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Free fun and pageantry at Provincetown Portuguese Festival and Blessing of the Fleet

Dancers perform in Portuguese Square.
Dancers perform in Portuguese Square.
Provincetown Portuguese Festival

The annual Provincetown Portuguese Festival & Blessing of the Fleet this weekend (June 24-27) is chock full of free entertainment and pageantry for Cape Cod residents and visitors, including a full program of free activities for children. This is the 63rd annual festival, which was named last year one of the top 100 destinations in North America by the American Bus Association.

On Friday and Saturday, there will be nearly nonstop music, dance, and entertainment in Portuguese Square Entertainers include, on Friday, Destino and Michelle Romeiro and Band, and, on Saturday, Portuguese dancers, Toe Jam Puppet Band, Navegantes (in Portuguese), and Bossa Triba and the Berkshire Bateria Samba. Free activities for children include a fishing derby, games, and a cookout. On Saturday the parade heads down Commercial Street at 3 p.m.

On Sunday, following a fisherman's mass at St. Peter's Church, some 30 decorated boats, including fishing vessels and pleasure craft, will participate in the blessing of the fleet at MacMillan Pier. The pageant is modeled after the traditional blessing of the fleet in Gloucester, Mass. Festival goers will vote on the best decorated boat.

Other events include food tastings and a special performance of traditional Portuguese music, Fado Concert on the Waterfront.