Portimão celebrates Popular Saints

Six parades are planned in June

Street parties, parades and grilled sardines are the cornerstones of Portugal’s Popular Saints tradition, which will be celebrated in Portimão throughout June.

The Festas dos Santos Populares are held every year and are among Portugal’s oldest traditions, honouring the three Catholic saints, John (São João), Peter (São Pedro) and Anthony (Santo António).


Six parades are planned in Portimão, all of them starting at 10pm. Five will be held on Friday nights and one on Sunday.

The first parade will take place on June 2 at the Portimão Arena, followed a week later by a parade at the Figueira sports field (Polidesportivo) on June 9 and another at the Montes de Alvor sports pavilion on June 11.

The festivities will move to Alvor’s riverside on June 16 and to Praia da Rocha on June 23, ending with a parade along Portimão’s riverside on June 30.


The parades will feature members of local cultural associations, such as Sporting Glória ou Morte Portimonense, Sociedade Recreativa Figueirense and CIRM – Clube de Instrução e Recreio Mexilhoeirense – while the parade in Alvor has been organised by the local parish council with the help of local volunteers.

Three associations from neighbouring boroughs have also been invited to join the festivities – Marcha da Associação Grupo de Amigos da Pedreira (Silves), Marcha do Clube Desportivo de Odiáxere (Lagos) and Marcha do Clube de Futebol “Os Estombarenses” (Lagoa).

All in all, over 1,000 people are expected to take part in the parades.

Popular Saints celebrations would be incomplete without the usual ‘arraiais’ – street parties where people can enjoy live music and food, headlined by the hallmark grilled sardines.

The ‘arraiais’ will take place on three Saturdays (June 10, 17 and 24) and one Friday (June 30) at Praça da República (known commonly as Alameda) between 7pm and 1am, with traditional music performances starting at 8pm.

Portimão Council says that everything is in place for another successful edition of the borough’s Popular Saints celebrations, which are “an essential part of the municipality’s cultural entertainment programme”.

By Michael Bruxo

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