Cape Verdean Festival Gets Underway On Saturday

By: William F. Galvin

Topics: Cape Verde

Cape Verdean singer Candida Rose will be performing at the festival in Brooks Park this Saturday.  FILE PHOTO

HARWICH — The second annual Harwich Cape Verdean Festival will enliven Brooks Park on Saturday. The festival showcases Cape Verdean culture and contributions to the community from residents who have come from the 10-island archipelago located 380 miles off the west coast of Africa.

Last year's festival was considered a great success. The day-long event included performances by Cape Verdean International singer Candida Rose and a dance performance by the Cape Cod African Dance and Drum group led by Tara Murphy.

There were booths, books and lots of information about Cape Verde, which gained its Independence from Portugal on July 5, 1975. Harwich has a large and active Cape Verdean population, which has made many contributions to the community. A Cape Verdean Museum recently opened at the Harwich Cultural Center on Sisson Road.

“The Cape Verdean community is the bedrock of Harwich,” Selectman Donald Howell said last year.

Saturday's festival will include a presentation by Angelina Chilaka, a longtime teacher in the Harwich school system and daughter of late Harwich Police Chief John Raneo. Chilaka's presentation will begin at 11:45 a.m. and will be followed by welcoming comments by Selectman Ed McManus.

There will be lots of music at the festival, with Candida Rose returning to perform from 10 to 11:45 a.m. Rose will sing the National Anthems of the United States and of Cape Verde. Cape Verdean singer Carina Veiga will perform from 1:15 to 2 p.m. and John Miranda's Band will be performing traditional Cape Verdean music from 2 to 6 p.m.

There will be vendors selling food and beverages, jewelry, T-shirts, books and arts and crafts, Harwich Cape Verdean Festival Committee treasurer Warren Miranda said. There will be Cape Verdean food served.

“Without Cape Verdean food you can't have a Cape Verdean gathering,” Miranda said.

Money raised from the festival will be used to provide scholarships, Miranda added.