Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Home for the Holy Ghost Fiesta, an East Taunton tradition

Marinated pork. Linguica sandwiches. Bacalhau (salt cod w/ vinegar and spices). Meat on the Stick. Malasadas (homemade fried dough w/ sugar). For well over 50 years, hundreds of people have gathered at the 3-day Fiesta in East Taunton, MA, to enjoy these Portuguese specialties, have a beer, listen to music, socialize and play some classic carnival games. A few brave souls even hop on a rickety ride for a hair raising (literally - my pony tail was horizontal according to my sister) adventure.

Last weekend, I returned home for my umpteenth year at the Fiesta with my family and as always, we had a great time. There's something very comforting about returning to a place you've been a million times, eating the comfort food you've eaten your whole life and hanging out with the people who've known you since birth.

On arrival, we made a beeline for the the Marinated Pork window. Just $3.00 for this amazing sandwich. The pork just falls apart and the Portuguese roll it's on is fresh and soft but substantial enough to hold the sandwich together and keep it from getting soggy. I think this year's batch was the best ever. So delicious. My sister opted for the linguica sandwich, also a huge crowd pleaser. Her sandwich had a little more kick but I preferred mine.

After we washed our sandwiches down with a nice cold beer, we took a break to hit the arcades. Let's see...I lost at Whack-a-Mole but won the game where you squirt water in the clown's mouth until the balloon bursts. I love those games. Good old fashioned fun.

I tried to avoid the one amusement park ride that you know is not safe but my brother bullied me into it. It was called the Twister and you sit in a cup with a rope strapped around you (oh that will keep me secure if something goes wrong). There's a wheel in the middle and the more you spin it the faster you go around. You would think the ride would be wimpy but what can I say, I screamed - a lot. A total blast though.
After I staggered off the ride, we decided it was time for dessert and headed inside Holy Ghost Hall for the malasadas. Just $1.50 each. While they are no where near as good as the ones my Mom makes, they did the trick. We were happy.

Before we headed out, we listened to the band sing some traditional Portuguese songs and watched an old couple dance like they were still 25. Watching them warmed our hearts and left us feeling happy to have ventured out to the fiesta once again this year and feeling certain we'd return next year.


Anonymous Donna said...

You captured the experience perfectly. It is a warm and comfortable place to spend some time. The food, the smells, the families with their small children - it's good to be home.

1:14 PM  
Anonymous mansfield manga said...

so sad I missed it, maybe next year!!

4:05 PM  
Blogger Lynne said...

thanks ladies. yes, kirby, you definitely must come next year!

11:18 PM  
Anonymous tpuckhead said...

As a local, I've been fortunate enough to attend many of these fiestas. Nothing beats marinated meat on a stick and a cold beverage. Nice call !!!

10:42 PM  

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