Local festival celebrating tastes of Portugal draws the crowds

Sun, sangria and a taste of authentic Portuguese food made for a holiday atmosphere at St Peter’s Hill, Grantham, on Saturday (22nd) and Sunday (23rd June).

More than 1,000 people attended on each day of the town’s first Portuguese-English Festival to enjoy music, a barbecue, children’s entertainment and the chance for both communities to sample each other’s culture.

Councillor Helen Goral, South Kesteven District Council Cabinet member for Growth said: “It’s been a very successful weekend and I was delighted to see so many people and families out enjoying themselves.

“We put a lot of effort into making sure the weekend offered something for everyone and it was particularly rewarding that so many senior Portuguese representatives were here.

“The festival added colour and entertainment and fits our agenda of staging events that not only help the local economy but also make life entertaining for all the nationalities who call South Kesteven their home.”

The event was organised by SKDC and its economic growth and regeneration partner InvestSK, working with PT Connections, an organisation that encourages links between the Portuguese and English communities.

Portuguese performers Rui Bandeira and Monica Sintra took to the music stage, supported by fellow musicians Joana Lobo, Anta and Natalia Cerqueira, with local bands Chasing Embers, 23 Reasons, Alex Cavan and Naturally Sourced.

SKDC Chairman Cllr Jacky Smith hosted a VIP lunch where guests included Portuguese Consulate General Jorge Cruz and two members of the Portuguese Confederation of Culture and Sport, Veladimiro Castilho Matos and Anabela Henriques Lanca.

Cllr Smith said she hoped to make the festival an annual event, promising guests that on their next visit they would see a statue of Baroness Margaret Thatcher.

Senor Cruz thanked SKDC for organising the weekend and said it symbolised Portugal’s on-going support for its citizens living in Britain, notably the 200-strong community in Grantham.