OSSINING, N.Y. Hundreds of Portuguese families in Ossining will come together to celebrate their culture as the Annual Portuguese Festival kicks off at 11 a.m. Saturday on Main Street.
For more than a decade, the Ossining Portuguese Club has put together the event as a way to keep alive a culture passed down for generations in Portugal. The day includes dancing, food and drinks, all celebrating the spirit of Portugal.
For Rafael Paiva, who will be dancing with Ossinings Portuguese folklore group Beleza do Minho, the celebration is something he looks forward to all year.
Portuguese people living in Ossining get the chance to get a little bit of Portugal in them that one day, he said. Weve been doing this for a long time, and its great to showcase Portuguese culture for the people of Ossining.
Carry Cubillos, who works as the cultural programming director at the Ossining Public Library, said most residents dont realize how many people in town are of Portuguese descent.
There are so many families in Ossining, and they are fantastic and they really are what makes Ossining so great, she said. They are very united, and together they do great at celebrating their culture and keeping it with them.
Ana Rodrigues, who recently helped organize the librarys Doll Telling program celebrating Portugal, said the Portuguese Festival is one of the most important days of the year.
I think its important for the children to learn and keep the traditions of their parents and grandparents and keep that alive, said Rodrigues. Whether its through the food or the dancing or even speaking the language, its important to keep teaching.
The schedule for the Portuguese Festival is as follows:
4 p.m.: Raising the flags and National Anthems
4:10 p.m.: Mass
5 p.m.: Official welcome and start of Portugal Day
6 p.m.: Dancing by Folklore Groups Beleza do Minho from Ossining and Filhos de Portugal from Connecticut
7 p.m.: Music by Ceu Azul
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