(Thursday, December 10, 2015) – With less than 165 days until the 12th Festival of Pacific Arts, T Galleria Guam by DFS and most of the island's elementary schools are artfully utilizing the 3rd Annual Festival of Trees to excite residents about the rich cultures that will be represented on Guam during FestPac 2016.
The FestPac Organizing Committee is proud to announce the official opening of the FestPac themed T Galleria Festival of Trees 2015 competition. Twenty-seven trees in the festival represents the 27 visiting nations at FestPac 2016, which will be held on Guam from May 22 to June 4. Elementary school students from 27 competing schools from around the island selected their visiting nations, conducted research on the countries' arts and culture, and specially designed and hand crafted each set of ornaments. The 28th tree, the Guam tree, was designed by the DFS children. A total of 1,400 handmade ornaments and decorations adorn the trees.
"For weeks, our fourth grade students researched and learned about their country, which is Palau, as part of their social studies, language arts and art, curriculum," said Daisy Ramirez, principal of Inarajan Elementary. "It was an eye-opener for them, and it's a part of history that the students will carry forward. They're really looking forward to FestPac."
All 28 trees are currently on display at the Festival of Trees Forest located inside T Galleria near the Prada, Loewe and Fendi boutiques.
"We intentionally used the avenue of the Festival of Trees to create awareness for FestPac 2016 so our residents can understand what the festival is all about," said Francis Guerrero, Senior Manager, Local Buyer for DFS. "After you see the children's work in these 27 trees, it will be hard to decide a favorite. We are very proud of the work that they did."
Voting is ongoing through Dec. 20, and DFS and the FestPac Organizing Committee invite the public to bring their families to enjoy the holiday festival and to cast their votes. Winners will be announced at a special awards ceremony on Dec. 27 at DFS, which the public is also invited to attend.
The competition is exciting and fierce as the first place winner will receive $2,000, second and third place winners will receive $1,000, and fourth and fifth place winners will receive $500 each. Every school will receive a $200 for their participation.
"Be sure to post your photos with the hashtag #dfsfestivaloftrees to get the word out," Guerrero added.
"I want to thank DFS, the schools and the community for all the work that went into this festival. This event combines everything that Festpac is about," said Nate Denight, FestPac Organizing Committee Chairperson and General Manager of Guam Visitors Bureau. "The Festival of the Pacific Arts 2016 is about sharing our culture and traditions in the Pacific. No one would be able to travel to all 27 island nations in their lifetime. Next year, only on Guam can you experience all 27 nations in one place. This is a once-in-a-generation event, and this is a great learning opportunity for our children."