Osoyoos Holy Spirit Festival 2014 attracts another big crowd from across the province
The Osoyoos Holy Spirit Festival once again attracted a large contingent of residents from across the South Okanagan and other parts of British Columbia for a weekend of prayer, song, dance, good food, good music and good times.
More than 450 people – including a large contingent of 120 from Vancouver – gathered in Osoyoos for the annual festival, which is organized by parishioners from St. Anne’s Catholic Church.
“This is all about celebrating the Holy Spirit, but we invite Catholics and non-Catholics … we invite anyone and everyone to our celebration,” said event co-ordinator Maria Pimentel.
This was the 17th consecutive year the Osoyoos Holy Spirit Festival has been held, said Pimentel.
The weekend included a dinner for all 450 visitors at the Sonora Community Centre, which was followed by a performance of folklore groups from Vancouver and a dance featuring the Portuguese dance sounds of Emidio Serrambana.
The festival concluded on Sunday with a Holy Spirit feast mass at St. Anne’s Catholic Church, followed by a procession of all festival participants to the Sonora Centre.
A traditional Holy Spirit dinner/buffet was served Sunday afternoon. The event concluded with another performance by Serrambana and his band.
The event is held in conjunction with the celebration of the Pentecost, which celebrates seven weeks or 50 days after the resurrection of Jesus Christ following Easter weekend, said Pimentel.
The event takes a lot of work to organize, but all of the volunteers she works with have a wonderful time and get their reward by sharing good food, good music and prayer with people from all over the province, she said.
“This is about peace and love and believing in the our God … the Holy Spirit,” she said.
This Holy Spirit Festival attracts so many out-of-town visitors that it has a big impact on the local economy every June, she said.
“Most of these people are staying in local hotels … we booked two hotels for people coming to the festival and they are both full,” she said. “Many of them go on wine tours and visit the sites. It’s very good for the town.”
Serrambana said returning to Osoyoos to perform at this festival over the past several years is always a pleasure.
“This area reminds me of my original home in Portugal with all the wineries and beautiful scenery,” he said. “This is a good opportunity to honour the Holy Spirit and celebrate Portuguese music, food and culture and I always love coming back here.”