|Admiring some "fili le pou"|
|Independence day celebration|
The Samoans have been preparing for this celebration for quite sometime. When we were walking around downtown last week we saw large groups cleaning up the roadways getting ready. They put coconut leaves around all of the street posts and telephone poles and along many of the main roads. It's called fili le pou. We got up at 5:30 to walk down to the opening ceremonies on Friday. We are glad we walked because there was a real traffic jam going down to water front. They held the opening ceremonies in front of the building where Parliament meets. We got there around 6:20 am and got a great spot right by the US Navy band.
|Head of State reviews the Veterans|
Hey had presentations all day long by different villages. The ensembles from the Navy bands from the United States, Australia and New Zealand performed also.
Saturday morning we walked downtown again and saw the parade. The Samoan Police Band along with the Navy bands from the United States and New Zealand all participated. They do their parades a little different. They closed off one side of the street for the parade and people could drive on the other side of the street. Some people would drive down the street so they could say "Talofa" to their friends that were in the parade going the opposite direction. The most unique entry in the parade was the woman in the butterfly costume below.
|US Navy Band|
|I guess this is supposed to be a butterfly|
Friday night we were hoping to see fireworks over the harbor. We drove down and found a good parking spot. They were supposed to begin at 10:00 PM. We waited until 10:30 and then decided to go home. They started around 11:00 pm.