Renowned musicians, culinary artists, restaurant brands, senior artists, apprentices, citizens, among leading civil society figures from Panjim, are leading the organisation of the first edition of the upcoming ‘Festa do Povo’, which celebrates the people of Goa.
Spread over two days and scheduled to be held in Fontainhas, the Festa do Povo will roll out on December 9 at the St Sebastiao ward from 7 pm to 10pm and at the Sao Tome ward on December 10 from 6 pm to 10 pm. Both wards are located in Panjim's iconic Latin Quarter.
St Sebastiao ward will host folk music by performers like Carlos Meneses, who is a part of Ekchar. “We will be playing the mandos, dulpods and other popular music in Konkani as well as the fados. Fados are classified as Portuguese urban folk music,” said Carlos.
Stalls offering delectable food inspired by Indo-Portuguese influences will be set up by residents from the vicinity.
Christopher Menezes, a resident of St Sebastiao ward says: “The food at our festival will be Goan-centric, prepared by the women of the ward. There will be a distinct Goan and Portuguese flavour with dishes like feijoada, apa de camarao, pasteis de nata besides traditional Goan snacks sourced from within the ward (Bairro)”.
Stalls will also be set up by local bars and restaurant owners. Traditional Goan breads loaded with beef, pork and vegetarian fillings will be served at a stall ‘Pinto Sando’, set up by Russell Pinto.
Christopher Menezes, resident of St Sebastiao
Set in the vibrant Latin Quarter, the Festa do Povo revelry is poised to reverberate throughout the Sao Tome neighbourhood. The festivity route will begin from opposite O’Pierre, where a children’s choir Ektaal trained by Nayantara Mascarenhas De Lima Leitao will perform Christmas carols. Bands like Still Waters will revive old vibes by playing jazz music and Sound of Music will belt out retro music, an old-time favourite.
Festa do Povo attendees can then head towards Ashok Bar. The restaurant’s famous Goan chicken Xacuti will be available at their stall at the event. Modern Goan-Japanese poee sandwiches and delicious festive beverages will be served by Mo’s Cafe.
A fusion of pan-Asian elements along with hints from Portuguese and Goan cuisine such as pork and cherry vindalho dimsum and Goan pork chorizo bao buns will be served by Tataki- Immersive Asian Dining. A small, cosy stage will also be set up for performances.
Greenr Cafe, embracing local ingredients with a distinctive Goan and Portuguese influence, will offer dishes such as jackfruit cafreal and the shroom-balls recheado. Petisco and Larder + Folk will also have their stalls exhibited. Padaria Prazeres will showcase their stall and a barbeque stall will be hosted by Atish Fernandes of Miski and Joseph Bar.
At the Gomes Pereira road, the duo, Sancho e Tasha, will perform old-school English and Konkani classics, while drinks and snacks will be served at stalls by Antonio’s and Joseph bars. Middle Eastern dishes with a Goan touch such as chorico hummus and cafreal shawarmas will be conjured by chef Raul Gomes Pereira.
According to Antonieta George, Fontainhas resident and owner of a popular cafe-cum-lodge, Relax Inn, “A few of the items at our stall will include Portuguese-inspired delicacies like sorpotel, sanna and stew. Goan snacks like sausage bread, forminhas, rissois and local sweets like alle belle will also be served,” said Antonieta.
Adding musical cheer to the Festa do Povo are musicians like Francis Paul Menezes, a member of The Riffs band. “The Riffs will showcase Goan art, heritage and culture through our music by performing various Konkani and Portuguese hits besides other genres,” said Francis Paul.
Open-air art displays exhibiting the creativity and craft of 20 artists will also be installed throughout the locality and its heritage residential homes. Students from the Goa College of Art will also display their works of art at the site.
The festival is supported by the Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP) and is crowdfunded through contributions by well-wishers.