It’s still Independence Day season in Port Chester, given the various Latin American countries celebrating independence from Spain. For the fourth year, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church is incorporating the festivities into its “Cultural Fridays” series, intended to showcase the different nationalities in the congregation.
Peruvians celebrated their day recently with a traditional “scissor dance” (photographed at Port Chester Fest, left) and a salute to Luis Marino, the village’s first Hispanic trustee and a native of Peru. Next up, Friday, are the Bolivians, gathering on their actual independence day, Aug. 6. Ecuadorians are celebrating at the church Aug. 13, Dominicans Aug. 20, Mexicans Aug. 27, and Central Americans on Sept. 3. The festivities start at 7 p.m. The Bolivian event will start with a Mass and be held outdoors in the church parking lot.
Father Hilario Albert began the Friday events with the hope of mingling the various groups, but that remains a challenge. “It has still been very, very slow-moving,” he said this week. “People come to their own, and they forget about the other.”
Port Chester is getting ready for the World Cup — in a big way. With just about every nation represented in the local population, restaurants are putting out signs and getting their big-screen TVs ready.
Inca y Gaucho, the Uruguayan-Peruvian place on Westchester Avenue, is advertising Uruguay vs. France tomorrow (photo at right).
Down the block, Tortilleria Los Gemelos is ready for Mexico’s game tomorrow also. But the real action will happen once the team gets to the quarter finals, owner Adelo Ramirez says.
“That’s when we go all-out,” he said this afternoon. The celebration for the Gold Cup, when Mexico beat the United States in New Jersey, was off the charts. During the World Cup, fans gather by nationality — Italian, Brazilian, and so on. “That’s the only time you get to see the Mexicans put together in Port Cheter,” Ramirez said. “That’s when you realize how big a population it has become.”
At Copacabana, the Brazilian steakhouse on North Main, all the games are being shown, every day. And they’re making a point of welcoming fans from every country. The flags are strung across the wall of a patio, which was furnished a year ago with the World Cup in mind.
“We’re expecting a lot of fun,” said General Manager Anderson Moretti.