The ‘biggest Portuguese party in Europe’ has announced it is staging a comeback this year in France.
The Franco-Portuguese Festa de Pontault-Combault is returning for its 46th incarnation after a two-year hiatus. This year’s festivities are expected to attract around 30,000 people.
Over the course of Friday and Saturday, concerts, activities and Portuguese cuisine will be on offer in the park of Pontault-Combault in the suburbs of Paris, where about 25 per cent of the population is of Portuguese origin.
The event is the largest gathering of the Portuguese community in France. “People missed it a lot,” said Philippe Martins, treasurer of organising body the Portuguese Cultural and Social Association (APCS).
“Some say that rain or shine, they’ll be there, and there are people who are coming from very far away to Paris.”
About a million people in France are Portuguese or of Portuguese descent, including second-generation and dual nationals. But the event attracts others too.
“It’s a Portuguese party,” Martins said, “where the French started to come, and now there are as many Portuguese as French.”
For security reasons only 15,000 people can attend each day. Before this limit was imposed by the French police, the event attracted more than 40,000 over the weekend.