Fourteen groups, including 10 floats, participated the Marianas Visitors Authority’s annual Christmas in the Marianas Parade of Lights along Beach Road in Garapan Saturday night.
Koblerville Elementary School won first place in the float competition, while the Green Meadow School and Marianas High School floats won second and third place, respectively.
The parade started at the Garapan Fishing Base, turned left to the American Memorial Park intersection, left toward the front of the Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan, and ended up at the Paseo de Marianas.
Skymark Airlines’ well-lit plane float was an attention-grabber from all the people who watched the parade that featured floats adorned with Christmas lights. School marching units, wearing Christmas costumes, also joined the parade. Many tourists on the shoulder of the road could be seen taking photos and videos of the floats and marchers.
At the Paseo de Marianas’ stage, students from various schools displayed their costumes in a costume contest that kicked off the many competitions throughout the month.
MVA managing director Priscilla M. Iakopo, who was joined on the MVA float by deputy managing director Judy Torres, said she is happy to see a huge turnout.
“There’s a lot of people that came out tonight. And I think part of it was that they really wanted to see the Christmas Parade, which was great,” Iakopo said, adding that the parade was another way for MVA and other agencies, both government and non-profit organizations, to come together to light up the Christmas spirit.
The winning schools from the recent Christmas in the Marianas caroling contest, Christmas Tree decorating, and holiday skits, along with the winners in the float competition, were also announced after the parade.
The parade participants were the Awaodori Group, Saipan Cares for Animals, Carolinian Affairs Office, Skymark Airlines, MVA, Green Meadow Schools, Commonwealth Cancer Association, Saipan Southern High School, Department of Community and Cultural Affairs, Marianas High School, Department of Public Safety’s DUI, Koblerville Elementary School, Commonwealth Office of Transport Authority, and Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services with Santa Claus.