OCEANSIDE — The auditorium at Melba Bishop Recreation Center was filled with 200 Samoan choir singers, city representatives, community members and Samoan elders who gathered June 27 to bless the upcoming Samoan Cultural Celebration that will be held July 5 to July 10.
Members of seven different churches gathered to share songs, words of inspiration and prayer. “The service brings the whole community together and helps us prepare ourselves for the coming festival throughout the week,” Atiu Taulau, of Oceanside, said.
After the ceremony Samoan elders met to discuss goals for the Samoan community and those in attendance had a picnic dinner.
The week of Samoan cultural events will include music, food, youth sports and adult volleyball and basketball competitions at Melba Bishop Recreation Center from July 5 to July 9. Entertainment and outreach ministry will take to the stage of the Pier Amphitheater on the final day of the celebration, July 10.
Many activities will focus on youth. The goal is to inspire high goals in children and teens.
“I don’t think any other city populated with Samoans does what we’re doing,” Aua Segi, faith based representative of the First Samoan Assembly of God Church, said. “If they are, even better.”