Jose and Lucia Madruga are presidents of the 2019 IPFES Holy Ghost festa.

A procession, a community meal and bullfights will mark the 95th IPFES Holy Ghost celebration that began Tuesday and continues this weekend.

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

The festa began with people praying the rosary Tuesday and Thursday in the chapel at the Portuguese Hall, 400 W. Ninth St.

On Saturday, cow fights known as vacada will begin at 3 p.m., allowing people to test their courage by facing off with cows in the bullring behind the hall. That will be followed by a dance at 8 p.m. with music by Gilberto Amaral. The festa queens will be presented in a 9 p.m. ceremony at the hall.

Haley Drummond is the Rainha Grande, the big queen, with Liliana Tavares and Gizelle Mendes as her side maids.

The Rainha Do Meio, the middle queen, is Hannah Hamblin, with Sophia Daniels and Isabella de Sousa as side maids.

Analia Ramos is the Rainha Pequena, the little queen, with Allicen Simmons and Dora Resendes as side maids.

Sunday morning, the Tracy queens will join with guests from dozens of other towns in a procession from the Portuguese Hall to St. Bernard’s Catholic Church, 163 W. Eaton Ave., for Mass. The procession will feature bands from Tracy, Los Banos and Newman.

At 12:30 p.m., the community is welcome to sit down to a free lunch of sopas e carne, a meal of boiled meat, bread and broth, followed by a live auction at 1 p.m.

A sopas e carne dinner will be served at 7 p.m., and a dance with music by Alcides Machado will end Sunday’s events.

The festa concludes next Friday with traditional bloodless bullfights in the Campo Pequeno bullring behind the Portuguese Hall.

Horse-mounted bullfighters called cavaleiros will ride into the ring along with forcados, men who grab the bulls between fights.

Tickets for the bullfights are $25 each.

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

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