Polynesian Cultural Center celebrates 50th anniversary in Utah

Published: Thursday, July 18 2013 6:05 p.m. MDT

PCC performers and Utah alumni will dance at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center and in the Days of '47 Parade next week.

Skylar Nielsen-skylarnielsen.com, Photo courtesy of the PCC

SALT LAKE CITY — Performers from the Polynesian Cultural Center will be in Utah July 24-27 to celebrate the center's upcoming 50th anniversary.

The performers will march with more than 50 Utah-residing alumni dancers in the KSL Days of '47 Parade with their float "Voyage of Faith — Pioneers of the Polynesian Isles."

Following the parade, the PCC's popular production "Ha: Breath of Life" will be performed at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center in West Valley on July 25-26 and at the Quad at Utah Valley University on July 27. The show features performers from across the Pacific Islands with drums, dance, music and special effects. The show will also include a fire knife performance.

According to a news release, the performance follows the life of a young man named Mana as he evolves through universal life themes of boyhood, young love, respect, admiration for elders and the importance of community for individuals and families. In addition to these core Polynesian cultural themes are messages of family, hope, pride and heritage.

The West Valley performances will be held at 1355 W. 3100 South in West Valley City and begin at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 and are available at Polynesia.com/Utah.

The UVU performance will be at 800 W. University Parkway in Orem. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased through UVU’s Campus Connection or by calling 801-863-8797.

"It is because of the faith of these people that the center is still around today," said Ray Magalei, director of marketing at the Polynesian Cultural Center. "They could've given up, but they didn't, and that spirit still exists today."

Since its beginnings in 1963, the PCC has entertained more than 34 million visitors. In addition, the PCC has provided financial assistance to 17,000 young people from more than 70 different countries while they attend Brigham Young University-Hawaii. As a non-profit organization, 100 percent of the PCC’s revenue is used for daily operations and to support education. The center has also sought to preserve the Polynesian cultures of the South Pacific.

Email: ttoone@desnews.com Twitter: tbtoone

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