Christmas in the Marianas kicks off


Two tourists take a closer look of the giant Christmas tree on display at the Paseo de Marianas. The Christmas in the Marianas annual celebration started last Saturday with the school caroling where students serenaded the crowd with holiday songs. (Mackenzie Perez)

The Marianas Visitors Authority, PDM Promoters, Inc., Team PDI, and other travel partners kicked off Christmas in the Marianas last Saturday, Dec. 2, at the Paseo de Marianas in Garapan.

The monthlong celebration offers weekly holiday entertainment for visitors and residents from 5pm to 9pm.

At the pedestrian mall, many schools have decorated assigned their trees. The annual school-wide Christmas tree decoration competition began on Saturday at 5pm, along with the official lighting of the large Christmas tree at 6pm. The trees, decorated with recyclable material, will remain on display at the pedestrian mall throughout the month. Also, elementary school students will sing their hearts out at the annual Christmas caroling competition.

MVA Community Projects specialist Lynn Sablan said the schools and students were excited in making their preparations for this month’s celebration.

On Dec. 9, middle and high school students will continue with the Christmas caroling competition. On Dec. 16, the Parade of Floats will be held at 5:45pm from the Garapan Fishing Base on Beach Road to the American Memorial Park, followed by a costume show. Awards for all competitions will also be made. Winners of all competitions will also be announced on Dec. 16. The event will run from 5pm to 9pm for the first three Saturdays.

Dec. 23 will feature individual acts; interested musicians and performers may contact Sablan at 664-3200/01 to request to be scheduled. The Japanese Mochitsuki Festival will be held on Dec. 30, marking the pounding of rice to make “mochi,” a traditional event in preparation for the new year.

Participating schools this year are Oleai, Koblerville, Gregorio T. Camacho, Kagman, and San Vicente elementary schools; Hopwood Jr., Tanapag, Dandan, and Chacha Ocean View middle schools; Kagman and Marianas high schools; Agape Christian School, Seventh Day Adventist School, Saipan Community School, Green Meadow School, Saipan International School, Northern Marianas International School, and Grace Christian Academy.

For more information on the event, contact Sablan at or 664-3210. (MVA)

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