In 1947 two Provincetown fishermen made a visit to the neighboring port of Gloucester for their annual Blessing of the Fishing Fleet celebration. The tradition was a way to honor and help protect New England men whose lives were dependent on the sea. Inspired by their trip, the travelers brought the Festival tradition to Provincetown, the first landing place of the Pilgrims.
Provincetown has a rich seafaring history including whaling, pirates and most especially, fishing. At one time our harbor was home to over 150 fishing schooners. The vast majority of these fishermen immigrated from Portugal. This custom of honoring our fishing community has thrived and expanded into a four day Portuguese Festival & Blessing of the Fleet celebration held each year on the last weekend of June.
Nearly 100 volunteers are led by a Festival Team that includes more than 3 generations of Provincetown history. We proudly share Portuguese culture while giving back to the community. In 2007 the Festival installed lights in Portuguese Square. In 2016, the Festival installed a plaque in memory of Fishermen Lost At Sea. We are committed to a joyful Festival experience for all and proudly carry on the traditions of those who have come before us.
The Festival Team invites you to join the many businesses, volunteers and individuals who have made it possible to continue sharing Provincetown’s Portuguese Heritage for over 70 years. We also welcome inquiries from Vendors who would like space in Portuguese Square during the Festival. Select from the options below to show your support or contact us for more information.