By Pacific Island Times News Staff
With Covid-19 numbers continuing to decline, Guam will hold its first community gathering since the pandemic began two years ago.
The Hagåtña Restoration and Redevelopment Authority (HRRA) announced the launch of the First Annual Sirena Festival at the Skinner Plaza and Guam Museum on May 7, from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
“As our administration continues a cautious lifting of restrictions and works toward Guam’s recovery, this is the first of what we hope to be many more opportunities for our community to gather safely and celebrate the beauty of our island and culture,” said Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero. The festival will feature cultural demonstrations and performers, music, art exhibits, food trucks, a school art contest, scavenger hunt, Sirena costume contest, Famalåo’an Fishing Derby, First Annual Sirena Queen and I Matlina coronation, and walking tour of Hagåtña’s historic sites and monuments, and more. “Our capital of Hagåtña was the home in which many of Guam’s legends took place, including the legend of Sirena. The festival will be a time to celebrate our local stories, unique matrilineal society and the countless contributions of Famalåo’an to our CHamoru heritage," the governor said.
Lt. Gov. Josh Tenorio said the CHamoru heritage has always honored the value of women.
"Sirena is one of many local stories that illustrate the power of women in Guam history and so it is fitting that our first legend-based festival pays tribute to her. We encourage everyone to find inspiration at the festival and in the phenomenal women of our time, past and present," he said. “Prior to World War II, Hagåtña was the epicenter of Guam and the Marianas. It served as the center of our government and as the most populated village, was a place for the islandwide community to gather,” said Lasia Casil, HRRA executive director.
“The Sirena Festival brings the focus back to our capital and its many historic sites while promoting and preserving our island’s rich storytelling culture and history," she added.