Annual Cape Verdean Festival Coming To Brooks Park

by William F. Galvin
The music keeps you dancing at the annual Cape Verdean Festival that will be held in Brooks Park on Saturday, July 20. FILE PHOTO The music keeps you dancing at the annual Cape Verdean Festival that will be held in Brooks Park on Saturday, July 20. FILE PHOTO

HARWICH – The sixth annual Cape Verdean Festival will get underway on Saturday, June 20 in Brooks Park, showcasing a culture which has long been an integral part of the community. The Cape Verdean spirit will fill the village with music, dance and food.

Droughts, famines and a repressive colonial government plagued the Cape Verdean archipelago in the mid-to-late 1800s. Island fishermen and sailors joined whaling ships that eventually took them to Southeastern Massachusetts where they found employment in the fishing industry and the growing cranberry industry, Albert Raneo said at last year’s festival.

“The Cape Verdeans brought a strong sense of culture and community which exists to this day,” said Raneo, the town’s longtime highway superintendent. “Many Cape Verdeans have been active in civic affairs and have contributed to the community in other ways.”

The Cape Verdean Festival raises funds for student scholarships. The number of scholarships is being expanded this year, said festival treasurer Warren Miranda. Longtime teacher and 2022 Mercy Otis Warren Cape Cod Woman of the Year Angelina Chilaka has selected students receiving scholarships this year and presentations will be made on July 20 by Marsha Miranda.

The event recognizes a Cape Verdean person who has made major contributions over the years. Miranda said the late David John Correia will be named as person of the year for his contributions to the festival over the years. Among the guest speakers this year are State Representative Kip Diggs, D-Barnstable, and Harwich Select Board member Donald Howell. There will also be a guest from the Cape Verdean Consulate. Sweet Al will once again be the emcee.

“It is also a day of music, dance, food and celebration,” said Miranda.

The New Bedford-based John Miranda band will be returning again this year and there will be a new addition with recording star Chops Turner coming from Fall River. DJ Rito Lopes of Brockton will keep feet moving throughout the day.

There will be crafts vendors and a wide distribution of Cape Verdean items, including books about Cape Verde, clothing, and education information about the archipelago. Miranda said vendor spots are still available. Food trucks will be onsite, and Cape Verdean cuisine will be featured.

It should be an entertaining day for all, said Miranda. The festival will run from noon to 7 p.m. and there is no entrance fee.