5 reasons to participate in 3rd Annual MIFSF

The 3rd Annual Marianas Island Fishing and Seafood Festival will kick off this weekend, June 23-24, at the Garapan Fishing Base, featuring amazing arts, fishing, and environmental information and new entertainment offerings.

The festival, intended to lead to the 2018 Liberation Day Festival hosted by the Saipan Mayor’s Office, is a seaside event for all those seeking good food, fun, and a chance to learn more about our islands’ fisheries.

This year the CNMI Governor’s Office is getting behind the festival to promote sustainable fisheries in the Marianas.

The festival will encompass the entire Garapan Fishing Base. It will only be here for the weekend, so here are a few reasons why you should give the Marianas Islands Fishing and Seafood Festival a visit on June 23-24.

It’s free

Entry to the festival is free to the public. Artists and vendors do not have to pay a fee so they can offer the best prices to you. Games, boat rides, jumping house and a fishing camp are all free.

It’s packed with food

The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands is known for a lot of things. One of them is its seafood culture. You can be sure to find your favorite dishes in one of the food tents set up at the festival.

There will also be the fish cook-off on Sunday that will provide an opportunity to savor Marianas delicacies like you have never tasted before. The entries will be prepared by amateur and professional chefs who know a thing or two about how to filet a fish.

It’s a chance to support local artists

If there’s an ocean of places to eat, there’s even more to shop for handmade craft. You can find wooden sculptures, paintings, handmade necklaces, and more.
The mission of the Marianas Islands Fishing and Seafood Festival is the restoration of the CNMI’s indigenous culture, arts, and fisheries. The artist booths will be packed with artworks not found elsewhere on the island, being that there are limited public events for local artists to display their craft.

It’s educational

The festival features a wide variety of conservationists who will be distributing materials and letting people know about ways we can conserve resources on land, sea and air. The environment is a clear winner at this festival and there will be lots of information and free giveaways. In attendance will be representatives from Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Division of Fish & Wildlife, Western Pacific Fisheries Management Council, Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality, and other conservation entities.

The festival will also feature seafood as a healthy nutrition and Division of Public Health will be on hand to provide information on health and also conduct free health checks.

It’s child-friendly

Just because little kids get in free doesn’t mean there’s nothing for them to do. There are fun games and activities to get your children involved in the fun.

The kids will enjoy the bounce house, games and face painting but there’s even more for them to do than that. Every game has a variety of prizes that will be given away. So bring a bag to take home lots of goodies.

If all else fails, they’ll love getting their hands on all sorts of wacky sea critters in the interactive touch display. That’s where they can get up close and personal with a huge variety of fish and crustaceans from around the Marianas.

The Saipan International Fishing Tournament registration will be on Friday, June 22, and the fishing derby is from 6pm Friday to 5pm Saturday, June 28. There are five categories of fishing: talaya, spearfishing, deep bottom, trolling, inner-reef/shore casting and first, second, and third prizes will be given in each category with a total of $5,000 in prizes. You can enter for as many categories as you like.

The Cooking Competition is on Sunday June 24, 2018, from 11am to 3pm in three categories: poki, kelaguen, and open category (any style).

Kimberly Bautista Bautista
Kimberly Bautista is the youngest in the stable of Saipan Tribune reporters. She has covered a wide range of beats, including the community, housing, crime, and education, for the Saipan Tribune.

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