It’s the weekend and the Portuguese festival is upon us once again. Ever year there is a huge festival in the park behind our home. They set up carnival games and “traditional” food is served in the beer tents and there is a huge stage set up for the many bands that will play throughout the day and into the night. My husband and I go to this occasionally, not every year but we have fun exploring the park with its new look.
There is a parade to the park, I’m not sure where it begins but we’ve seen people in traditional dress in groups walking down Dundas on their way to the festival. Everyone is dressed in the region they come from, it’s beautiful to see. We’ve never stayed for the bands that play but since our home is so close to the park we can hear them if we sit on our back deck, some are good some are not so good, but they are all loud.
The 1st year we went we tried some of the “traditional” food – a whole sardine barbecued and put on a bun. I really like BBQ fish but this sardine was about 4 inches long still had the head, tail and bones intact. I’ve since found out from a portuguese friend of mine that you’re supposed to eat the whole thing “as is”, not something I’m good at doing, eating a whole fish. Much to the amusement of the other people sitting on the hillside that day, my sweetie “deboned” and “de-headed” my sardine for me, it was far more palatable after that.
I think the funniest thing that happened to us was in that 1st year. We came home from the park to a message on our answering machine. A young, very upset, girl had wrongly dialed our number and left a very “firm” message on the phone. We could hear the park noises in the back ground, so we knew she was at the festival, and the message? It was a warning for me to stay “away from her guy”, boy did my husband have some explaining to do.
After the parade the traditional things take a back seat the kids get to play at the carnival, on the rides and games. The adults, visit the beer tent and have picnics. In the late afternoon the bands start-up and they play into the night. I hope that at sometime over this weekend we’ll have a chance to have a BBQ sardine and a beer and take in a band or two.
I guess this is the official start of summer in Trinity Bellwoods Park, the Portuguese Festival.