14 Jul 2012

Thousands pack Solomons stadium for Pacific Arts Festival close

9:43 am on 14 July 2012

About 30,000 people packed into Honiara's Lawson Tama Stadium last night for the 11th Festival of Pacific Arts' vibrant closing ceremony.

Delegates from 22 Pacific Island countries attended the two-week event in the Solomon Islands capital, which also attracted huge audiences from other parts of the nation.

Annell Husband was there.

"Solomon Islanders clapped, cheered and roared their appreciation of the festivities from the steep hillsides or wherever they could a space around the perimeter of the stadium. The Solomon Islands governor general Sir Frank Kabui farewelled the delegates and thanked Solomon Islanders for a peaceful and happy festival. But he also took the opportunity to offer an apology on behalf of festival organisers for any offence caused to the visiting countries by the much criticised conduct of the opening ceremony's MC and to express his country's regret that some of the host facilities such as water and electricity had not met the desired standard. The Solomon Islands prime minister, Gordon Darcy Lilo, then handed over festival canoe to the governor of Guam, which will host the 2016 12th festival of Pacific arts."