From the Portuguese sailors of Colonial times to the islanders who left the Portuguese Azores after a 1950s earthquake, Portuguese Americans have brought a rich cultural heritage to our shores. Today the community is well over one million strong, centered primarily in New England, California and Florida.
Music, dance, cuisine and maritime history live on today in the many exciting festivals and museums that celebrate Portuguese American life. At the Feast of the Blessed Sacrament in New Bedford, Massachusetts, held since 1915 and acclaimed as the world's largest Portuguese cultural festival, you can be immersed in four days of free music, dancing, parades and entertainment.
While you're in town, be sure to stop by the New Bedford Whaling Museum, a fascinating mix of sea lore, local culture and
science. You can even, within a short drive, take a
Whale Watch Cruise to see firsthand the fabulous creatures that brought the earliest Portuguese sailors to our shores.
To experience Cape Verdean culture -- the intriguing mix of African, Portuguese and island culture arising from the once Colonial, now independent nation of Cape Verde -- check out one of several exciting East Coast communities and festivals. Typical annual options include the the Onset Cape Verdean Festival and the Cape Verdean Independence Parade.
Thriving Portuguese American communities also abound in California, New Jersey, and Florida, each with their own celebrations, markets, and community events. Great places to start your exploration include San Diego's Annual Festo do Espirito Santo, New Jersey's annual Portugal Day Festival, and Florida's Portuguese American Cultural Center.