SELMA – Giana Thomas and Kasey Ribeiro will be crowned Portuguese Azorian Association Senior Queen and Junior Queen, respectively on Sunday, June 16.
The Queens will reign over the annual Portuguese Festa in Selma. Their responsibilities as queen include representing the Portuguese Heritage in Selma by participating in other Portuguese Festas in other cities throughout California during the year.
Thomas is the daughter of Thomas and Lynette Thomas of Riverdale. She is a junior at West Hills College in Lemoore. Her hobbies include working cattle on her avo’s ranch and helping out with the family business.
Joining Thomas as her attendants will be Mandy Pimentel and Kylee Ribeiro.
Pimentel is the daughter of Michael and Julie Pimentel of Riverdale. She is a sophomore at Riverdale High School. She plays volleyball, basketball and softball and shows dairy replacement heifers at the fair.
Ribeiro is the daughter of Paul and Melanie Ribeiro, also of Riverdale. She is a freshman at Riverdale High School. Her hobbies include showing dairy replacement heifers and riding ATVs.
Joining Kasey Ribeiro as her attendants will be Isabella Torres and Elena Mendes.
Ribeiro is the daughter of Paul and Melanie Ribeiro of Riverdale. She is a fifth grader at Riverdale Elementary. Her hobbies are playing softball and showing dairy replacement heifers for 4-H and riding quads.
Torres is the daughter of Juan and Marie Torres of Riverdale. She is a fifth grader at Riverdale Elementary. She enjoys playing softball, camping, gardening and 4-H.
Mendes is the daughter of Darryl and Cristina Mendes. She is a fifth grader at Riverdale Elementary. Her hobbies include showing pigs and 4-H. She is the 2019 Riverdale Rodeo Princess.
The annual celebration is held to honor Queen St. Isabel of Portugal who was known for her generosity towards the poor people in her country. During a time of great famine, the queen used all of her funds to feed her people. Eventually, the food was about to run out, and Queen St. Isabel’s crown was the only symbol of her royalty that remained.
At Mass, the queen prayed to the Holy Spirit to end the hunger of her people and if that happened, she would give her crown to the church. As she left Mass, ships filled with wheat and corn sailed into the harbor.
Portuguese communities around the world have celebrated her gratitude and devotion to her people for more than 700 years through the Festa do Espiritu Santo, or Feast of the Holy Spirit.
The celebration starts with a parade at 10:10 a.m. June 16 at the SPAA hall on Dockery and Nebraska avenues. The parade proceeds to St. Joseph’s Church where a mass will be celebrated at 10:45 a.m. by Father Lupe Rios.
After Mass, the parade proceeds back to the SPAA hall where lunch will be served. Sopas, a traditional Portuguese dish, will be served and an auction will be held after lunch. There is no charge for the food and the public is welcome.
At 7 p.m., sopas will be served again followed by a Grand March in the SPAA Hall at 8 p.m. Following the march, the festivities will conclude with dancing.
Selma Portuguese Azorian Association officers for 2019 are President Tisha Cardoza, Vice-President Constance Brasil and secretary/treasurer Kathy Alves.