It is with great honor and pride that I will be Queen for the 113th Festa do Espirito Santo on Sunday May 28, 2023. The act of representing the Portuguese community is a tremendous responsibility and is probably one of the most important things I have ever done in my life. I know that as the year goes on I will grow, learn and encounter things I have never experienced before. My goal is to help create a vision of our Festa as something that is not just a celebration with fancy clothes, fundraisers and parties, but something that calls to mind our faith, our culture and our heritage.
Growing up I attended school at St. Charles Borromeo Academy and am currently at the Academy of Our Lady of Peace. I was an altar server at St. Agnes for 4 years and as I evolved throughout these years it became apparent to me that I had much to learn about my ancestry. I learned about crownings first hand, what they meant and the reasons behind many of our religious practices. I learned about Festa traditions too, the miracles of Fatima and Rainha Santa Isabel. It was then that I realized it was time for me to give back. I was inspired by the Holy Spirit to use whatever talents I had to get involved. My commitment as a volunteer at the Hall and as a Portuguese-American dancer continues to this day. It has been both fun and rewarding and in many ways has kept me close in my heart to all those wonderful people who came before me. My great grandmother, Mary Rosa Santos was Festa Queen 3 times. My Tia Mariel was Queen in 1996, my baby brother’s Grammy, Melanie Ribeiro Sardina was Queen in 1976, as were countless cousins and friends. Now I am happy to join the ranks and to take my place among them.
I would ask that everyone in our community please pray for me, that we have a successful year and that I fulfill my role to the best of my ability. With the Holy Spirit’s guidance and His blessings, I will continue to walk the path that so many before me have walked. Thank you very much for this incredible honor. May God Bless you and may God bless the Portuguese Community of San Diego.
I am very excited to be your 2023 Festa King! I have always loved Festa weekend. I love the food, the games and seeing so many of my family and friends. I am getting older and realizing that there is more to Festa then just games and a parade and I am looking forward to learning about the history of our community and why we do Festa.
I have attended Catholic Schools my entire life and currently attend St. Vincent’s. I love sports and my favorite teams are the Padres, Brewers and Bucks. Along with my sister, we have been Portuguese Dancers since we were 5 and my favorite memory is when we danced at Petco Park!
I really never thought I would be King and I’m excited that I have been given this honor and hope to make my parents proud.