SCV got a taste of the Pacific this weekend during the fourth annual Santa Clarita Valley Pacific Islander Festival at William S. Hart Regional Park.
Thousands of people came out to watch the dancers with their gyrating hips, eat cultural food and browse through the crafts.
“I think it is a really good opportunity to share our culture with the community,” said Gladys Farrell, the director of Kalakeke Pacific Island Dance Company, which was one of the main sponsors of the event.
At least 12 different dance troops from all over Southern California came out to perform in the festival. There was also cultural, live music such as slack-key guitar playing.
One of the goals of festival was to exude mana, and show important values of the Pacific such as love and family.
“We call it the mana, the feeling,” said Joaquin Kim Farrell, the master of ceremonies of the festival. “We give aloha, the love, to everybody.”
One dancer who was feeling the mana was Lesley Denham, who was performing in the festival for the second year in a row with the Kalakeke Dance Company. She is Hawaiian and the event gives her an opportunity to share that culture with everyone.
“I’ve been wanting to do this for years,” she said.
The festival will continue on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.