Last Sunday, the Husband and I headed down to Dunne Park to watch the start of the annual Portuguese Festival parade. It's one of the prettiest parades in Hollister.
Every year, the Portuguese American community of Hollister holds the Festa Do Espirito Santo, or Feast of the Holy Spirit, on Pentacost Sunday to celebrate a longtime cultural tradition.
The two-day event honors Queen Isabella of the 14th century who helped the starving poor in the Azores Islands against the wishes of her husband. She gave her crown to the church so that it could buy food for the people.
The local Portuguese American community held its annual festival this weekend at its S.D.E.S. (Socieda do Divino Espirito Santo) Hall on Seventh Street. Saturday night was the crowning of the "Big Queen" (high school student) and "Little Queen" (elementary school student) and their royal courts, who will represent the community at Portuguese American festivities throughout the year.
The "Big Queen" and "Little Queen" and their courts lead the traditional parade on Sunday morning. They were joined by royal courts from Portuguese American communities in Gilroy, Morgan Hill, Mountain View, Monterey, and other cities.
The parade started at the S.D.E.S. Hall, and made its way up Seventh Street to San Benito Street Street, where the parade marched to Sixth Street and then down to Sacred Heart Church. After attending a mass, the community went back to the hall to enjoy a traditional meal of Portuguese beef and cabbage soup.
To see more parade photos, check out the album at Take 25 to Hollister Facebook page.
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