Photos courtesy of Mangilao Mayor’s Office

Photos courtesy of Mangilao Mayor’s Office ()

The Mangilao Donne Festival returns Sept. 16-18 after two years of cancelation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I am excited, and I look forward to celebrating our annual festival," says Mangilao Mayor Allan Ungacta. "BIBA DONNE!"

Donne peppers (pronounced doe-nee) are very important to not only the Mangilao Village but also for the entire island. The peppers are an essential ingredient in many of Guam’s favorite typical dishes.

“Donne is important to Guam and our people because we love to eat hot and spicy food,” Ungacta said. “It is commonly used on our signature dish called ‘Finadene’ known as hot sauce.”

Finadene is Guam’s signature spicy condiment without which no meal is complete. So, it is no wonder that Mangilao would be where locals can celebrate all things pika (Chamorro for ‘hot’) during annual September festival.

The festival was started in 2011 and was an opportunity for Mangilao farmers, whether professionals or hobbyists, to show off and sell their best peppers and pepper products.

“Since 2011, our village has successfully coordinated the event to promote the local farmers in the village, as well as help small businesses,” Ungacta said.

Every year, the festival kept getting larger, he added, until, of course, the pandemic put a hold on this and many other island festivities.

After two years, Mangilao village will finally get its celebration back.

The three-day festivities will take place next to Santa Teresita Church on Route 10 and visitors can expect dozens of booths dedicated to all things donne, including finadene, pika (hot-pepper jelly), barbecue, beverages, clothes, crafts and more.

The event will also feature carnival games and other activities perfect for the entire family and people of all ages. Enjoy music at the event on the main stage, including cheerful music and dancing by Talent Box dancers, Joe Guam, Mix Plate Band, Taj, Isa i Isla-Ta, The Radiants, and other cultural performances.

The Donne Festival will also give attendees opportunities to try “yiyu-patku” aka CHamoru slinging – a signature weapon of the early Chamorro’s, which is made of limestone, basalt, or fire-hardened clay and suspended from pandanus or coconut fiber slings. You can learn how to use the traditional Chamoru weapon and participate in the competition scheduled for Sept. 18. You can join the Best Kadon Pika and Best Dinanche competitions to test your cooking skills, as well (register in advance at the Mangilao Mayor’s Office).

It’s been a while, so don’t miss the opportunity to celebrate the delicious donne pepper in Mangilao!

Mangilao Donne Festival Period: Sept. 16, 17 and 18 Hours: Friday 5-9 p.m. Sat. and Sun. 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Location: Mangilao Village, next to Santa Teresita Church on Route 10. Facebook Tel: 671-734-216 (Mangilao Mayor’s Office)

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