Friday, June 17, 2022
During the early planning stage of the Taste of the Marianas, the Marianas Visitors Authority (MVA) aimed to host it every Saturday in May as we usually do. However, 2022 is an extra special year as the Marianas is hosting the first-ever NMI Pacific Mini Games 2022 (NMIPMG 2022)! After several meetings with the NMIPMG 2022 Games Organizing Committee, MVA agreed to plan the Taste of the Marianas to coincide with the NMIPMG 2022 to welcome the athletes, officials, and families arriving from 20 different countries!
This year’s festival will be held from 5:00-10:00 p.m. on June 18, 19, 24, 25, and 26 at the Garapan Fishing Base. The MVA are welcoming many first-time vendors, which is exciting. A total of 29 food and beverage and arts and crafts vendors are exhibiting each night. On Sunday, June 25, the event will feature a food demonstration at 6:00 PM. The MVA invites everyone to come and try the diverse offering of food that will be presented.
The MVA have four spectacular contests planned: The Marianas Jr. Chef Challenge, Kadun Pika Cooking Contest, Eskabeche Cooking Contest, and the Sukiyaki Eating Contest. The top four winners of each contest will win cash prizes– $500 for 1st place, $250 for 2nd place, $150 for 3rd place, and $100 for 4th place.
We are all in for a cultural treat this year. Thirty groups are lined up to perform during the festival. The MVA welcomes everyone to enjoy our free photobooths and take a souvenir home to remember this unforgettable event!
Be sure to take a stroll along Garapan Fishing Base to see the newly unveiled Governor’s Council of Economic Advisers’ (GCEA) Marianas Village Flags that were designed and inspired by our Public School System (PSS) students! GCEA, through the Marianas Village Pride campaign, produced 35 village flags for Rota, Tinian, and Saipan. Take a picture with your village’s flag and be the first to post about it! We are very proud of our students and congratulate them on their accomplishments. The MVA is also hoping to display all 20 country flags to honor the NMIPMG 2022 participants.
As we continue to celebrate how far we’ve come as a community, let’s join together and spread the Håfa Adai and Tirow spirit to welcome all our visitors.
The MVA thanks our valued sponsors who have made this event possible: Hotel Association of the Northern Mariana Islands, Dave Electrons Center, IT&E, Hawaiian Rock Products, New X.O. Market, Century Hotel, Best Deal, Est Rental, Johnny’s Bar and Grill, and Bistro Marianas!
We also recognize the support of the Office of the Governor, the Saipan Mayor’s Office and our government agencies: the Department of Public Lands, the Department of Public Safety, Alcoholic Beverage & Tobacco Control, the Department of Fire and Emergency Services, the Division of Customs Services and Border Patrol, the Division of Coastal Resources Management, the Zoning Office, the Commonwealth Utilities Corporation, Bureau of Environmental Health, the Bureau of Environmental Coastal Quality, the Department of Land and Natural Resources, the Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force, and the Department of Homeland Security!
MVA’s beautification efforts
Gearing up to welcome visitors to the NMPMG 2022, the resumption of the Japan market, and the continuous welcoming of Korean tourists, MVA has been sprucing up local tourist spots such as Bird Island, Banzai Cliff, and the Paseo de Marianas (PDM). We would not have been able to get these places clean and fixed without the help and the support of the Department of Corrections (DOC).
We started this partnership with DOC during COVID, and DOC has been very generous in helping us with our beautification efforts. Recently, DOC has been up at Bird Island fixing the railings that have been damaged. They will soon make their way to Banzai Cliff to fix more rails. We’ve also completed water blasting, cleaning up, and removing garbage from PDM. We thank all of our volunteers for making the Marianas a better place to live! Together, We Can!
I’d like to also give thanks to the Kinpachi Resaurant, PDM Promoters, the Department of Lands and Natural Resources’ Parks and Recreation, our 22nd House of Representatives: Rep. Celina Babauta, Rep. Donald Manglona, Rep. Edwin Propst, Rep. Tina Sablan, Rep. Blas Jonathan Attao, Rep. Ralph Yumul, Rep. Denita Yangetmai, Rep. Corina Magofna, Rep. Joel Camacho, and Rep. Leila Staffler, Senator Edith DeLeon Guerrero and Delegate Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan for helping us spruce up PDM!
For more information, visit the GCEA at cnmieconomy.com, on Facebook and Instagram (@cnmigov.economy), or contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Martin Duenas
Martin Duenas is the Marianas Visitors Authority’s Community Projects Division manager and Acting Product Development Manager and has served at MVA for more than 31 years. Martin was recognized as one of the longest-serving employees and was awarded MVA’s Leadership Award on May 5, 2022.