A procession of queens from the Portuguese Hall to St. Bernard’s Catholic Church highlighted the 95th IPFES Holy Ghost celebration on Sunday.

Girls crowned as queens of the local Portuguese festa and similar celebrations from around the area braved the morning’s heat as they walked, some with parasols, to the church for a Mass to open Sunday’s festa events.

The yearly celebration — in Portuguese, Festa do Divino Espirito Santo — is a cultural and religious tradition that honors Queen Isabel of Portugal, a 13th century monarch who prayed for the end of a famine and was eventually sainted for her faith, humility and service to the poor.

After the Catholic Mass, the group walked back to the hall, where a free lunch of sopas e carne was served — a traditional meal of boiled meat, bread and broth. A live auction followed at 1 p.m. More sopas was served at 7 p.m.

This year’s celebration concludes Friday with traditional bloodless bullfights in the Campo Pequeno bullring behind the Portuguese Hall. Horse-mounted bullfighters called cavaleiros will ride into the ring, and men called forcados will grab the bulls between fights. Tickets are $25 each.

Contact the Tracy Press at tpnews@tracypress.com or 835-3030.

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