By: Macie Movsesian
Festas are very popular in the Valley and lots of people attend them! The translation for festa is party so that’s what to expect. On August 18-19th of 2018, there was a festa in Pismo Beach. It honors St. Anthony. This festa has been happening annually for about 60 years.
This year, a few kids from Tulare Western were actually part of it. Alissa Amaral, junior from Tulare Union was the queen and Tulare Western’s Chastine Gist, junior, was one of her attendants.
Chastine stated, “It is such a great experience to see the Portuguese culture come alive and come together with my friends and family. I was in a festa 2 years ago and I knew what to expect and it is always fun. We marched in the parade to church mass, and then after to the Portuguese Hall. I was an attendant for the queen so I was by her side and held her cape for the weekend. Highly recommend going to one if you have the chance!”
The queen is a representative for the Portuguese community and this time, she represented Pismo Beach. She truly has a lot of pressure on her to make sure everything is in order and going with the flow. So, her attendants help her with whatever she needs to do. The queen also has her court that are along with her for the festa. Gianna Benedetti, junior, was part of the court in this festa.
Gianna said, “It was a really cool experience! I have never been in a festa so it was interesting learning truly everything that comes with being in a festa. I was part of the court and we are basically made up of 10 girls and their escorts that help lead the queen. My favorite part had to be dancing because that was a learning experience as well.”
Hundreds of people attended the festa for church mass, Portuguese food, and the culture! It is a great way to come together as a community and get to know the culture WAY better. This is a very fun event that is highly recommended throughout the community!