Port Hueneme, CA– Yellow banana wigs, boat rides, sounds of a tropical steel drum band and perfect late summer weather got the party started at the Port for the 10th Annual Banana Festival!
Oxnard Harbor District President Jess Herrera stated, “The Banana Festival is a way for us to say thank you to our community partners and stakeholders. We are grateful for the wonderful partnership we have with all of you. This festival shows the interest level about the Port of Hueneme is at an all-time high and we can’t wait to celebrate your local Port with you today! The reason we exist is for you—to improve your lives.”
Eager festivalgoers were excited to take part in the Port’s famous boat tours of the harbor to get a behind the scenes look at Port operations. As the community explored, they learned that the Port is one of the nation’s top six automobile ports and a gateway to move the crops grown here in Ventura County to global trading partners.
Of course, the banana was a big part of the show, being the Port’s largest import commodity. Tour attendees also learned that the Port is the Greenest Port in the USA. In fact, attendees had the opportunity to observe one of the most advanced zero emissions Heavy Duty trucks in the world.
Attendees were able to explore and learn about the Kenworth truck, which is powered by a Toyota hydrogen fuel cell and, when driven, only emits water vapor! It is just one example of the kind of cutting edge zero emission technology that the Port is bringing more of to Ventura County!
“We congratulate our customers and stevedores for leading the way and investing in green technologies along with the Port of Hueneme. Together we are walking closer to our goal of being the first 0 emissions Port in the country.” said Vice President of the Board of Oxnard Harbor District Commissioners Celina Zacarias.
The Port’s union labor partners were present at the Festival, showcasing their trades work with the Port of Hueneme. Last July, an unprecedented $79.8 million was awarded to the Port of Hueneme for its strategic PACED (Port Action, Climate, and Environment Development) project.
The project’s multiple components contribute significant benefits to the Port and our surrounding communities while sustaining supply chain fluidity, flexibility, and resilience, while ensuring continued operational excellence, sustaining, and creating new employment opportunities, improving air and water quality, mitigating the impacts of climate change, and promoting transportation equity and environmental progress.
The labor projects for this historic funding will help support local jobs and fund the environmental leadership initiatives at the Port.
“The Port is a community partner, for generations we’ve been helping grow the economic opportunities for people with family sustaining jobs and I’m proud that we are now also leading the nation in environmental sustainability.” said Oxnard Harbor Commissioner Jess Ramirez.
Attendees danced their way around the Festival celebrating the over 5 billion bananas that come through the Port of Hueneme each year, making it the banana capital of the West Coast. They were treated to free bananas from Dole, Chiquita and Del Monte Fresh, the Port’s largest banana importers and major sponsors of the event. Attendees were delighted with banana-inspired foods including banana taffy, deep fried banana fritters, banana-flavored popcorn, banana beignets, chocolate frozen bananas, banana funnel cake—and on the savory side, banana empanadas, banana lumpias and peanut butter banana melts from the grilled cheese truck!
“We are pleased to host the 10th annual Banana Festival to celebrate all of our from community, workforce, and customers; they make our port the economic engine that creates prosperity and an astounding $2.4 billion economic impact.” said CEO & Port Director Kristin Decas.
The Port of Hueneme is one of the most productive and efficient commercial trade gateways for niche cargo on the West Coast. Five locally elected Port Commissioners govern the Port. The Port consistently ranks among the top 10 U.S. ports for automobiles and fresh produce. Port operations support the community by bringing $2.2 billion in economic activity and creating 20,032 trade-related jobs. Trade through the Port of Hueneme generates more than $173.2 million in direct and related state and local taxes, which fund vital community services. In 2017, the Port of Hueneme became the first port in California to become Green Marine certified and was voted the Greenest Port in the U.S. at the Green Shipping Summit.