‘Taste’ breaks token records


Hundreds gather for the final night of the 20th Annual Taste of the Marianas last Saturday.
 (Kimberly A. Bautista)

The 20th Annual Taste of the Marianas may easily have been the biggest in its history and token records were broken to prove it.

The Taste of the Marianas is known as the largest annual food festival in Micronesia where colorful tokens are used as currency. These tokens are usually obtained from the Marianas Visitors Authority booth for a dollar a token.

According to MVA community projects manager Martin Duenas, every night since the first night, the number of festival attendees grew larger and larger and token needs grew larger as a result.

“We’ve been breaking token sales records since Day 1…we have token records every night so we are able to monitor how many tokens we have to sell based on the redemption afterwards. Since Day 1, we broke the record.”

The MVA booth was able to give out over 50,000 tokens throughout the month.

Duenas said the expansion also played a role in the huge amount of people seen during all four night of the Taste of the Marianas.

“With the expansion of the space inside Taste, it really helped…we’re quite happy about that. We’ve increased the number of vendors by over five so that is helping out as well with the food demands,” he said.

Duenas said that MVA is happy with the turnout of the event and will strive to improve in all other areas.

“It’s pretty good this year and we will continue to improve where we need to improve and keep what is working…we’re very happy with the turnout,” he said.

“Taste” also saw many firsts, such as the first world-class eating competition that was participated by international YouTube sensation Sachiyo Masubuchi and the first 5-lb burrito eating competition.

Kimberly Bautista Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Bautista Esmores has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.

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