The Long Island Portugal day parade will take place on June 8, the first for Long Island since the Portuguese community’s only other parade in 1992.
The parade will start at 11 a.m. on Jackson Avenue in front of the Mineola Portuguese Center and march down Jericho Turnpike to Roslyn Road where it will head south towards Westbury Avenue. The parade will make its way east to Union Avenue and end around 1 p.m. at the Mineola Portuguese Center’s annual feast and carnival at Wilson Park.
“The Portuguese-American community has a rich history and tradition which has helped make Long Island the place it is today,” said state Sen. Jack Martins, who is a Portuguese-American.
“The day will be split into two parts,” Long Island Portuguese American Leadership Conference Chairman Gabriel Marques said. The parade will make its way through Mineola followed by an opening ceremony. After which, guests are invited to attend the annual carnival at Wilson Park.
Marques said more than 25 different groups are attending this year’s event from as far away as Manhattan, Westchester and New Jersey, Included are the Long Island Academy of Cod Fish and The Elizabeth Club.
“The community is very thankful,” Marques said. “It’s something that the community is very excited about.”
Since no child in the community younger than 21 has been able to experience a Portuguese-themed parade on Long Island, the Mineola- based group Daughters of Portugal decided to bestow this year’s Grand Marshall honor to “The Children of the Community,” as a means of portraying the importance of youth in the community in the culture.
“It’s wonderful to have these events which celebrate our heritage and culture, especially with the parade taking place in my hometown of Mineola. I look forward to participating in them,” Martins said.
Prior to the June 8 parade, a celebration will take place on May 24 at 7 p.m. in Farmingville, where over 500 residents from Nassau, Suffolk and Queens counties will join together for an assembly of the area’s Portuguese leaders “The Day of the Portugal, the Communities and Camoes,” according to a press release by Marques.
The event will feature performances by Portuguese-American students singing the national anthems, folklore dancing from ensemble Aldeias de Portugal and a presentation of the “persons of the year” at the conclusion of the evening, according to the press release.
Guests for the May 24 event are scheduled to include Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano and Nassau Comptroller George Maragos.
Both events will include the participation of Academia do Bacalhau, Alheirense Cultural Center, American Foundations for Charities of Portugal, Daughters of Portugal, Escola Antero Figueiredo, Escola Julio Dinis, L.I.P.A.C. Brentwood, LI Portuguese Lions Club, Luso American Riders Group, Mineola Portuguese Center, Mineola Portuguese Soccer Club, Portuguese Heritage Society – Lusitano, Ranchos Aldeias de Portugal.
Applications for the parade are available by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Due to limited seating for the May 24 event, an RSVP is required by contacting the PAC of Suffolk at (631) 736-1254.