Koror, Palau- In one of the biggest Night Market in Palau to date, nearly 3,500 locals and tourists alike flocked to the fortnight event that also marked the end of youth week.
Ngirchoureng, the duo of Jim Geselbracht (right) and Tony Phillips (left) perform Palauan classics (string band music) at the "Forever Young" Night Market on 16 March 2018.
Palau Visitor’s Authority recorded 177 tourists and 3,253 locals – citizens and residents – which makes it the largest crowd since the visit of the Filipino-Canadian YouTube sensation Mikey Bustos last September.
More vendors participated with 26 totals easily making it the largest number this year. Food vendors continue to make up the largest group with other vendors were on hand to sell arts and crafts, clothes, and many other items. PVA has also expanded the attraction to include regular demonstrations on local crafts such as weaving and storyboard carving.
With the theme of Forever Young, the fun-filled evening featured traditional and contemporary dance by local dance group from Bonitas Dancers, Ngiwal Dancers and Captain Malii Stars from Koror Elementary School. A live band with local stars including Sheldon, Malo and Opee provided music adding more flavor to the vibrant evening.
The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Palauan classic songs by a former U.S. Peace Corp Volunteer Jim Gesselbracht and his mandolin playing partner Mr. Tony Phillips to form the Palauan-named group Ngirchoureng (Mr. Hopeful). Jim Gesselbracht served his mission in Palau in the early 80’s and became enamored with the Palauan string band music, which led him to collect stories, study, play and write about Palauan music that was composed and recorded in the 1930s through the 1960s.