Flowers and accents of deep purple are out on the tables at the Los Banos Portuguese DES Hall and the steps received a fresh coat of paint Tuesday morning, all in preparation for a three-day centennial celebration.
The 100th annual Holy Ghost Festa begins tonight with a rosary at 7:30 at the DES chapel, followed by events stretching over the next two days.
The celebration dates back hundreds of years, according to Dori Santos-Koelher. Queen Saint Isabel, who was born in Spain, and the central miracle of her life is the focus of the annual Festa, celebrated eight weeks after Easter.
Los Banos DES Committee President Rosalyn Garcia said planning the much-anticipated event began back in September.
“It’s been here for 100 years,” she said. “It’s been a long time and it’s still standing. We’re very excited. It’s a really neat milestone for us.”
On Saturday festivities will begin at 10:30 a.m. and go on through 10 p.m., with prayer, music and dance.
On Sunday, the formal procession, featuring the queens, will begin at 9 a.m. and conclude with a Mass at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, 1621 Center Ave.
After the mass, sopas, a Portuguese soup with meat, will be served along with festivities going on well through the night, such as a live auction, musical performances and a presentation of the queen and court.
Organized specially for this year’s celebration is the displaying of photos of past princesses and capes in the meeting room.
Bishop Armando X. Ochoa, of the Fresno Diocese, will take over the mass celebrated on Sunday along with the Rev. Dan Avila and the Rev. Robert E. Gamel.
Garcia said committee members also invited past queens and presidents to attend the event. “We had a good response,” she said.
Organizers expect hundreds of people from all over the area and out of the area to show up.