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Thursday, January 17, 2013

(My Marianas) 9th Pika Festival heats up on Tinian

Published in the January 17, 2013 issue of Marianas Variety

THE heat is on as Tinian gears up for the 9th Annual Hot Pepper Festival which will be held at the Kammer Beach on Tinian on February 16 and 17.
As early as this time, the Marianas Visitors Authority is inviting the community to get ready for another hot celebration in honor of the donni sali, Tinian’s popular small but hot potent pepper that is ingenious to the island. Tinian’s hot pepper has become popular and has been making its way to different parts of the world for the past years as more tourists come in and bring them to their various countries.
Be at the Kammer Beach grounds for two days of festive activities that includes cooking competitions featuring the creativity of local chefs who will be using the donni Sali in various recipes; craft sales and live performances that includes cultural dances and the entertainment by Hapi the Clown.
Guests will have a chance to watch the dragon boat competition where the boating skills and endurance of the participants will be tested; and teams battle it out at the beach volleyball tournament.
Prizes are also at stake for winners in the sack race competition, karaoke singing competition where you get surprised and delighted with the hidden talents of your friends and neighbors; booth decorating competition and chacha dancing competition for the different categories. 
The must-not-miss highlight of the Pika Festival each year is the hot pepper eating competition where the public get to watch participants in a hot combat of eating the famous Tinian hot pepper— for the male and female categories; and the umang or hermit crab races which everybody looks forward to—whether you are a participant or a part of the audience.
Last year’s Pika Festival drew a large number of spectators from Saipan, Rota and Guam and other islands that got a chance to sample a wide variety of local dishes and colorful displays of creative decorations made from local and recycled materials for the booths.
Kids also had a grand time with the new entertainment last year which included pig and chicken chasing inside a fenced area and the winners got to bring the pigs and chickens home.
The 9th Annual Tinian Pika Festival promises to be more colorful and festive. Guests get not only the chance to enjoy the sun, sand and sea and the fresh salty tang of the sea breeze but they also get to interact with the local community. 
For more information about the Pika Festival, please call Vida Borja at the Tinian MVA Office at 433-9365 or email vborja@mymarianas.com, Tinian Mayor’s Office at 433-1802 or Frank at the MVA Saipan headquarters at 664-3200/01, or email ftudela@mymarianas.com for inquiries.
For information on how to get to Tinian, please call Freedom Air at 234-8328 or Star Marianas at 433-9998.