Knights of Columbus host Portuguese Festival
Hundreds of people are expected to partake in Portuguese cuisine Sunday in Willows.
The Knights of Columbus Council 2054 hosts its 19th annual Portuguese Festa and auction at St. Monica's Catholic Church's Parish Hall.
Lunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and dinner from 4-7 p.m. Menu items include traditional roast beef and sopas along with potato salad.
"This is the best potato salad around," event Chairman George Waters said.
He said meal crews start Thursday night drying out the bread for the sopas and then get going with the potato salad.
The Knights of Columbus served 725 people last year, and Waters said a similar crowd is anticipated Sunday.
Knights members and their supporters have contributed many useful or unique items to the auction, Waters said, which will start around noon to 12:30 and resume again about 4:30 p.m.
Auction items include Portuguese bread and wine, Italian cookies, handmade crafts and things like planters, benches and bird houses, he added.
In addition, a raffle is set on half a beef to be cut and wrapped for the fourth year. Raffle tickets are $10 each.
Donations from the Festa and auction used locally for youth activities, scholarships, church and community activities.
This is one of the first Portuguese Festas to start the year in this area.
Even larger events are conducted in Princeton on the last Sunday in June and in Orland on Father's Day in June, both sponsored by Holy Ghost associations from Princeton and Orland.
The Festas or "celebrations" where first observed 700 years ago.
Legend has it Queen Isabel of Portugal prayed for a miracle during a time of great famine in her country.
She was rewarded with the arrival of some lost ships diverted to the harbor loaded with corn and wheat.
From there, the Queen reportedly called for a party and allowed a poor girl to wear her crown for a day leading to young Festa queen contests at many festas.
However, the Willows Festa does not have a queen event planned.
Both Princeton and Orland do crown queens for the day and will celebrate in June.