Tracy will play host this wekend to Portuguese-Americans from throughout Northern California for the annual IPFES Holy Ghost festa.

The two-day event is expected to draw close to 5,000 people to two dances, a parade, Mass, and sopas e carne luncheon.

Activities begin at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, when this year's festa queens and side maids will be introduced at the Tracy Ballroom in the IPFES complex at 430 W 9th St., said John Castro, IPFES president.

This year's queen is Sabrina Rocha, daughter of Joe and Betty Rocha of MOdesto.  The little queen is Amelia Pereira, daughter of Enselmo and Diane Pereira of Livermore.

Dancing to the music of "Zodiac" will follow the queen presentation.

Sunday morning, the festa parade begins at 9 a.m., taking participants, including four bands, north on Central Avenue and Holly Drive to St. Bernard's Catholic Church, where a Mass in Portuguese will be said by Msgr. Ivo Rocha, pastor.

After returning to the IPFES grounds by way of Parker Avenue, festa participants will have their traditional meal of sopas- boiled beef and broth topped by bread.  Some 7,000 pounds of beef will be served.  An auction will follow.

The celebration concludes at 8 p.m. Sunday with dancing to the music of Cern du Vida.

As part of the celebration, bloodless bullfights are sceduled Friday, June 11, at the bullring behind the Tracy Ballroom.

The Holy Ghost festa, a Tracy tradition since 1916, retells the story of Portugal's sainted Queen Isabel's 14th century concern for the poor.


Staff, TP. "Tracy Press - Thousands Expected to Attend Portuguese Celebration." Tracy Press [Tracy] 02 June 2010. Tracy Press - News, Events, Classifieds and Businesses in Tracy, Calif. 2 June 2010. Web. 04 June 2010.