Pacific culture takes center stage in May with the 29th Annual Guam Micronesia Island Fair.
Each year, thousands gather for a weekend of cultural exchange between delegations from our closest neighbors in Micronesia.
GMIF is your annual ticket into the rich and diverse cultures of the Pacific. Delegations come together to share cultural practices and performances, from traditional singing, dancing and chanting to ancient sailing techniques.
There will be many artisans, master craftsmen, jewelers, weavers, and musicians, along with entertainment, food, and merchandise booths for all residents and visitors.
This year’s theme, "Celebrating Love of Culture," kicks off on May 3 through May 7 in Hagåtña. There are more days added to the annual fair this year with more activities featuring themed parks at the new location.
Historically, the island's tourist district, Tumon, has been home to the annual cultural fair, but GMIF is moving to the Paseo de Susana in Hagåtña this year, returning to the main staging ground of the 12th Festival of Pacific Arts.
The fair went on break last year while all eyes were on Guam for FestPac, known as "The Olympics of Pacific Island Culture.” Dozens of delegations from across the Pacific took part in the two-week celebration held primarily at Paseo. The new location will allow residents and visitors to celebrate Guam’s capital by taking advantage of the Festival Village and new festivities.
The fair’s opening day coincides with the ever-popular Chamorro Village Wednesday Night Market. Paseo will transform into a Pacific culture mecca via interactive themed parks, a new feature, along with the Festival Village huts all surrounded by breezy East and West Hagåtña Bays.
The parks include Voyager Country where you can experience the rich history of Pacific navigation via the vessels our ancestors used in travel; Coconut Land will celebrate the many uses of the mighty coconut tree, from its leaves and fruits to candy; the Animal Adventure Kingdom will bring back a favorite feature of GMI— the petting zoo, a place to get up close and personal with farm and other creatures known to thrive on our island. More entertainment will take place at Tomorrow Land where there will be a beer garden nearby to quench your thirst and scrumptious offerings from your favorite food vendors. Discovery Street, on the other hand, is one of the major kid-friendly draws where you'll find games, rides, and other family-favorite features.
Harkening back to FestPac, Guam has extended GMIF invitations to our neighboring islands in Micronesia, as well as to many of the favorite delegations that joined us last year. GMIF is free to the public, and is a Guam Visitors Bureau signature event.
Please follow Guam Visitors Bureau on Facebook, or visit www.visitguam.org for fair updates.
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Guam born and raised, this contributor has an affinity for island life, people, food and culture. Got a story idea? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.Follow on Twitter More Content by Lacee A.C. Martinez