The biggest Pacific Games in history have been declared officially open in Samoa.
More than 5000 athletes and team officials marched in last night's opening ceremony at Apia Park, as a packed house witnessed a three hour celebration of Samoan culture.
And there was never any doubt who would get the loudest cheer from the Apia crowd.
19 year-old weightlifter Feagaiga Stowers had the honour of leading the home nation onto the field as flag bearer.
Samoa are the only country competing in all 27 sports over the next two weeks, with the Games' biggest delegation of 506 athletes in stark contrast to the Marshall Islands, with just 28.
Meanwhile New Caledonia and Tahiti both had dual flag bearers at the opening ceremony, with the French, Kanak and Tahitian flags all recognised.
Heavy rain from earlier in the day kindly evaporated in time for the ceremony but is forecast to resume once the sporting competition begins on Monday.
The Prime Minister of Samoa, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, will be competing in the archery competition which begins on Tuesday and told the crowd July was normally a hot month.
"You saw a bit of that hot sun over the past few days which brought many complaints, especially from the archers, who later changed the targets from the west to the north and so today we have the rain...but we cannot please everyone," Tuilaepa said.
The President of the Pacific Games Council, Vidhya Lakhan, praised Samoa for delivering the Games in such a short amount of time.
"The members of the Games Organising Committee have gone to great length in preparing for these Games. In less than 18 months they have done tremendously well - I believe only the Samoans can do it."
Tuilaepa said the decision of the Tongan government to withdraw from hosting the 2019 Games gave Samoa a rare opportunity to host such an auspicious event.
"Sport has a long history in Samoa and continues to be a powerful catalyst for change across the many sectors of our society."
Tuilaepa said sport and physical activity are fundamental human rights and the performance of Pacific athletes in sports such as boxing, weightlifting, netball and rugby continues to make an impact on a global scale.
"Where excellence is enable the role of sport in showcasing national identity and shaping Pacific regionalism is powerful and cannot be understated."
Tuilaepa thanked China, Australia, New Zealand as well as the regional organisations which helped the country to deliver the Games.
He said the new and refurbished facilities in Apia were world class and would benefit Samoa for generations to come.
Eleven sports begin competition on Monday with the first medals to be decided in the men's and women's open water swim at Mulifanua.