June 12, 2024

The Pizen Switch Times

Established 2021

Yerington Portuguese Festa to Honor Frank Barcellos

The 103rd Yerington Portuguese Festa will be held Sunday, June 9th, at the Holy Family Catholic Church in Yerington. The event starts with mass at 10:30, followed by a traditional lunch of sopas, sweet bread and Portuguese beans at 12:00 noon. The festival honors the Holy Ghost and commemorates the miracle of Queen Isabella offering her crown to provide food for her people, ending a famine in the early 1300’s.

This year’s Festa honoree is Frank Barcellos. Frank was born in 1932 to Mariana (Toledo) and Joe Barcellos. His parents had been promised to each other in the Azores and immigrated via Rhode Island and Brazil, respectively. The family lived on a dairy at the end of Penrose Lane in Wabuska. When Joe died in 1936, Mariana was remarried to Frank Goncalves, who also was a native of the Azores. The family moved to Hawthorne, which remains Frank’s home to this day.

Frank spent his career as a heavy equipment and crane operator at the Hawthorne ammo depot, retiring as a shop foreman after 31 years of civil service. He married Leatha Payne and the couple enjoyed a wonderful marriage watching their children Frank, Rebecca and Karen grow and start their own families. Though Leatha passed four years ago, she and Frank enjoyed 68 years of romance together.

Frank has been a devoted Festa participant for his whole life. His earliest recollections were of festas held at a hall near the Freitas home, eight miles from town. He used to look forward to Portuguese music and dancing with an accordion player, the annual tastes of sopas and linguica, and auctions and raffles featuring homemade Portuguese sweet bread, crochet and knitting (Not much has changed!).

Frank remembers his two sisters serving as queens and how he advanced his own boyhood “career” in the parade, moving from carrying lances to banners to the American flag. Frank has been a stalwart participant in the years since, peeling potatoes, washing dishes, bringing mint from the top of Mount Grant to his cousin Manuel for the sopas and generously supporting the raffle each June. The Yerington Portuguese community is proud to recognize the involvement of Frank, Leatha, their children, nine grandchildren and fifteen great-grandchildren in naming him as the Festa’s 2024 honoree.

6.4.24 From Yerington Portuguese Organization:

Five Days and COUNTING until 2024 Festa.
We just learned that John F (Frank) McGowan will be donating not one but TWO original paintings. One will be placed in the raffle, and one will be placed in the Auction. Pictures will follow.
The procession to the church will begin at 10:15am at the Hall. Mass begins at 10:30am and lunch will be served at noon. Auction will begin shortly after lunch.
Join us on Sunday as we celebrate our heritage.
God Bless.

Yerington Portuguese Festa Queen 2024 Announced: Miss Clarisa Alvarez