FestPAC comes to a close after a 10-day showcase in Honolulu

Emily Cervantes and Nikki Schenfeld

15 minutes ago

Hawaii is hosting the largest celebration of Pacific Islanders for the first time

HONOLULU (KHON2) – The 13th Festival of Pacific Arts and Culture came to a close on Sunday as delegates from across the Pacific participated as Hawaii hosted the event for the first time.

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“This morning I was walking through the village and it was torn down halfway through and to be here and be able to say goodbye in such a big way is truly an honor, but it’s completely bittersweet,” said Makanani Sala, director of operations for FestPAC. . “We are so sad to see them go, but we are very proud of what we have put together.”

The 10-day festival showcased countries from across the Pacific, with various cultural activities, storytelling opportunities, and learning and leaning on each other.

“We have so much to learn from each other, so many similarities and we face so many of the same challenges, especially with regard to climate change, some kind of political unrest and instability. So the more we come together and exchange ideas and bounce things off, we move more and more towards a solutions-oriented future for the entire Pacific,” Sala added.

The festival kicked off on June 9 with the Waa’s arrival in Kualoa and a beautiful eight-hour opening ceremony.

I think for me the arrival ceremony is a nod to our journey and ancestors. And so opening that way was, I think, a very important and special scene. What I would consider our Pacific Fleet encountering Mokapu was beautiful, life-changing for me, and then rolling straight into the opening ceremony where we’re all together is another important one.

Kalani Kaanaana, Commission Chair for FestPAC

A total of 25 countries took part, with many saying the event was a success.

“This was the demonstration of aloha we wanted. We wanted to be welcomed back to Hawaii, had been distancing ourselves for years, haven’t been able to do so as often as we should and we want to be more of a part of that in the years to come,” Governor Jost Green added.

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There are more than 6,500 people in the Stan Sheriff Center, a sold-out crowd. the FestPAC Committee and the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism will conduct an economic impact study to see what benefits the festival has brought to Honolulu.