New Bedford’s Cape Verdean Heritage Celebration Happens This Week
Ivan Brito, President of New Bedford's 50th Annual Cape Verdean Recognition Week, was in good spirits trying to teach me how to toast in Cape Verdean Créole.
"Cape Verdeans from all across the country come home this week to celebrate their heritage and independence by lifting a glass of grog, cheering 'Viva Cabo Verde, saluté!'" he said.
Be measured, however. Brito warned their famous grog, or moonshine, can substitute for rocket fuel, so drink responsibly.
There's plenty to celebrate and recognize this week through Saturday, July 2.
"I'm very excited, because we've put together a week of events like we've never had before," Brito said.
It starts with a memorial mass at Our Lady of Assumption Church and then a flag raising ceremony that had to be re-scheduled because of rain, to Tuesday, June 28 at 6 p.m. at the front steps of the New Bedford City Hall.
Brito emphasized all the scholarships awarded over the 50 years to local students as part of the celebration.
This year, after a two-year suspension because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the New Bedford Whaling Museum will be the venue for the Cape Verdean Scholarship Committee's annual presentation to this year's scholarship recipients.
There is also a very special musical performance this Thursday, June 30.
"As a first ever, we have partnered with Cisco Brewers Kitchen and Bar, formerly Davy's Locker, for a musical spectacular called the Recognition Music Festival, featuring the greatest Cape Verdean musicians like Chubby and Tiny Tavares, Mike "Tunes" Antunes, Calu Bana, Candida Rose, and perhaps a surprise guest," Brito said. "This is going to be an amazing musical event!"
On Saturday, July 2 at 11 a.m., the 50th Annual Cape Verdean Recognition Parade will step off from Buttonwood Park. The route is from Union Street, Acushnet Avenue, Grinnell Street, Purchase Street and then ending at the Cape Verdean Veterans Memorial Hall at 561 Purchase Street.
"I hope our community comes out in great numbers. I promise, everyone will be treated with morabeza," Brito said. "That's a word that describes who we are. It's a word that describes how everyone will be treated just like a family member," said Brito.