The Cape Verdean Association of Boston hosts the annual Independence Celebration and Flag Raising at Boston City Hall Plaza on the dates of July 4 and 5. Organized by a committed group community residents under the Cape Verdean Independence Celebration Committee (CVICC), the festival environment helps to showcase Cape Verdean culture, art, music, and food in a family friendly environment. First held on July 4, 1987, the event’s prime position on July 4 helps to expose tourists visiting Boston to Cape Verdean culture.
Flag Raising Ceremony
To mark the July 5 anniversary of Cape Verdean Independence, as well as the parallels between the colonial experiences of Cabo Verde and America, CVICC also hosts an annual flag raising ceremony at City Hall Plaza. The event also offers public officials and community members an opportunity to address the intertwined destinies of the Cape Verdean community and city of Boston.
Recognition of Community Leaders
During the annual cultural celebration, the Cape Verdean Association of Boston recognizes community leaders, youth, and engaged residents for their efforts over the last year. Awards typically recognize the individual’s commitment, perseverance through challenges, and their work engaging with the broader community.
The highlight of the annual Independence Celebration is a five-hour music festival organized on Boston City Hall Plaza on July 4 in partnership with the City of Boston. Featuring local artists from Boston alongside an experienced band and musical artists with international recognition, the performances showcase the range of talent and artistry within Boston’s Cape Verdean community. The event regularly attracts over 1,000 attendees to take in the music, sample food from local businesses, and patronize vendors of the festival.
The annual celebration on July 4 is a family-friendly event that draws attendees from every generation. While the festival features traditional Morna, a favorite among elders, it also includes cutting edge artists as well as arts and crafts activities designed for young children. Past festivals have included a bouncy-house, face-painting, and picture booth.
The Independence Celebration Committee identifies a theme for each year’s events. Often highlighting major developments within the broader Cape Verdean community—such as the immigrant journey, film releases, passing of major artists, or the national soccer team’s presence in the World Cup—the committee plans a series of events around the festival to furtherpromote Cape Verdean Independence. In past years, these events have included screenings, receptions, or art exhibits.