Bethlehem Press

Saturday, November 18, 2017
On his way to the “Dia de Portugal,” a visitor called out, “Anybody here who’s Portuguese?” Eight guys laughed and put up their hands. From left to right: Gyani Rebimbas, Roosevelt Rebimbas, Sr., Damien Rebimbas, Nelson Sousa, Roosevelt Rebimbas, Jr., Jorge Desilva, Manny Cunha, Nelson Cunha. On his way to the “Dia de Portugal,” a visitor called out, “Anybody here who’s Portuguese?” Eight guys laughed and put up their hands. From left to right: Gyani Rebimbas, Roosevelt Rebimbas, Sr., Damien Rebimbas, Nelson Sousa, Roosevelt Rebimbas, Jr., Jorge Desilva, Manny Cunha, Nelson Cunha.
Three guys with chicken: Carlos Tavares (center), his son Antonio (left), and a friend, Clayton Reis. When asked how he speaks Portuguese when he has a German name, Reis? “I come from Brazil,” was the answer. There was a big German immigration there. Three guys with chicken: Carlos Tavares (center), his son Antonio (left), and a friend, Clayton Reis. When asked how he speaks Portuguese when he has a German name, Reis? “I come from Brazil,” was the answer. There was a big German immigration there.
Roncos de Diablo, “the Devil’s Racket” (according to one translation). They played a dozen traditional tunes, working themselves into a sweat and laughing all the while. Roncos de Diablo, “the Devil’s Racket” (according to one translation). They played a dozen traditional tunes, working themselves into a sweat and laughing all the while.
Children were everywhere at the festival, seeing what it means to be Portuguese as well as American. Here are Joao Almeida and two kids from his family, Josiah and Ethan Acevedo. Children were everywhere at the festival, seeing what it means to be Portuguese as well as American. Here are Joao Almeida and two kids from his family, Josiah and Ethan Acevedo.
Maria Nuness came to the festival in traditional formal dress. Maria Nuness came to the festival in traditional formal dress.
Jose Carlos and Antonio Traca, who helped organize the festival, take in “the Devil’s Racket.” Jose Carlos and Antonio Traca, who helped organize the festival, take in “the Devil’s Racket.”
Grandmother Dulce DaSilva in traditional dress and granddaughter Milani DaSilva enjoy the pipers. Grandmother Dulce DaSilva in traditional dress and granddaughter Milani DaSilva enjoy the pipers.
3628. “The Devil’s Racket” parades through the crowd in the theater of Holy Infancy school. 3628. “The Devil’s Racket” parades through the crowd in the theater of Holy Infancy school.
Flags of the United States and Portugal are paraded by musicians and dancers. Flags of the United States and Portugal are paraded by musicians and dancers.
PRESS PHOTO BY DENNIS GLEWDancers whirl in a traditional Portuguese dance. PRESS PHOTO BY DENNIS GLEWDancers whirl in a traditional Portuguese dance.
Al and Chico, two volunteers, grill whole sardines for hungry guests. Snap off the head, peel out the backbone with all the small bones, and what’s left is extremely healthy protein. Al and Chico, two volunteers, grill whole sardines for hungry guests. Snap off the head, peel out the backbone with all the small bones, and what’s left is extremely healthy protein.

Portuguese pride, hospitality on display ‘Dia de Portugal’

Monday, July 3, 2017 by DOROTHY GLEW Special to the Bethlehem Press in Local News

Red and green, the Portuguese flag’s dominant colors, were on display at every turn as the Portuguese community of Bethlehem celebrated the 38th annual “Portuguese Heritage Day” at Holy Infancy School June 9 and 10 on East 4th Street in South Bethlehem. The festival benefits the Brotherhood of Our Lady of Fatima.

“Pride in being Portuguese” was the festival’s theme as many people, young and old, dressed in traditional Portuguese costumes. The food, prepared by volunteers from the community, featured everything from heart-healthy sardines, grilled whole, to Portuguese donuts (maybe not so heart-healthy). Entertainment included groups of dancers performing traditional circle dances.

Another highlight was a fiery musical performance by a group called “Devil’s Racket” (Roncos de Diablo), four men playing Portuguese bagpipes and a drummer whose rhythm held the ensemble together. Hailing from the Celtic northwestern corner of Portugal, the players had been invited to the United States to perform at the Portugal Day celebration in Newark, N.J. Organizers of Bethlehem’s festival lured them here, too.

“Lively” barely describes their performance; “rip-snorting” would be more accurate. Anyone who loves traditional Irish or Scottish music and culture would feel right at home. In fact, the second afternoon of the festival included a performance by a group called “Irish Stars.”

Portuguese pride was on display at Bethlehem’s “Dia de Portugal,” but so was Portuguese hospitality. A non-Portuguese visitor was greeted and welcomed several times as he walked through the crowd. The festival is family friendly, and children of all ages were numerous. Note to anyone who wants a fun and interesting outing: Pencil the 39th Portuguese Heritage Day into your calendar for June 2018.