The 5th Saipan Awaodori Festival slated for tomorrow will not have its usual program at the Paseo de Marianas in Garapan owing to the ongoing construction of the area’s sewer line, which collapsed two weeks ago.
About 45 young members of the Saipan Awaodori Team and some 14 professional dancers and musicians from the Tokyo Tensuiren group out of Koenji, Japan will be performing in this year’s festival, usually held every year at the Paseo de Marianas to coincide with the weekly Garapan Street Market at Coral Tree Avenue.
“The unexpected construction of Coral Tree Avenue by CUC and the relocation of Street Market at the Fishing Base will hinder us from holding the planned program for the festival,” said Sonia Siwa of PDM Promoters, which hosts the festival annually.
Siwa said the performers will instead present in various locations. They will be at the Fiesta Resort & Spa lobby entrance between 5:30pm and 6pm; at Paseo de Marianas in front of Power 99 from 6:15pm to 6:45pm; at DFS Galleria entrance fronting ABC Store by 7:10pm to 7:30pm; and at the Garapan Fishing Base for the Street Market between 8pm and 8:30pm.
Siwa noted that the group will begin dancing from Shenanigans Restaurant building on their way to DFS Galleria, that’s why they have sought the assistance of the Department of Public Safety to facilitate traffic flow in the area and ensure the safety of performers.
She disclosed that they thought of postponing the festival to a later date but decided against it due to the considerable time and effort put in by the young members of the Saipan Awaodori Team in rehearsing for the event.
Additionally, the Tokyo Tensuiren members are already scheduled to arrive for the festival, said Siwa.
“We also thought of just moving the program altogether to the Garapan Fishing Base, where the Street Market has been temporarily relocated. But Paseo de Marianas has been and will always be the home base of the festival,” Siwa told Saipan Tribune.
To encourage more community members to watch the festival performances, Siwa said there will be cards to be given away at the Fiesta Resort & Spa where the group will initially perform. The card will be stamped at each of the location where the dancers will perform.
“Completed stamped cards can be used as food coupon to Kinpachi Restaurant for lunch bento special on any day from Monday to Saturday,” said Siwa.
Power 99 will also have a “password game” for its listeners for a chance to win free movie tickets, UFC fight tickets, and $5 lunch special coupons from Kinpachi Restaurant.
Siwa added that their audience will also receive free fans.
Awaodori festivals originated in Japan and are celebrated with thousands of dancers performing the Awa dance to upbeat music and parade along the streets.
The 5th Saipan Awaodori Festival is sponsored by DFS Galleria, Docomo Pacific, Tan Siu Lin Foundation, and Kinpachi Restaurant. For more information, call 234-6900.