if you plan on using the official feast lot, it may be beneficial to arrive a bit earlier than you had planned.

No matter where you park, please remember that the people working in the lot, the food and drink stands, and the ticket booths are all volunteers who have dedicated a great deal of time and effort putting on the flagship cultural festival of the SouthCoast.

Happy Feast!

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