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. The annual event always draws thousands of locals and tourists to wherever the venue is on all Saturdays of the month.
It is 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.
Endless food choices
Each year, hotels and restaurants showcase the best of local and international cuisine at very affordable prices. Food and drinks are available with tokens and eaten right there. Numerous tables are 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, and barbecue combos at the Fiesta Resort & Spa.
Don’t forget the local favorites like the apigigi, chicken kelaguen and more. Refreshers and thirst-quenchers are also available at the festival grounds. Satisfy your craving for smoothies and frappes, cocktails, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
Local entertainment and contests
At the Taste of the Marianas, it’s not just food and drinks. Local performers including bands, dance groups, and singers provide non-stop entertainment on stage from 6 p.m. onward.
Head to the rear part of the festival grounds where more things are happening. Every Saturday there’s a different competition. It usually starts 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 on the final night.
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.
The annual Taste of the Marianas is hosted by the Marianas Visitors Authority in celebration of May as Tourism Month.