The Portuguese Secretary of the Portuguese Communities will participate in the festivities of the RI Day in Portugal
PROVIDENCE – If the Rhode Island Day of Portugal committee chair has what she wants, the sky over Brenton Point Park in Newport will be painted red and green this Sunday afternoon when a special ceremony kicks off the festivities annuals of the Day of Portugal in the State of the Ocean.
“We will fly kites with the Portuguese flag,” said Ana Isabel dos Reis-Couto. “It will be nice to see the colorful kites fill the sky.”
The event, which will include a Portuguese flag raising ceremony next to the Portuguese Discovery Monument, will kick off a week of initiatives for the local Portuguese community to celebrate its history and contributions to the state’s diversity.
Among the guests of honor will be Portuguese Secretary to Portuguese Communities Berta Nunes, Portuguese Ambassador Domingos Fezas Vital, US Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Rotary Governor Daniel J. McKee.
“It will be an honor to have the Secretary of the Portuguese Communities with us,” said Reis-Couto. “That says a lot; it shows that Portugal cares about our community.
The ceremony will start at 1:00 p.m. and will include a short program of lectures. Lawyer Robert M. Silva, president of the Portuguese Discovery Monument Foundation, will serve as MC.
“I hope a lot of people show up because the event is open to everyone,” said Reis-Couto.
The Secretary of the Portuguese Communities will take this opportunity to present the Mayor of East Providence, Bob da Silva, with the Medal of Merit of the Portuguese Communities for his contributions. She will also present Cumberland’s Clube Juventude Lusitana with a special plaque marking the club’s 100th anniversary.
After being canceled last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Reis-Couto said the RI Day of Portugal committee believed it was important to continue the festivities this year. As Covid restrictions began to be lifted, the committee worked diligently to deliver a program in record time.
“We thought it was really important to have something for the community,” she said. “It will be on a smaller scale, but it is very important to us that the community knows that we are thinking of them… because without the community, Portugal Day in Rhode Island would not exist.
The Newport ceremony will kick off a series of Portuguese flag raising ceremonies throughout the state, as follows:
– Monday June 7, Bristol Town Hall, 11 a.m.
– Monday, June 7, East Providence Town Hall, 1:30 p.m.
– Tuesday June 8, Coventry Town Hall, 1 p.m.
– Wednesday, June 9, Central Falls City Hall, 1:30 p.m.
– Thursday June 10, Providence Town Hall, 3 p.m.
– Friday June 11, Cumberland Town Hall, 11 a.m.
The celebration will culminate on Sunday, June 13 with a festival at Waterplace Park in downtown Providence.
The festivities will begin at 1 p.m. with live music, dancing and food. Performers will include the Clube Juventude Lusitana Marching Band, Tony Borges, Manel the Island Man, Maurício Morais, Nádia ft. Karma Band, Concertinas do Norte, a folk group, DJ Jimmy Jam Events and fado singer Sonia Bettencourt.
At 8:20 p.m., there will be a torchlight procession in honor of those who worked on the front lines during the pandemic.
“It’s a thank you to our community for its resilience and to these frontline workers for doing all they can to keep us safe. I hope the public will come and support us, ”said Reis-Couto.
The procession will be followed by a fado show and a laser show that will illuminate the night sky in the colors of the Portuguese flag.
“Although this program was prepared in a short time, we tried to do our best and everything possible in a month and a half,” said Reis-Couto, noting that this could not be accomplished without the service. and the exemplary volunteerism of so many people. and organizations.
“My committee has been very creative and innovative,” said Reis-Couto. “They are always available and ready to help.
Portugal Day is a national holiday celebrated on June 10. Officially designated “Portugal, Camões and Portuguese Communities Day”, the date also celebrates the life of Luiz Vaz de Camões, the national poet of Portugal.
For Portuguese living abroad, Portugal Day is an opportunity to display their heritage and ethnic pride.