The 7th Annual Orange County Pacific Islander Festival will bring the islands to Huntington Beach again this weekend with two days of family-friendly entertainment, eats, and education. Hosted by the nonprofit Pacific Islander Health Partnership (PIHP), the free event offers a cultural experience paired with health awareness. It's all happening on Saturday, September 20, and Sunday, September 21, at HB Central Park from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. We've been practicing our 'ōte'a for weeks.
Various island groups will perform throughout the weekend, including those of Hawaii, Mariana Islands, Marshall Islands, Papa New Guinea, Kingdom of Tonga, Samoa, and Tahiti. Traditional island dishes will also be served, featuring eats from Hawaii, Guam/Chamorro, Marshall Islands, Kingdom of Tonga, and Samoa. In addition to food booths, vendor booths will sell island wear, accessories, wood carvings, and other native goods. Island villages will pop up in the park, where guests can soak in history lessons and cultural tales, and view artifacts related to each island group, courtesy of the village host.
Here's the complete two-day schedule:
Launched in 2003, PIHP dedicates its mission to native Hawaiian and Pan-Pacific community health and wellness in OC, which is home to over 20,000 Native Hawaiian Pacific Islanders. A handful of organizations will offer health care education and resources on both days, including VA Bus/Military (Saturday and Sunday, servicing veterans); Central City Community Health Center (Saturday, servicing non-veterans); Southern California Edison; Healthy Smiles (Sunday, ages 0-17 screenings); and Garden Grove Hospital (Saturday, blood pressure).
Melenaite Fifita, a member of the festival planning committee, describes the event "as a treat to the community that we serve."
Event parking is also free in the HB Central Library parking lot.
Follow the OC Pacific Islander Festival on Facebook.