The 2nd Annual Marianas Beer & BBQ Festival on Oct. 6, 2018, at Garapan Fishing Base in Saipan surpassed last year’s festival in number of attendees, sales, and, by most accounts, fun.
Despite a burst of tropical showers midway through the event, the festival attracted and held even more attendees than last year. Total package sales by the MVA were 13 percent higher compared to the inaugural event. The number of paid packages for those who chose to imbibe was 23 percent higher than in 2017, with over 400 $50 or $25 packages sold.
“The 2018 MBBF was a resounding success. The large crowd included many visitors from around the world. We met people from Japan, Korea, Czech Republic, Singapore, China, the U.S. mainland, and elsewhere, who all expressed their excitement at being at the only beer, wine and BBQ festival in the Marianas,” said Marianas Visitor Authority managing director Christopher A. Concepcion.
“Our food and beverage vendors provided fantastic options for our guests, our live entertainers were engaging, our BBQ short ribs cookoff sponsored by Chun Ji Korean BBQ Restaurant was impressive, and our first ever Beer-lympics sponsored by Roil Soil was riveting,” he added. “I have to extend a sincere thanks to our Community Projects team and the whole MVA team for their hard work before, during, and after the event. A lot of the work goes on behind the scenes and none of this would’ve been possible without them. By the same token, we must extend our gratitude to our partners in other CNMI government agencies, our sponsors, and supporters for assisting us with the second annual Marianas Beer & BBQ Festival.”
Many attendees held out until the party closed at 11pm, with dozens taking to the dance stage to close out the show with local artist James Selepeo, who was preceded earlier in the evening by Uprooted and Baraja Band.
The Chun Ji BBQ Short Ribs Cookoff at 5pm challenged three participants to prepare on-site the best tasting and best plated short ribs, served with two side dishes. First place went to the duo of Eric Palacios and Kent Kalen of Demapan for Congress, winning $50 worth of festival tokens and two nights stay for four people and an additional pool pass for two at Mango Resort. Second place went to Lancaster Secharmidal and Norman Chan of Hyatt Regency Saipan, winning $40 worth of festival tokens and one-night stay for four people and an additional pool pass for two at Mango Resort, and a beach chair and umbrella from IT&E. Third place was garnered by Pi Chunhui and Han Zhiyu of LT Travel, winning $30 of festival tokens, a Blu Studio J2 cellphone, and a beach chair and umbrella from IT&E. Short ribs were provided by title sponsor Chun Ji Korean BBQ Restaurant.
Ten teams toed the line for the Beer-lympics from 8pm to 9pm, taking on a series of obstacles or stages to challenge their skills with ping-pong balls, basketballs, frisbees, flip cups, and, of course, beer. Top prize and $200 worth of festival tokens for first place went to the team of Hold My Beer. Second place and $150 worth of festival tokens went to Saipan Brewing. Third place and $100 of festival tokens went to Beer Careful. Winners in both competitions also received giveaways from the MVA.
“We would also like to give special thanks to Department of Lands and Natural Resources, Alcohol Beverage and Tobacco Control, Bureau of Environmental Health, Department of Public Safety, Department of Fire & Emergency Services, Mayor of Saipan, Skywalker Communications Group, Imperial Pacific, Mango Resort, IT&E, Chun Ji Korean BBQ Restaurant, and Roil Soil for helping the MVA make this a great event,” said MVA Community Projects specialist and lead event coordinator Ray Villagomez.
Saipan Brewing Co., Marpac, I Love Saipan, Westco, and Franken Brau participated in the event, which paired Marianas brews with island-style barbecue and other appetizers. A variety of chasers were offered by Mystique Snack Bar, Ina’s Kitchen, The Hut, and Salty’s.
From Taiwan’s Fourplay Cuisine & Bar, bar leader Moriz Wu and attendant Sion Wu debuted new signature beer cocktails for the Marianas using locally brewed Saipan Brewing beer: Saipan Sapphire, Tinian Ruby, and Rota Emerald. The duo also showed off their international dance moves along with other visitors and residents at the close of the festival.
For more information on MVA signature events and other events in the Marianas, visit The Marianas Calendar at www.mymarianas.com. (MVA)