Tinian Hot Pepper Festival on Feb. 13-14

The 12th Annual Tinian Hot Pepper Festival will be held on Feb. 13-14, 2016, highlighting the island’s famously potent “donne sali” pepper. The two-day island-style celebration, known as the Pika Festival by locals, showcases local cuisine laced with the “pika” (spicy), eye-watering condiment.
Festival times will be from 2pm to 11pm on Feb. 13 and from 2pm to 11pm on Feb. 14. Activities will include non-stop live entertainment and arts and crafts sales. Competitions slated for the event include the “estafao pika” (spicy soup) cooking contest, the umang (hermit crab) races, a dragon boat race, and the donni sali eating competition, itself. The event will be held again this year at Kammer Beach within walking distance of the seaport and downtown San Jose.
“This is always the people’s festival,” said MVA Tinian Office supervisor Vida Borja. “I sincerely hope that this much-awaited event will give enjoyment to all, including our visitors.”
Although the annual Tinian Turquoise Blue and Reef Swim will not be held this year, a Pika Bike Race will be held on Feb. 13 at 6am at Kammer Beach, also the finish line. The 65K race is sponsored by the Marianas Visitors Authorit, Tinian Mayor’s Office, and Bikers Association of Tinian. Ferry transportation between Saipan and Tinian is being arranged by the MVA for the festival weekend and a schedule will be announced shortly.
“During the planning stages of Tinian Turquoise Blue last year, there was uncertainty whether hotel rooms would be available at the time of the event, so we were not able to commit to the triathlon this year,” said MVA Community Projects manager Martin Duenas. “However, we are really excited about the Pika Bike Race being planned, which will open up the many historic and scenic wonders of Tinian to bikers from Saipan who catch the ferry over. It’s going to be a really fun weekend.”
The event is co-sponsored by the MVA, Tinian Mayor’s Office, Tinian Municipal Council, and members of the MVA, with support from other government agencies.
Tinian is also accessible within minutes of Saipan via airplane or via connecting flights from Rota and Guam. Available hotels on island include Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino, Fleming Hotel, Lion House, Lorilyn’s and Street Motel. Some hotels offer airport shuttle, as well.Air service is provided by Freedom Air and Star Marianas.
For more information, contact Vida Borja at 433-9365 or e-mail at vborja@mymarianas.com or Ryan Calvo at 664-200 or email at rcalvo@mymarianas.com.
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