The sights, sounds and culture of the South Pacific will be on display next week as the 35th annual Kiki Raina Tahiti Fete kicks off at the Golden Valley High School.
The festivities are scheduled for March 21-23 at the school, 2121 E. Childs Ave.
Opening ceremonies for the event are scheduled for 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. March 21. The festivities are scheduled to continue from 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. March 22 and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. March 23.
The event draws up to 1,200 people from all over the nation, and it’s regarded as the oldest Tahitian festival outside the island of Tahiti.
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During the festival, dancers of all ages sway and move to the beat of drums, wearing colorful skirts and opulent headdresses of red feathers, flowers, straw and seashells.
The festival started in Atwater, moved to Turlock, then made its home in Merced in 1994.
The event will include dance competitions, island-style food and Polynesian arts and crafts. Admission for just the opening ceremonies is $8 for children and $10 for adults. Daily tickets for adults purchased before Thursday are $15, and $17 at the door; children 5 to 12 years old are $13 in advance, and $15 at the door. A three-day pass is $35 for adults and $30 for children.
For event times and information call (209) 383-1435 or visit www.kikiraina.com.