The 2018 Liberation Day will commence tomorrow, July 21, after Tropical Storm Maria postponed the Fourth of July parade more than two weeks ago.
Liberation Day parade chair Brad Ruszala said a total of 20 floats and 21 marching groups will be taking part in the event, which starts promptly at 3pm at Quartermaster Road and ends up at the parade viewing stage situated in front of the Liberation Day festival grounds.
The CNMI Color Guard will spearhead the marching groups for the parade that also include the following: CNMI PSS JROTC, 2017 Liberation Day Queen Peyton Gomez, 2018 Miss Marianas Celine Cabrera, Man’amko King and Queen and their royal court, the CNMI Senior Little League All-Star team, Northern Mariana Island Football Association, Japan Society of the Northern Marianas, Saipan Awaodori Team, Japan Domannaka, Coca-Cola Beverage Co. (Micronesia), Inc., Rotary Club of Saipan, Kagman Elementary School Leliyal Akkabwung Common Language Immersion Project, Marianas Rugby Club, Lion’s Club International, CNMI National Rugby Team, Chinese Association of Saipan, Saipan Falun Dafa Association, Saipan Studio 29:11, and GLS Wasp.
As for the floats, they include the Office of the Governor, Lady Diann Torres Foundation, Department of Community and Cultural Affairs, Rehabilitation Office, Saipan Mayor’s Office, Triple J Enterprises Inc., TanHoldings, Department of Land and Natural Resources, ACH Chuuk CNMI Association, United Filipino Organization, Longowesfischil Urul Faluw, Department of Corrections, Carolinian Affairs Office, San Vicente Lancheros, and the Liberation Day Royal Court.
“Well, we are certainly happy to have great support from the mayor’s office, Youth With a Mission Discipleship Training School, and the volunteers. We just need more support from Mother Nature… we are excited to see the performances and presentations of our participants,” said Ruszala.
The Liberation Day parade was supposed to take place last July 4, but the onset of Tropical Storm Maria forced the hand of the CNMI Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang, 2018 Liberation Day organizing committee Jr. Joe Ayuyu Jr., and parade chair Brad Ruszala to postpone it to tomorrow.
Like the original schedule, Beach Road from the Atkins Kroll intersection to the Garapan Fishing Base will be closed starting at 12pm in preparation for the 3pm start of the much-awaited parade.
The community is encouraged to stick around the Liberation Day grounds after the parade, as the $10,000 grand prize raffle will be held at 9pm followed by an outstanding fireworks display at 10pm to bookend the celebration.
The 2018 Liberation Day festivities are still ongoing at Garapan Fishing Base starting at 6pm nightly with food, drinks, entertainment, games, BINGO, trivia giveaways, and more.
Entertainment today, July 20, will feature the Marianas Music Association. Entertainment on the day of the parade on Saturday, July 21, will feature Uprooted at 7pm and Studio 29:11 at 8pm.
Liberation Day is celebrated annually in the CNMI to mark the release in 1946 of Saipan and Tinian residents from World War II civilian camps.
Following the invasion of the islands by U.S. forces on June 15, 1944, the large civilian population was held by the U.S. military in three camps: Camp Susupe and Camp Chalan Kanoa in Saipan and Camp Chulu in Tinian.
Upon the end of the war, island residents were granted increasing allowance under guard to leave the camps during the day for subsistence farming and other activities, receiving full liberty to return to their homes permanently with the closure of the camps on July 4,1946. Liberation Day is observed annually in the CNMI with a parade and other patriotic and cultural festivities on July 4, coinciding with America’s Independence Day.