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Last updateWed, 17 Jul 2019 12am







    Tuesday, July 16, 2019-2:07:52P.M.






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Extra flights, shuttle for Tinian Hot Pepper Festival

(MVA) —  Extra flights and ferry transportation between Saipan and Tinian, as well as a free shuttle between the airport, seaport, and festival grounds aim to make the 15th Tinian Hot Pepper Festival on Feb. 16-17, 2019, more easily accessible to visitors.

Star Marianas Air, in cooperation with the Marianas Visitors Authority and Tinian Mayor’s Office, will extend its normal hours of operation during the festival. On Feb. 15-Feb. 17, scheduled flights will be extended by three hours, with the last flights leaving Tinian at 9:30 p.m. Flights will leave Saipan hourly at the top of the hour (starting at 7 a.m.) and Tinian hourly at the bottom of the hour (starting at 7:30 a.m.).

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From right, Deenalih Crook, Amanda Haas, and a Tinian resident enjoy the 2018 Tinian Hot Pepper Festival.  MVA photo

Advanced bookings are accepted for Star Marianas, but travelers can also show up at the airport on Saipan or Tinian and expect to be transported in a timely fashion.  To minimize airport waiting times, interested travelers are encouraged to contact Star Marianas Air’s reservations team at 433-9996/8 to find out if a particular time of the day is expected to be busier than others. For more information visit

The full festival with live entertainment will be from 2 to 9 p.m. on Feb. 16 and from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Feb. 17.  Food vendors only will also open at 10 a.m. on Feb. 16.

MVA is offering ferry service between Tinian and Saipan on Feb. 15-18, 2018. The ferry schedule is: Feb. 15, departing Saipan at 5 p.m. and departing Tinian that evening; Feb. 16, departing Saipan at 9 a.m. and departing Tinian at 4 p.m.; Feb. 17, departing Saipan at 9 a.m. and departing Tinian at 4 p.m.; and Feb. 18, departing Saipan at 8 a.m. and departing Tinian at 12 p.m.  The Super Emerald ferry will depart from the Commonwealth Ports Authority dock in Lower Base, passengers and must check in one hour before departure.

Ferry round trip cost is $25 for ages 3-11, $35 for ages 12 and older, and free for children ages 0-2. For one way, the cost is $10 for ages 3-11, $18 for ages 12 and older, and free for children ages 0-2. 

Advance ticket purchase is required and will be accommodated on a first come, first served basis. 

Ticket purchases may be made at the MVA office in Tinian or Saipan.   Cash payments only will be accepted.

Individuals arriving via the ferry will be shuttled directly to the festival grounds, and those departing via the ferry can catch the shuttle leaving the festival beginning 1 1/2 hours before ferry departure time.   Individuals arriving or departing at Tinian International Airport can call for a shuttle at 433-3216 or visit the MVA information booth at the festival grounds for assistance.

Activities during the weekend will include live entertainment, a variety of local dishes for sale, indigenous craft sales, and a variety of contests including the 65K Pika Bike Race.

“Although several Tinian hotels are still closed following Super Typhoon Yutu, we know there’s still a lot of excitement building for Tinian Hot Pepper Festival, whether it be for a day trip, staying at a hotel, staying with family or friends, camping at the festival site at Kammer Beach,” said MVA Managing Director Christopher A. Concepcion.  “We sincerely thank our partners at Star Marianas for making it super convenient to attend the festival this year, and we’re looking forward to another awesome ‘Pika Fest’ in beautiful Tinian.”

For more information on the Tinian Hot Pepper Festival, visit the Marianas Calendar at   or   the   MVA   Facebook   page,   call   the   MVA   Tinian   office   at 433-9365, or email MVA Tinian field supervisor Vida Borja at