Holiday revelers are reminded that this week’s Christmas in the Marianas will be held on Friday, Dec. 23, from 5pm to 10pm at Paseo de Marianas in downtown Garapan.
Due to Christmas Eve falling on a Saturday, the annual celebration organized by the Marianas Visitors Authority, PDM Promoters, Inc., and Team PDI, will be held a day earlier than usual, on Friday.
Festivities will kick off at 5pm with Saipan Awadaori Japanese dance performance at the pedestrian mall, Green Meadows School at 5:30pm, Santiago Siblings at 6:30pm, Uncle Ben’s Music & Dance School at 7pm, 29/11 at 8pm, and Southern Warriors at 8:30pm.
Last Saturday, organizers awarded nearly $20,000 in educational tax credit donations from local businesses to schools for various contests. Winning first place and $5,000 for the Christmas tree decorating contest was Green Meadow Schools. Winning first place and $1,000 for the elementary level caroling contest was Oleai Elementary School. Northern Marianas International School won first place and $1,000 for the middle school caroling contest. Saipan Southern High School won first place and $1,000 for the high school skit contest. GTC Elementary School won first place and $1,000 for the parade float competition.
“The outpouring of support from the schools and local businesses are what makes Christmas in the Marianas a success,” said MVA managing director Christopher A. Concepcion. “It’s hard work, but a genuine pleasure to put on this event each year in collaboration with the schools. This year, we extend a special un dangkulu na si yu’us ma’ase yan olomwaay (thank you very much) to all the local businesses who have given so generously in prize money to make this a merry Christmas for all the participating schools.”
Donors included T Galleria, TSL Foundation, RNV Construction, Kinpachi, Japan Saipan Travel Association, Country House, Moby Dick, Furusato, S.P.E. Saipan, Inc., Misa Enterprises Inc., KKMP, Power 99, Pacific Development, Inc., and MVA.
The monthlong Christmas in the Marianas offers weekly holiday entertainment for visitors and residents with live entertainment, food and games. The final night will be next Friday, Dec. 30, with more live entertainment and the Mochitsuki Festival, showcasing the traditional Japanese preparation of “mocha” (pounded rice) in preparation for the new year.
During the evening, applications for the MVA’s Marianas-chan (Marianas child) audition will also be available at the MVA information booth near the stage. On Jan. 7, 2017, the MVA will audition for Marianas-chan ages 4-6 to represent the Northern Mariana Islands in select promotions in Japan. The application deadline is Dec. 30, 2016.
For more information on the event, contact MVA Community Projects specialist Ryan Calvo at firstname.lastname@example.org or 664-3200/1 or visit www.mymarianas.com. (MVA)