Port of Huenem's 2nd Annual Banana Festival

A Celebration of a Working Port, Draws Crowds

Published Oct 1, 2013 9:53 AM by The Maritime Executive

The Port makes its mark drawing thousands to its community wide Banana Festival, A Celebration of a Diverse Working Port on September 28th.

Port President, Commissioner Jason Hodge noted, “We are most pleased so many people came to the Port to celebrate our community’s gateway to the world. We want to thank all our sponsors, customers, and event participants for their tremendous efforts and making this event a true success.”

Feedback suggests people categorically enjoyed the opportunity to get on the Port and see what it is all about. The second Banana Festival on Saturday was twice the size of last year’s event, according to volunteer Gary Blum, who added that this year’s event “has a nice balance with food, music and games.” There was something for everyone at this family friendly event. Highlights included light house tours, waterside tours, a port pavilion, great food, delectable banana desserts, live bands, an arts and crafts marketplace, and lots of fun kid’s activities. Attendees experienced the interworking of the Port with the tours, educational displays, and an auto pavilion, all while enjoying one of the Port’s largest imports – Bananas.

The City of Port Hueneme as a major sponsor of the event had a booth and the local police department demonstrated their police dogs obtained through port assisted Homeland Security grant funds. Port customers Chiquita and Del Monte each gave away thousands of bananas and other imported tropical fruits. In addition there were children wearing yellow Chiquita crowns and other kids holding inflatable Del Monte bananas. New autos were displayed along with cranes and other large pieces of equipment that support the loading and unloading of cargo. The local Maritime Museum presented demonstrations on how to build a boat in a bottle, and the Port hosted a Port Pavilion tent for customers and stakeholders to feature displays of trade, logistics, Port projects and environmental initiatives.

Kristin Decas, CEO and Port Director stated, “The festival theme of bananas is intended to create a ‘hook’ for community participation, but the thrust of the festival is to develop an authentic experience for the public around the workings of a commercial port and all of its logistics and operations. We feel the festival serves as a great opportunity to really showcase the significant role the port, its stakeholders and its partners play in supporting our economy.”

The Port would like to give a special acknowledgement to the Festival Director Kellie Meehan owner of SearleCreative Marketing & Design group for a job well done.

A sincere thanks to all of the event sponsors: Del Monte Fresh, Haas Automation, Southern California Gas Company, The City of Port Hueneme, Chiquita Fresh, The Ventura County Star, CMHS Centers for Family Health, E2 Manage Tech, P2S, Hooks Landing Sport Fishing and Lineage Logistics. Other sponsors included, B95.1 Radio, Parentclick.com, Ports America, Yara, Brusco Tug & Barge, Wallenium Wilhelmsen Logistics, Channel Islands Logistics, T&T Truck & Crane, Navy Federal Credit Union, Verengo Solar, Holiday Inn Express, Charter College, Macaroni Kid, TracTide Marine, Ventura County Credit Union, Shock Top, Papsi and Vertical Heaven.

The Port of Hueneme is one of the most productive and efficient commercial trade gateways for niche cargo on the West Coast. The Port is governed by 5 locally elected Port Commissioners. The Port moves $7 billion in goods each year and consistently ranks among the top ten U.S. ports for automobiles and fresh produce. Port operations support the community by bringing $1 billion in economic activity and creating 9,448 trade-related jobs. Trade through the Port of Hueneme generates more than $63 million in annual state and local taxes which funds vital community services.

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