Today marks 100 days until the start of the Festival of Pacific Arts (FestPac) in Guam from May 22 to June 4, 2016. The festival has been held every four years since 1972, and brings together artists and cultural practitioners from around the Pacific region for two weeks of festivity. It is recognized as a major regional cultural event, and is the largest gathering in which Pacific peoples unite to enhance their respect and appreciation of one another.
FestPac Organizing Committee Chairman, Nathan Denight, said, “The energy of the biggest cultural event in our island’s history is definitely being felt throughout our community, which was shown at the 100-day wave we held at Chief Quipuha Park in our capital city of Hagatña. We are confident Guam will be ready to welcome the participating countries and showcase the Håfa Adai spirit and our unique Chamorro culture.
The theme for the 12th Festival of Pacific Arts is What we own, What we have, What we share, United voices of the Pacific. The unique festival was conceived to preserve and promote traditional and contemporary cultural practices and expressive arts in the Pacific Islands.
The 27 Pacific Island Countries and Territories expected at the festival are: American Samoa, Australia, Cook Islands, Easter Island, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji Islands, French Polynesia, Guam (2016 Host), Hawaii, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Norfolk Island, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Pitcairn Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Wallis and Futuna.
Guam has participated in every Festival of Pacific Arts, including the most recent edition held in Solomon Islands in 2012. A delegation of 2,500 performers, artists and cultural practitioners is expected, in addition to thousands of visitors from Asia and festival followers who see to it they are part of the festival every four years.
If you are interested in attending the festival, start planning now. Visit the festival’s Website for more information, and to learn more about Guam’s preparations for FestPac.