Portuguese Club set for annual Sao Paio Feast

Volunteer John DeCampos places chicken on the grills during the annual Sao Paio Feast last year at the Naugatuck Portuguese Club. –REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN ARCHIVES

NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck Portuguese Club’s annual Sao Paio Feast has brought a slice of life from Portugal to Naugatuck for nearly seven decades.

The 69th annual Festa de Sao Paio kicks off Friday for three days of food, dancing and music. The feast originated in Torreira, Portugal. Portuguese immigrants brought the traditional feast to Naugatuck, and it has become an end-of-summer tradition in the borough.

For information, call the Naugatuck Portuguese Club at 203-729-6894.

WHEN & WHERE: The annual Sao Paio Feast takes place Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Naugatuck Portuguese Club, 110 Rubber Ave.

MAYOR OF THE DAY: The festivities kick off Friday at 10 a.m. at Naugatuck Town Hall with the Portuguese Mayor of the Day ceremony.

Volunteers prepare Cavaca cookies for the annual Sao Paio Feast Aug. 21 at the Naugatuck Portuguese Club. –CONTRIBUTED

Elisa Sapata Platt, 30, will be honored as this year’s mayor of the day. Platt grew up in Naugatuck and graduated from Naugatuck High School in 2007. She’s a member of the Naugatuck Portuguese Club, Sao Paio committee and a parishioner at St. Francis Church.

FOOD: Food stands open up at 6 p.m. on Friday. Traditional Portuguese foods, such as Portuguese Cavacas (cookies) and Eels, along with roast beef sandwiches, grilled chicken, sardines and fried dough will be on the menu. Almoco de Dobrada (tripe) will be available for lunch at 12 p.m. Sunday.

ENTERTAINMENT: Each night of the feast will feature live music. On Friday, Luis Pacheco & Vana will perform from 7 to 11 p.m. Tony Borges & Euro takes the stage Saturday at 9 p.m. Sunday will feature a performance by TropicalMix at 8 p.m.

Fernanda Silva fries eels at the Naugatuck Portuguese Club for the annual Sao Paio Feast. –CONTRIBUTED

Aside from music, the feast will feature traditional folklore dancing exhibitions. Recordacoes de Portugal from Bridgeport and Culturas de Portugal from Waterbury will perform Saturday at 6 p.m. On Sunday, Grupo Folclorico do Coracao Inmaculado de Maria from Danbury will perform at 6 p.m., followed by a traditional Cape Verdean dance by Trovoada do Norte & Coladeiras de Caldo Verde at 7 p.m.

SPECIAL EVENTS: A children’s traditional Portuguese folkloric outfit contest is Saturday at 5 p.m. On Sunday, a mass will be held at our Lady of Fatima Church on Baldwin Street in Waterbury at 11:30 a.m.

ROAD RACE: The annual Sao Paio 5K Road Race is Saturday. The race, which is sponsored by the Portuguese Club, benefits the United Way of Naugatuck and Beacon Falls. There is also a fun walk and kid’s fun run for children 12 years old and under.

Entry fees are $25 for the 5K for pre-registration and $30 on race day. The fee for students and walkers is $15, and the fun run costs $5. Registration starts at 7:30 a.m. at the Portuguese Club.

The 5K steps off at 9 a.m., followed by the fun walk and kid’s fun run. To register online, visit fasttracktiming.com.