With the recent news of the 2021 Feast of the Blessed Sacrament being canceled, there are a lot of upset people here on the SouthCoast.

Some are understanding of the reasons behind the decision, while others are still in disbelief. This will be the second consecutive year without a Portuguese feast here in New Bedford, but I have a gut feeling it will return for 2022.

However, there are some, like myself, who are adamant and determined to continue on with the tradition and will be having "mini-festas" in their own backyard while adhering to CDC regulations and restrictions. If you ask me, as long as no rules are being broken, then there should be no problem here.

Come August 6, I plan on having my own little rendition of the Madeira feast equipped with a fire pit for the steak tip kabobs, cacoila, favas, and of course, the legendary Madeira wine that you can find at most liquor stores around the SouthCoast. Since my neighbor is a local chef, she has agreed to take charge of the food portion of the "mini-feast" and I plan on setting up my DJ equipment for some of Jorge Ferreira and Roberto Leal's greatest hits. Perhaps even some Starlight to throw into the mix.

Gazelle/Townsquare Media
Gazelle/Townsquare Media

Here are the rules of the "Festa de Gazelle":

  1. Masks will be required while entering the party, but can be removed if comfortable.
  2. Everyone in attendance must show their vaccination card or a negative COVID test.
  3. Temperatures will be taken prior to entry.
  4. Social distancing is encouraged at all times in the backyard.
  5. No tickets will be needed for Madeira wine, but a designated driver is.
  6. Capacity will be capped at 30 people (mostly since the yard is small).
  7. Portuguese hats, shirts, accessories are encouraged to be worn, but not mandated.

Of course, this is an invite-only event, but that shouldn't stop anyone from having their own little festa in their backyard. As long as the music isn't too loud and everyone is responsible, then I can totally see how this could become the next big trend here on the SouthCoast.

And the good news came down from Governor Charlie Baker today that, by August 1, we may be able to have all COVID-19 restrictions pulled back. But still, it's better to play it safe and pay attention to whatever the guidance is at the time of your own party.

Bom Festa, my friends.

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