By Beth David, Editor
The remnants of Hurricane Hermine threatened the festivities at the Our Lady of Angels Feast this weekend, but the storm’s track took it out to sea just far enough to weaken the effect. The line that held the wreath high above the parking lot, that the arm of the statue traditionally gets pushed through, fell in the wind, and did hit a woman on the ground. She was treated on the scene and transported, but her injuries were reportedly minor.
Organizers then moved a pickup truck alongside the barrel holding the pole to keep it from falling again.
All festivities on the feast grounds continued as planned, but the procession up to Benoit Square was shortened to a brief appearance by the OLOA 800-pound statue.
The abbreviated procession included just one band, Banda Nossa Senhora da Luz of Fall River, and just one other statue, a miniature of OLOA.
The two Canastra sisters and their cousin, however, also made their appearance, dressed as OLOA. The three have marched in the procession since they were babies, marching as angels as soon as they could walk.
All three said they liked the feast, and especially the procession. The five Canastra brothers (uncles and dad), carry the large statue for a portion of the route every year.
“It’s just fun to be together, to see all my relatives,” said Sophia, 12.
“I like it because it’s a tradition,” said her cousin Emma, 11.
“I like both their reasons,” said Noella, 10.
The brave men of the OLOA Association took the statue out from its safe spot in St. Mary’s Church, carried it to the street and then circled right back around the circular drive and back into the church.
Although it was a short trip, it was still quite nerve-racking, with a couple of gusts testing the strength of those carrying. But the trip was made safely, and lots of hugs and pats on the back after.
Back on the feast grounds, the food and drink flowed for all three days. By all accounts, the first night, Saturday, was the most crowded even the seasoned volunteers remembered. The consensus was that people wanted to get in before the storm.
The next two days were also very crowded.
The malassadas line was the longest ever, especially on Saturday night.
Lisa Cordeiro waited for more than 52 minutes.
“There’s nothing like a fresh malassada,” she said.
Paul Lane and Ron Harrison waited for an hour and 15 minutes.
“It’s worth it,” said Mr. Lane.
“You meet good people waiting in line,” said Mr. Harrison.
He said a woman tried to buy him off, to get his spot. But he wouldn’t budge.
Curt Lheureux and his friends waited for an hour and 10 minutes. They group of seven got one malassada each, to eat right away.
Friends Mason Tolman, Seth Allaire and Thailer Audette, all 13, said it was their first time attending. They all were having a great time.
“Hanging out with friends,” Mr. Tolman.
“And food,” said Mr. Allaire. “The people are really nice. It’s just fun, and most of our friends are here.”
“Just hanging out,” said Mr. Audette.”
“And eat stuff,” added Mr. Allaire.