I woke up Sunday morning with a tummy full of nerves.
I felt them making their presence known as I was loading the Festa paraphernalia into the truck with Chris on Saturday night.
As far as preparing for the Festa, I am now organized and in control.
As far as getting the three girls dressed and ready for the parade, I am getting better.
Keeping them fed, hydrated and happy is pretty good as well..
Why was I nervous, then?
Everything was ready...
the weather was perfect...
SPF was excited.
I posed that question to LPP and she said, "You KNOW why you're nervous."
A simple statement of fact.
And I did know.
I know that this Festa means the most to my husband.
I know that the history of his life is here.
I know that making a good impression to those friends and family means a lot.
Would they see in our daughter the same honor that we see oozing from her every pore for her grandparents?
She accepted being queen with their memories on her heart and pride for her heritage.
I hoped that would be seen and appreciated.
My nephew was the outgoing President of Tipton's Portuguese Society that puts on the Festa.
His wife and babies were involved.
Other nephews and a brother in law were included in the festivities.
One sister in law decorated the outdoor areas beautifully.
See what I mean about family involvement and the strong ties to this Festa?
And while this town is small, its Portuguese involvement is still huge.
It is by no means the largest Festa, but it is certainly not the smallest.
The people behind the scenes are masters at what they do.
It is, and as far back as I can remember, run like a well oiled machine.
The band that plays both the American and Portuguese National Anthems are well rehearsed and strong.
They carry that professionalism on throughout the day.
The parade begins on time and runs smoothly.
While not lined with people, there are considerable numbers of spectators.
And my hubby must have been making a riveting statement to be filmed.
Wonder what his wise words were?
The church and hall are across the street from each other, so this parade makes a two block detour,
As the parade arrives at the church, the participants line a path for the outgoing Queen as well as the incoming queen who both march at the end of line as do their parents.
The incoming Senior Queen
and her family have been dear friends for years with hubby's family.
The outgoing Senior Queen carries the crown like this from the hall.
It is exchanged before entering the church and the new Queen will return it upon her head after Mass.
This particular queen is following in her grandmother's footsteps.
Aunts and cousins as well.
The tradition is strong.
The parade back to the church is shortened by a block and is led by the outgoing Queen who is now is done with her reign that began a year ago.
At the hall, queens line the path to the chapel at the hall to welcome the new court.
A quick change of clothes and these girls are ready to sample the sopas.
But since the best local ice cream truck is in attendance, chocolate yumminess was the appetizer.
The recipe has changed a bit since my father in law made the sopas, but I still tasted a hint of cloves or allspice...maybe both.
Seconds were had.
Looking back on Sunday, I realize that I worried for naught.
I know without a doubt that the grandfather whom SPF never met and the grandmother she lost too soon, were right there...beaming.
They saw her heart.
And her love and pride.
And this man and his lovely wife.
He was there because of her heart.
Her heart that bursts with love.