“We are bringing Portuguese culture to other communities in the central valley because it is so prominent here and we want to share it. We want you to come and see what Portuguese culture is,” said Elaina Vieira, executive director of the Carlos Vieira Foundation, which organises the event.
The Foundation has an ongoing campaign to support autistic children, “Race for Autism”, and festival proceeds will go to this initiative.
“We created the festival to raise funds for our cause, but also to open up Portuguese culture to everyone in the community”, she said. “It's a kind of revitalised version of a Festa, trying to make it exciting for the younger generation of the Portuguese community,” she said.
Among the artists who will perform are popular singers such as David DeMelo, Alcides Machado, Nélia and Chico Ávila, Fado singer Marisa Silva Rocha, comedians Zé Duarte and Vavo Brito and the band Generations.
“In the first edition we did one day and this time we decided to do two, with more entertainment”, explained Elaina Vieira.
The organisation had invited Ana Malhoa and José Malhoa to act at the festival, but restrictions on entry into the United States due to covid-19 forced a change the plans.
With positive community reaction to the festival's return, the organisation hopes to bring together several thousand people in the outdoor Stanislaus County Fair space.
“We don't really know what to expect this year. There are many circumstances that have changed,” said Elaina Vieira. “We hope that in two days we can welcome 15,000 visitors,” she said, stressing that safety is one of the highest priorities.
“The Portuguese community is excited to go and everything has been very positive, we are grateful for the support”, she said.
The Portuguese Fraternal Society of America (PFSA) is the main sponsor of the event, which will be attended by 55 to 60 brands of products and services mainly Portuguese, such as Fagundes Meat, Avila Imports, SATA and the Bom Samaritano Foundation.
There will also be an exhibition space at the Portuguese Historical Museum of São José.