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Kearny's ACP Brightens St. Patrick's Day Parade with Portuguese Flair

Mar 13, 2024
Associao Cultural Portugesa of Kearny in St. Patrick's Day

In a splendid display of cultural unity and pride, members of the Portuguese American organization, Associação Cultural Portuguesa (ACP), based in Kearny, New Jersey, marched on Sunday, March 10, 2024, to participate in the much-anticipated United Irish St. Patrick's Day parade. The event, a highlight in the local community calendar, saw a vibrant procession weaving through the towns of Harrison, East Newark, and Kearny, drawing spectators from all walks of life.

The ACP is known for its commitment to preserving and promoting Portuguese culture and heritage in the United States. Their banner however was green as everyone is Irish when celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. The West Hudson community has a lot of cross-cultural celebrations, underlining the diverse fabric of the local community.  As someone pointed out, the Portuguese-American community in West Hudson used to hold a parade for Portugal Day each year but that tradition has not happened in many years. Walking the St. Patrick’s Day Parade may have filled the feeling of “saudades” for marching in a Parade.

Equally impressive was the participation of the ACP's Folklore Youth Group, a contingent dedicated to carrying on the rich traditions of folkloric dancing from Portugal. Adorned in ornate folkloric dresses, reminiscent of the picturesque regions of Portugal, these young performers captivated onlookers with their elegance and authenticity. The meticulously crafted costumes, vibrant in color and intricate in detail, offered a visual feast and a reminder of the enduring allure of Portuguese folk traditions.

The participation of the ACP and its Folklore Youth Group in the parade not only highlighted the cultural richness of Portugal but also fostered a spirit of unity and mutual respect among the varied ethnic groups in the area. It was a poignant reminder that while we may celebrate different histories, we share common values of community, tradition, and celebration.

The United Irish St. Patrick's Day parade has long been a staple in Kearny's cultural calendar, going back to 1974, of late the parade has attracted participants and spectators from various backgrounds. That is a good thing for the continuation of the 50-year-old tradition. The inclusion of the ACP and its Folklore Youth Group this year has undoubtedly enriched the experience, adding layers of cultural depth and visual splendor to the festivities.

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