After an animated parade through the streets of Garapan, a huge crowd filled the Paseo de Marianas Saturday night to enjoy food, games, and performances from schools in the 12th annual Christmas caroling competition.
“I am loving the Christmas program every week,” said one Saipan resident who has come to the celebration for three years now. “My kids and I come here every year and enjoy it. We love hearing the kids sing and celebrate the true meaning of Christmas with everyone on Saipan.”
Eight schools participated in Saturday’s caroling competition, where students must present a 10-minute performance without any adult assistance on stage. Elementary and junior high grade levels performed Christmas songs and two high schools performed an original skit.
Participating schools included Koblerville Elementary, Kagman Elementary, Oleai Elementary, Mt. Carmel Elementary, Green Meadow, and Garapan Elementary. The only two participating high schools that performed a skit are Mt. Carmel High School and Kagman High School.
A panel of four judges determined the winning performances.
“There is a lot of talent and the kids stuck to the theme ‘Christmas in the Marianas,’” said judge Frances Sablan.
Tony Joe Nguo, who also served as a judge, said he “enjoyed the performances.”
“I think that the kids have a lot of talent and bring their own original ideas to the performances,” he added.
Both he and Sablan have served as judges for the past 12 years—since the beginning of the annual Christmas celebrations.
“I was so excited to be on stage,” said MCS elementary school student Kiana Propst. Although Propst had a blast performing, she also remembered the true significance of the event. “It is important to be a part of things like this to spread Christmas joy,” she added.
The night also featured a costume contest.
The winners of the Christmas tree decorating contest, costume contest, and caroling competition will be announced this Saturday.