MAY. It’s that month again when Saipan holds the month-long celebration of the Annual Taste of the Marianas International Food & Beer Garden Festival drawing thousands of locals and tourists at the American Memorial Park grounds on Saturday evenings.
It was almost impossible to move around without bumping into someone else at the festival grounds and lines were long starting from the token booths up to the food and beverage booths.
Each year, hotels and restaurants showcasing the best of local and international cuisine at very affordable prices, food which one can buy with tokens and eaten right at the hundred or so tables set up in the middle of the festival grounds.
Sample the specialties of each food vendor and don’t hesitate to get out of your comfort zone to try food items you haven’t tried before.
Look for the all-time bestsellers like the lechon or roast pig at the Herman’s Bakery booth, popular ribs, seafood and steaks at Tony Roma’s, barbecue combos at the Fiesta Resort & Spa, and local favorites like the apigigi, chicken kelaguen and more. Refreshers and thirst-quenchers are also available at the festival grounds from smoothies and frappes to cocktails, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages at the drink stalls.
Local performers including bands, dance groups, singers and performers provide non-stop entertainment on stage from 6 p.m. onward. At the rear stage, more things are happening. Every Saturday presents a different competition starting off with the Hotdog Eating contest for kids and adults on the first night. The other contests to watch out for are the Pie-Eating Contest, the Chef’s Challenge and finally the Bartender’s Competition. Each Saturday is a feast by itself so make your way to the festival grounds for the remaining Saturdays of the month.
Among the regular participants at the Taste of the Marianas are food vendors Canton Restaurant, Coral Ocean Point Resort, D’Elegance Café, Fiesta Resort and Spa Saipan, Furusato Restaurant, Herman’s Modern Bakery, Hula Girl, Hyatt Regency Saipan, Kanoa Resort, Mariana Resort & Spa, Pacific Islands Club Saipan, Sierra’s Pearl Shake, Thai House Restaurant, Tony Roma’s/Capricciosa, and Tropical Chill which sells refreshing smoothies, fruit shakes and frappes.
The annual Taste of the Marianas hosted by the Marianas Visitors Authority in celebration of May as Tourism Month.