Visit the South Pacific Islands at the Pasifika Food Festival

The Asia-Pacific Cultural Center’s cultural week/day continues throughout this weekend, with a authentic taste of the South Pacific islands in Food and Culture at the Tacoma Dome on Saturday, July 30 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Parking and entrance at 2n/a The annual Pasifika Food Festival is free, and shopping with vendors is a great way to support small businesses.

The party will feature around 100 Polynesian and Pasifika businesses and cultural performances throughout the day. The Pasifika Food Festival includes not only Samoa, but also Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia. All of these islands will be represented in what’s at the festival to eat and on the show stage to see. The first Pasifika Food Festival held last year was a great success and the same can be expected this year.

“It’s a celebration of bringing our people together with vendors from all over the west coast and northwest. It’s really a way for us to help generate income for them because a lot of them are small business owners,” said Vince Vaielua who coordinates the festival with Manny Koke, both of the national Polynesian podcast Big Uce Radio who organizes the event with the Asia-Pacific Cultural Center.

The Pasifika Food Festival will offer a delicious variety of sweet and savory foods. Among the vendors will be Taste of Samoa Manapua Bakery, popular for fusing Hawaiian and Samoan cuisine; Sao’s Sweets and their famous Polynesian cupcakes; Hefa’s Otai selling its mango juice and other tropical flavors; and Salu’s Kitchen offering Polynesian stir-fried noodles.

Live music and cultural performances feature well-known names like American Samoan artist Tenelle from Carson, California. She gained a lot of new fans as a finalist in NBC’s “American Song Contest” this year after beginning her solo career as a popular regional performer on the West Coast. Tenelle became internationally recognized when she released her single “Flava” in 2013 which reached #1 on iTunes. Her 2014 single “Get Some” was the most requested song on Honolulu contemporary hits station KCCN-FM, and her 2017 debut album”For lovers” peaked at number one on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart.

The Tonga Sisters had good television exposure as runners-up on the TV show “America’s Most Musical Family” and as guests on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” in 2018. The World Champion Knife Dancers the late Tupu Le Afi and Pacific Islander Community Association (Wayfinders), among other performances.

Pasifika Food Festival sponsors include Leftcoast Events, Pacific Islander Community Association, FIAOLA Bread LLC, UTOPIA WA, Tacoma Urban League, Paka Polynesian Tattoo, Fairway Uila Mendoza, Project 253/Tuff Love Intervention, Buddy’s Home Furnishings (Lakewood), Arts of Love, Lend a Hand Community Outreach, Elevate Healing LLC and Mac Millan Piper. Pasifika Food Fest is powered by PUSH rIDEALS (Dr John Gaines).

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