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Coast Guard Academy Celebrates Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Say “Aloha” To The First-Ever Academy Luau

by Stefanie Senkow/Photo by Paul Duddy
May 10, 2018

Coast Guard Academy Celebrates Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month NEW LONDON, Conn. – Pig roast. Grass skirt. Lei. These Hawaiian party staples probably aren’t the first things that come to mind when you think of the United States Coast Guard Academy. But on April 19th, island fever swept the campus during the first annual luau in celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

Despite the April showers, there was no raining on this Hawaiian parade. Hosted in the Ward Room, the luau was open to all cadets. Upon a warm “aloha” greeting accompanied with decorative leis, cadets feasted on authentic cuisine courtesy of Aramark including a pig roast, Hawaiian fried rice, sushi, sweet rolls and banh mi sliders; plus RI-based food truck Hawaiian Poke served up some sumptuous fare.

A traditional hula dance was the entertainment highlight of the night. The hour-long performance showcased several dances, each representing a different Pacific Island.

“The cadets really enjoyed the hula performance because the performers explained the cultural significance of each dance,” said Second Class Cadet Kayla Ishida, Asian Pacific American Council (APAC) member, who helped organize this unique event.

Each year, the Coast Guard pays tribute to Asian American and Pacific Islanders, celebrating their varied traditions and this year’s luau was a hit among the community.

“The cadets really enjoyed this event because it was so different,” said Second Class Cadet Angela Lois Ortiz. “We look forward to its return next year.”