I'm just going to speak my mind for a moment:

The 106th Feast of the Blessed Sacrament in New Bedford would not be as successful as it was if it wasn't for the hard work and dedication of the committee and volunteers.

When you have any type of outdoor event here on the SouthCoast in the dog days of summer, it's going to be hot. There's no doubt about that, but this year felt a little more stifling. Regardless, it didn't stop the crowd of thousands upon thousands from getting their feast on.

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The return of what is also known as the Madeira Feast was welcomed by many who were anxious to get their hands on a cold cup of wine, a hot malasadas or perhaps a delicious bifana sandwich. Sure, you can get these items at local restaurants in New Bedford year-round, but there's nothing that comes close to the freshness of feast food.

It just hits the soul differently.

Michael and Maddie broadcasted an evening show from the grounds for the very first time on Friday and it was an absolute game changer for our show. It was incredible to be surrounded by feast-goers. Nothing but positive vibes, loud music and authentic Portuguese cuisine filled the air. Man, was it good to have the feast back.

I truly wish more people understood and appreciated the time and effort that goes into orchestrating such a large event. Every cook, every person putting wristbands on patron, every bartender worked feverishly from Thursday to Sunday and always had smiles on their faces.

Keep in mind, that these people do not get paid. They're the ones who have kept the legacy of the feast alive for the 106 years.

We owe them our gratitude, especially for putting up with thousands of people (who have been drinking) to honor their heritage and provide the crowd with a good time.

Finally, I have to tip my hat to the first responders.

New Bedford EMS, fire and police kept everyone safe and assured the health of fatigued patrons through the long, hot weekend. Security was amped up and rightfully so. It was a good call on behalf of the feast committee and the city to beef up their presence this year in anticipation of record crowds.

The next time you have anything negative to say about the feast, just remember that if you were in the shoes of the event coordinators or stuck in a small, sweltering booth cooking tirelessly for four days straight, perhaps then you'd have a little more respect for the people behind this special event.

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