The 9th Tinian Hot Pepper Festival on Feb. 16-17, 2013, is heating up with the addition of ferry service, a bike fun ride, and a fun run for participants.
The Super Emerald will provide transportation for individuals bringing a bicycle and other interested individuals. The cost is $35 round-trip, while children age 5 and under are free.
The ferry service will depart Saipan on Feb. 15 at 5:30pm and Feb. 17 at 10am and will return from Tinian on Feb. 16 at 7pm and Feb. 18 at 5pm.
To purchase a ferry ticket, contact Marianas Visitors Authority marketing specialist Skye Seo at email@example.com or 664-3215. A limited number of seats are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. The trip time is estimated at less than two hours, and the vessel departs from Port of Saipan.
“We're very pleased to be partnering with the Tinian Mayor's Office in making Tinian accessible to bikers again this year by offering ferry transportation,” said MVA Community Projects manager Martin Duenas. “The Tinian Hot Pepper Festival is the perfect opportunity to enjoy some low-key island partying at the festival grounds while exploring the many natural and historic wonders of Tinian.”
A free 5K Fun Run will be held on Saturday, Feb. 16, at 7am with registration beginning at 6:15am. A free bike fun ride will be held the following day on Feb. 17 at 6:30am, with registration beginning at 5:45am. The bike ride will be not more than 30K.
“The Tinian Mayor's Office has worked diligently to prepare another great course for bikers at this year's festival, and the people of Tinian are looking forward to welcome all of this weekend's visitors,” said Don Farrell of the Tinian Mayor's Office.
The event will be held at Kammer Beach within walking distance of the seaport and downtown San Jose. 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.
The celebration honors donni sali, a small but potent hot pepper that is indigenous to the island. The event is also co-sponsored Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino. Activities will again include cooking competitions, indigenous craft sales, and live entertainment, including cultural dances and Hapi the Clown.
Sample a variety of local dishes, catch the umang (hermit crab) races, join numerous sports activities (including beach volleyball and dragon boat races), or join the donni sali eating competition, itself. Festival times will be from 1pm to 10pm on Feb. 16 and from 10am to 10pm on Feb. 17.
The historical treasures of Tinian include ancient Chamorro limestone pillars called Taga or latte stones (within walking distance of the festival), to relics from the Japanese era of administration of the islands, to WWII ruins.
Tinian is also accessible within minutes of Saipan via airplane or via connecting flights from Rota and Guam.
For more information, contact the MVA Tinian office at (670) 433-9365 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. (MVA)