New Bedford’s Feast of the Blessed Sacrament Is Almost Here [TOWNSQUARE SUNDAY]
The 106th Feast of the Blessed Sacrament in New Bedford is scheduled for August 4-7, and with less than two weeks to go before the opening, organizers are taking care of last-minute details in preparation for the annual celebration.
For Feast Committee President Rick Fernandes, it's almost non-stop activity as he prepares to welcome the 100,000 or so expected visitors to the Feast grounds on Madeira Avenue. Fernandes joined Townsquare Sunday this week to discuss this year's feast.
After the pandemic forced the cancellation of the Feast for two consecutive years, Fernandes knows the community is expecting some big things.
"Every time I see somebody, they say, 'Please tell me there's a feast,'" he said. "I think that's what they'll remember about 2022, we finally had a feast, and it will be a great feast!"
Putting together the 2022 Feast of the Blessed Sacrament has had its share of headaches. Food and supplies are costing more. Some suppliers have said they don't have enough help to provide items they supplied in the past.
With the threat of the pandemic still around, volunteers, at least at first, were not signing up to work.
"The Camara family has already agreed to staff the kitchen in the main pavilion, and the families are calling around, so I think we'll be okay," Fernandes said.
The Feast of the Blessed Sacrament makes money, and those involved make it a point to share much of their profits with the community.
The committee and its sponsoring organization, Club Madeirence S.S Sacramento, awards $40,000 in scholarships to deserving students every year, as well as making donations to various charitable groups.
So visit the Feast of the Blessed Sacrament this year. There's delicious food, top-notch entertainment, carnival rides for kids, and you can cook your own barbecued beef, also known as carne d'espito. Fernandes said the beef will be extra tender this year.
There's free admission again this year, and don't forget the giant parade on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. on Acushnet Avenue.
Rick Fernandes' Townsquare Sunday interview can be heard here:
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