NEW BEDFORD —Hundreds of people gathered in downtown New Bedford as the 47th Annual Cape Verdean Recognition Parade kicked off on Saturday.

The parade started at the intersection of Rockdale Avenue and Union Street at Buttonwood Park at 11:00 a.m., featuring multiple organizations from the Greater New Bedford Area sporting banners, floats and bands.

This year’s parade route was different from last year’s route, however, as marchers headed east on Union Street, then south on Acushnet Avenue, turning west on Grinnell Street, then turning north on Purchase Street.

Beverly, a New Bedford resident whose parents traveled from Cape Verde to America years ago, says she enjoys the parade as a chance to celebrate her culture, heritage and independence.

“So the people can recognize all that we had to go through to get our freedom and to be able to represent our people, be grateful for what they did and what they had to go through for us to be able to celebrate,” Beverly said.

“I have cousins that came in last month from Cape Verde to celebrate.”

Beverly went on to say that it took a matter of weeks to travel by boat from Cape Verde to the United States, and that struggles didn’t end for immigrants once they got here. She says they had to get to work right away, with a majority of the Cape Verdean immigrants establishing themselves in New Bedford and other pockets of the south coast.

“It took my parents like 42 days on a boat to come over. It took 42 days to get from Cape Verde Island to here. It’s not like now when you take the plane to come over, and they had to work the farms and factories when they got here. They built the fishing and stitching mills, the whalers,” Beverly said.

The parade finished off at the reviewing stand located at the Cape Verdean-American Veterans’ Memorial Hall, at 561 Purchase Street.

Following the parade, families made way over to the reviewing stand for food, drinks, games and more.

Tim Dunn/Townsquare Media.
Tim Dunn/Townsquare Media.
Tim Dunn/Townsquare Media.