Annual Cape Verdean Festival Saturday In Brooks Park

By: William F. Galvin

Topics: Cape Verde

The Cape Verdean Festival to be held Saturday at Brooks Park is always a colorful cultural and entertaining event, as this scene from last year's festival attests. FILE PHOTO

HARWICH — The third annual Cape Verdean Festival will take place Saturday at Brooks Park, providing attendees the opportunity to experience authentic Cape Verdean food, art and “folklorico.”

The festival celebrates Cape Verdean heritage and culture and recognizes the instrumental role its people have played in Harwich and across the Cape. Last year, Selectman Ed McManus noted the early contributions to fishing and cranberry industries and the major roles in leadership of Harwich made by members of the Cape Verdean community.

Selectman Donald Howell has said the Cape Verdean community is “the bedrock of Harwich.” Members of the Cape Verdean community who have played major roles here include the late Police Chief John Raneo and former highway department director Albert Raneo.

The festival will provide people with a true sense of Cape Verdean culture, said David John Correia, the public relations person for the festival.

Correia, a fluent speaker of “Ciroulo,” the creole language spoken on the islands, said his grandfather helped to name Smuggler’s Beach in Yarmouth when he struck a deal with the Kennedys during Prohibition to bring liquor from Cabo Verde to Yarmouth. Correia said he now works in the building where they stored the liquor.

The festival will feature entertainment and food, including Cachupa, a Cape Verdean corn stew, an island staple. There will be vendors selling products from Cabo Verde, the island's formal name, and there will be festival T-shirts for sale.

The festival is scheduled each year to be close to Cabo Verde Independence Day, which was July 5, 1975. There will be books for sale on the history leading up to the independence of the 10-island archipelago located 385 miles off the west coast of Africa, and a lot of additional information about Cape Verdeans on Cape Cod.

Correia said there will be a presentation by Herminio Moniz, Consul General Du Cabo Verde to the United States, at noon. There will also be a presentation by Shawn Fernandes, vice president of the festival committee, at 11:45 a.m.

The festival will start at 10 a.m. with a welcoming by Jonathan Thompson, who will serve as master of ceremonies. Music will also be provided by DJ John Lopes. At 12:30 p.m. there will be a welcome to Harwich presentation by members of the board of selectmen.

Returning this year is Carina Veiga Lopes, a young singing star, who will perform the National Anthems of the United States and Cabo Verde as well as other songs.

Attendees will be treated to an afternoon of music by the Novosom Band, featuring Joel DePina, from Pawtucket, R.I. The four-member band plays traditional Cape Verdean music and will be on stage at the bandstand from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Admission is free. A rain date has been set for Sunday, July 21. Money raised from the festival is used to provide scholarships.