‘A giant family reunion’: Cape Verdean celebration comes to Onset VFW

Aug 13, 2022

The annual Cape Verdean celebration returned to Onset this year – albeit as a picnic at the Onset VFW instead of its usual festival location in the village – and so did hundreds of people hoping to celebrate all things Cape Verdean.

Vendors sold all sorts of clothing emblazoned with the Cape Verdean flag, cooks minded pots of munchupa stew and everywhere you looked, people were shaking hands, hugging and smiling at one another.

Organizer Tiny Lopes said the celebration is like a “giant family reunion,” and that people come from all over the country to congregate in Onset during the event. He said some people had arrived from Florida, Washington D.C. and Virginia, and as a California resident himself, Lopes crossed the country to be there Saturday.

One participant, Kristina Evans, said she came from Delaware for the event. Holding up a Cape Verdean flag, she spoke to why the event feels important to her.

“It’s great to have everyone around you, look like you,” Evans said.

Across the lawn, Shayla Tavares was selling goods covered in Cape Verdean imagery to passersby. That sort of thing can be difficult to come by, she said.

“We don’t see a lot of Cape Verdean stuff in stores,” Tavares said. “It’s hard to find Cape Verdean themed items.”

To address that, Tavares created designs of kids wearing Cape Verdean flag colors and symbols that she could put on backpacks and shirts at her business. She calls the design her “CV Kidz.”