The 13th Tinian Hot Pepper Festival on Feb. 18-19, 2017, will again have ferry service between Saipan and Tinian this year and is adding campgrounds as an option for visitors.
Ferry service aboard the Super Emerald will be available on Feb. 17-20, 2017. Round trip cost is $15 (0-2 years old), $30 (3-11 years old), and $35 (age 12 and older). For one way, the cost will be $8 (0-2 years old), $15 (3-11 years old), and $18 (age 12 and older). Advance ticket purchase is required and will be accommodated on a first come, first served basis.
Passengers are allowed up to 70 lbs of cargo, including bicycles (a $10 fee will be charged for additional cargo). The ferry schedule will be announced shortly.
To support the festival, Star Marianas Air will also extend scheduled flights to 9:30pm on Feb. 17 and Feb. 18.
In addition, event co-organizers Marianas Visitors Authority and Tinian Mayor’s Office have announced the transfer of the venue from Kammer Beach to Tachogna Beach.
“Due to some safety concerns with the pavilions at Kammer Beach, we have moved the venue back to Tachogna Beach, where the festival was held in the past,” said MVA managing director Christopher A. Concepcion. “As part of the MVA’s destination enhancement, we have recently repaired the bathrooms at Tachogna and we have demolished the old pavilion in preparation for the new stage we are building at the site later this year. It’s also a beautiful site for camping, and we are looking forward to hosting the festival there under the trees and next to that gorgeous beach.”
In addition to shower rooms available for campers, the mayor’s office will provide a campfire for cooking.
Available hotels on island include the Fleming Hotel, Lion House, Lorilyn’s, and Street Motel. Some hotels offer airport shuttle, as well.
Activities will include the 65K Pika Bike Race on Feb. 18 at 6am, cooking competitions, indigenous craft sales, and live entertainment including cultural dance. 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 2pm to 11pm on Feb. 18 and from 11am to 11pm on Feb. 19.
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)