Thousands celebrate their heritage at Toronto’s Portugal Day festivities

The 30th annual Portugal Day Parade showcased a multicultural slice of life in the city, with Mayor John Tory joining dozens of community organizations and floats on Dundas St. W.

It was Orlando Pascoal’s first Portugal Day Parade. The 7-year-old squealed in excitement when he saw a float with a giant fish on it.

“The parade is amazing,” he said.

His grandmother, Teresa Pascoal, laughed. Her nails were painted green and red as she waved a Portuguese flag in one hand and a Canada 150 flag in the other.

Orlando, she said, is a third-generation Portuguese Canadian and she brought him to the parade because it’s one way of familiarizing him with his roots.

On Saturday, families lined the sidewalk on Dundas St. W. between Lansdowne Ave. and Trinity Bellwoods Park to watch the parade’s 30th edition.

The event included 10,000 participants, 89 organizations, 43 floats and 26 folklore groups representing the diversity, community and culture of Portugal, said Jose M. Eustaquio, chair of Portugal Week celebrations.

“I feel so blessed and so lucky to live in Canada, (which) allows me to celebrate my culture from back home in this unique atmosphere,” Eustaquio said.

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