It’s hard to believe that this year is the 26th anniversary of the week-long Teuila Festival which was established in 1991.
That brilliant red flower, seen everywhere that lends itself so well to festive vibe around town.
Those of us who live here have watched it grow, develop and change over the years and groaned when some of our favourite activities were missed out and been delighted when new ideas have been added.
You can track changes in the country by looking at the activities we have during the week. Once it was a lot of singing, dancing eating and food stalls.
Thankfully the food stalls are still there – we love our food, but you may notice more healthy offerings than in the past and we have inserted traditional and fun games as well as a slot called Wellness is Beauty.
Subtle that isn’t it?
It’s really a chance to work up a sweat island style after wandering around eating and drinking.
It’s been frequently said in the past, as a criticism I might add, that this Festival is really just for locals or returning locals.
We are displaying our own culture and skills; following our own traditions; singing, dancing and performing, taking part in competitions and entertaining ourselves.
Not so. It’s way more than that.
First of all this is one of the best times of the year for visitors to come to Samoa – the temperatures are balmy.
And we have a variety of places where you can stay to cater for every whim and budget including two big brand hotels – the refurbished and well known Aggies Sheraton and the stunning new Taumeasina Island Resort.
As well, we have the boutique, the small, the medium and the ever popular fale style.
We are also starting to attract groups who choose to come over at this time for other reasons and then stay to relax and enjoy entertainment during the day and into the evenings.
There are individuals, couples, family groups and participants who are attending other meetings during this time.
And as a taste of what’s on, there is plenty to feast your eyes upon, listen to, take part in and learn about.
If you missed the Siva Afi show on Saturday night you can always catch the action on Tuesday night.
A perennial favourite for locals and visitors alike is the SIFA International Fautasi Challenge. Simply follow the crowd, find a spot on the seawall and choose a favourite to back.
So from the Samoa Observer, we’d like to say “Talofa, afio mai (welcome)”.
Have a wonderful week, be safe and discover why so many of us love living on these islands.