The 2013 Christmas in the Marianas celebration starts this Saturday with the lighting up of the giant Christmas tree at the center of the Paseo de Marianas in Garapan.
It marks the eighth year in a row that RNV Construction and its hardworking staff put up the 30-foot symbol of Christmas.
According to Sonia Siwa, spokesperson for PDM Promoters, Inc., the mammoth Christmas tree took three months to build and is made of recycled cans and plastic bottles.
In addition to the lighting ceremony, the judging for the 8th Annual Christmas Tree Decoration Contest starts this Saturday.
Siwa said that 14 schools signed up for the competition: San Antonio, Kagman, Tanapag, William S. Reyes, Oleai, Dandan, Gregorio T. Camacho, San Vicente, and Koblerville elementary schools; Green Meadow School, Golden Harvest International School, Grace Christian Academy, Mt. Carmel School, and Agape Christian School.
Two groups—Commonwealth Cancer Association led by Juan L. Babauta and the Girls Scout of the Northern Mariana Islands led by Laila Y. Boyer—will also participate but not compete in the Christmas tree decoration contest.
“They want to be a part of our Christmas event and will also decorate their Christmas tree,” she said.
Last year, San Antonio successfully defended its championship in the 7th Annual Christmas Tree Decoration Contest.
The annual competition aims to promote the importance of recycling by encouraging elementary students to use empty soda cans, water bottles, used paper, and other recyclable materials to decorate 9-foot tall Christmas trees along Paseo de Marianas.
Like previous years, the judging of entries for the Christmas tree decorating contest will coincide with the kickoff of the monthlong Christmas in the Marianas activities to be hosted by “Friends of Paseo de Marianas,” a group composed of PDM Promoters, Marianas Visitors Authority, and Pacific Development Inc.
The 2013 Christmas in the Marianas celebration will also have a Christmas Caroling Competition on Dec. 14 at the Paso de Marianas and a Parade of Floats on Dec. 21. The latter will be held along the stretch of Beach Road from the Carolinian Affairs Office to the American Memorial Park.
This year’s Christmas in the Marianas culminates with the annual Mochitsuki Festival on Dec. 28. Organized in collaboration with the Japanese Society, the festival marks the season’s preparation of mocha—a dough-like substance of glutinous rice—for the Japanese New Year.
PDM Promoters, Inc. is a non-profit corporation that aims to make the Paseo de Marianas and the Garapan vicinity a safe and clean place for tourists and residents alike.
For more information about the 8th Annual Christmas Tree Decoration Contest, call Siwa at 234-6900 or 989-7715.