15th annual Cape Verdean Festival brings cultural appreciation through food, dance, music

By Lydia Goerner | Aug 12, 2017
Photo by: Lydia Goerner A trio of friends dances to music from Magma Sound.

The 15th annual Cape Verdean Festival was sizzling on Saturday, with lively performances, heaping plates of food and vendors helping celebrate Cape Verdean heritage.

“Can’t you smell that aroma in the air?” said Tiny Lopes, the event organizer.

People came from all over the country for the festival to celebrate a country made up of 10 islands and eight islets off the coast of western Africa.

There were 76 vendors, 20 of which sold Cape Verdean foods to the 13,000 people who visited Onset for the event.

“It brings our people together,” Lopes said. “It’s really a family atmosphere.”

Lopes called Cape Verde “the best-kept secret in the world,” because many people don’t know where it is. But Lopes’ “goal in life” is to make sure Cape Verdean youth don’t lose touch with their heritage.

“We are retaining our legacy,” Lopes said. “We want to make sure that our youth do not forget what came before.”

Some vendors set up their tents with that same vision. Marian Rose, president of Oak Grove Cape Verdean Cultural Center, sold T-shirts, flags and recipe books at her booth. The T-shirts had photographs of popular Cape Verdean foods on them.

“It’s all about food,” Rose said. “That’s a common thing with any Cape Verdean culture. We break bread with you and it brings everyone together.”

Rose said the Cape Verdean culture is diverse since people come many small islands, but the people do have plenty of things in common.

“We always will hear that Cape Verde is a loving culture,” Rose said. “We really don’t argue and we’re peacemakers.”

Entertainment was provided by several musical groups, including The CV Fantastic Trio + 1, Melany Vieria, Zerui Depina, Magma Sound and Jayyxlondon. Sabura Camp performers from Brockton entertained with martial arts and dance performances.

“It’s a very alive culture,” said Louis Loura, district director for the office of Massachusetts Sen. Marc Pacheco, who attended the event and gave some remarks. “It’s so rich, with the language and culture and traditions.”

A couple dances in front of an audience of thousands, accompanied by Magma Sound's music. (Photo by: Lydia Goerner)
Martial artists from Sabura Camp showed off their skills. (Photo by: Lydia Goerner)
Around 13,000 people attended the Cape Verdean Festival, estimated organizer Tiny Lopes. (Photo by: Lydia Goerner)
The Cape Verdean Festival hosted 20 food vendors who served traditional foods from the islands. (Photo by: Lydia Goerner)
Jen and Dave Cunningham from Bourne enjoy Cape Verdean food with their dog. (Photo by: Lydia Goerner)
Santana and Chris Cox, visiting from North Carolina, show off lunch and their face paintings. (Photo by: Lydia Goerner)
A couple dances to Magma Sound, one of several featured music groups at the festival. (Photo by: Lydia Goerner)
Marian Rose, president of the Oak Grove Cape Verdean Cultural Center, has sold Cape Verdean merchandise at the festival for 10 years. (Photo by: Lydia Goerner)
Ashleigh Delgado (left) and Nia Rowe pose behind photo boards designed by the Oak Grove Cape Verdean Cultural Center. (Photo by: Lydia Goerner)
Sabura Camp dancers ages 7 to 12 performed the skills they gained at the camp, which teaches dance, gymnastics and arts. (Photo by: Lydia Goerner)
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