Day of Portugal comes to Acushnet Avenue

St. Anthony of Padua Church on Acushnet Avenue, New Bedford during last year’s Day of Portugal festival.

The forecast says sunny and dry skies for the weekend. You may even think you’re in Lisbon this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, June 15 through June 17 – if you’re on Acushnet Avenue – or The Ave, as it is affectionately called – for the annual Day of Portugal street festival. It’s one of the reasons this area is known as New Bedford’s International Marketplace.

Day of Portugal is actually four days devoted to celebrating Portuguese culture in New Bedford, MA. The long weekend has become a showcase for Acushnet Avenue businesses – especially its many bakeries, eateries and restaurants, which will all also be part of New Bedford’s first Restaurant Week taking place from Saturday, Sept. 15 through Friday, Sept. 21, 2018.

The Day of Portugal celebration officially begins with a flag raising ceremony during AHA! New Bedford downtown on Thursday, June 14. That happens at 6:00 p.m., and is followed by a reception and other activities on William Street.

Day of Portugal and the Feast of St. Anthony of Padua coincide on Friday, June 15. That’s when the celebration moves to the North End of New Bedford with opening ceremonies for each outside historic St. Anthony of Padua Church at 1359 Acushnet Avenue, also at 6:00 p.m. The feasting lasts until 11:00 p.m. on this night.

(Saint Anthony of Padua – 15 August, 1195 – 13 June, 1231 –  was a Portuguese Catholic priest and Franciscan friar who became a saint in 1232 and made a Doctor of the Church in 1946. New Bedford’s St. Anthony of Padua Church is world-renowned for its art and architecture and has become an icon of the city.)

Then, on Saturday and Sunday, Day of Portugal takes over Acushnet Avenue.

The Standard-Times reports, “The festival grounds will span five blocks of Acushnet Avenue, from Sawyer Street to Bullard Street, and will feature food and drink, entertainment, the works of artisans, and carnival rides.” (READ THE FULL STORY HERE.)

Pictures on this page were taken during last year’s Day of Portugal. Like the Love The Ave & North End Restaurant Week, it’s prudent to come hungry to Acushnet Avenue this weekend as you’ll find delicious foods from several cultures – most of which you can enjoy al fresco as establishments take advantage of sidewalk dining during the festival.

The Love The Ave & North End Restaurant Week happens from Saturday, September 15 through Saturday, September 21, 2018. It will feature the many destination eateries that give New Bedford its unique flavor. Further details and Restaurant Week highlights will be shared on this website later this summer.Acushnet Avenue and North End restaurant owners and managers can find out more here. All are welcome to participate in the event. There is no cost to take part. Restaurant Week is sponsored by the City of New Bedford, Jon Mitchell Mayor.

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