Thousands of people, dressed in the Portuguese national colours, took to Ferry Street, the heart of an area known as ‘Little Portugal’.

The opening of the parade was led by Os Rouxinóis, a group of drummers from Casa do Minho in Newark, followed by a presentation of various other national symbols of Portuguese culture and folklore.

Luís Vieira, a Portuguese emigrant living in the United States for over three decades, told Lusa news agency that he is an unconditional fan of this parade and that he never misses an edition, always accompanied by his wife, Ângela Reis, a Brazilian who loves Portugal and whose favourite part is the performance of the folkloric tales.

However, those who attended this spectacle of Portuguese culture mentioned that the Covid-19 pandemic left its mark, which was noticeable in the number of people in attendance, and in other years is usually higher.

But the parade isn’t the only thing the festival is composed of. The festival also has a large culinary component, with this year’s feast in the hands of António Nobre, a 72-year-old Portuguese businessman who has lived in the USA for 42 years and owns the "Sol Mar" restaurant.

A native of Caldas da Rainha, António Nobre told Lusa that from Friday until Sunday he served around 50,000 people, attracted by the typical food and various Portuguese musical artists that the businessman made a point of hiring for the celebration.

"The Portuguese community was confused, did not know if this party would happen or not, we were aware of the new increase in Covid-19 numbers. It was a complicated situation, until I decided to be a little more daring. I ordered everything from Portugal, like the singer Zé Amaro, 'Os Red', among other Portuguese musicians," said Nobre.

"People were enthusiastic, not least because we made a point of advertising this poster a lot and we were successful. I think people were eager to have a reason to leave home, and this party was the reason. There were three days of partying in a row. On Saturday we hosted more than 20 thousand people, but in the total of the three days there were around 50 thousand people", said the businessman.

"With this year's party I think we went back 10 years to the past and had a real Portugal Day party again, because 90% of the people we had here were Portuguese. Portuguese people came from Philadelphia, Connecticut, Washington DC, Virginia. This gives me great pleasure and honour", he added.

However, António Nobre did not fail to stress that organising a party of this dimension "takes a lot of work and a lot of expense", admitting having invested more than 100 thousand US dollars (€95 thousand) into the event, although he believes that he will recover this sum through the business generated in his restaurant.

A little further afield, in Mineola - a town in New York State presided over by Portuguese-American Paulo Pereira - there was also a big parade of the Portuguese community in the region on Sunday, after a two-year break due to Covid-19.

Not even bad weather prevented the Portuguese from taking to the streets, in a parade that brought together numerous Portuguese and Luso-American associations and many musical and dance performances.

Organised by the New York Portuguese American Leadership Conference (NYPALC), the event was also attended by former mayor and senatorial candidate Jack Martins, and the Consul General of Portugal in New York, Luisa Pais Lowe.

"It was a fantastic celebration that made me very emotional and proud in a city that has the Portuguese mayor Paulo Pereira," the consul-general told Lusa.