The main part of the festival was Saturday and Sunday, June 8 and 9, when participants from Portuguese-American communities throughout Northern California gathered in town.
Activities began Saturday evening with the presentation of the queens and dancing.
Sunday morning, the festa parade took marchers, floats and bands from the IPFES grounds on West Ninth Street to St. Bernard’s Catholic Church, where a Mass was said in Portuguese.
A “sopas e carne” lunch was followed by an auction and dinner and a dance.
This Friday’s bullfights will begin at 8 p.m. in a remodeled Campo Pequeno bullring at the rear of the IPFES grounds. The ring has been enlarged to create more room for “cavaleiros” — bullfighters on horseback — to maneuver.
This year, two cavaleiros will face six bulls, instead of the usual lone horseman. There will be no matadors involved this year.
“Forcados” — young men who try to wrestle a bull to the ground — will travel from Turlock and Merced to take on the bulls.