The Marianas Visitors Authority and organizers of the Christmas in the Marianas celebration invite the public to the Christmas Parade of Lights on Saturday, Dec. 14, after sunset in Garapan.
The parade will begin at about 6pm at the Carolinian Affairs Office and head north on Beach Road to American Memorial Park, featuring floats adorned with Christmas lights. School marching units will also join the parade with Christmas costumes. Immediately following the parade, a Christmas costume catwalk contest will take place at Paseo de Marianas, followed by the announcement of winning schools for contests in Christmas Tree decorating, caroling, and holiday skits held over the last two Saturday evenings. Additional entertainment by Hopwood Middle School and Marianas High School will close out the evening.
The holiday celebration features live entertainment, food sales, arts and crafts, and more and is being held every Saturday throughout the month from 6pm to 10pm and is hosted by the Marianas Visitors Authority, PDM Promoters, Inc., Team PDI, and other travel partners.
The pedestrian mall in Saipan’s main tourist district is illuminated nightly with the official Christmas tree and trees decorated by local schools. The school trees, decorated with recyclable material, will remain on display through New Year’s.
Dec. 21 will feature a special night with Skymark Airlines, which launched regular direct flights from Tokyo to Saipan on Nov. 29, 2019. Roundtrip tickets on Skymark will be raffled off throughout the evening, local dance groups and performers from Japan will highlight the night’s entertainment, and the winners of the Skymark Night Plane Contest will be awarded for their Skymark plane sculptures. First place will be awarded $500, second place will receive $300, and third place will receive $200. Winners will also receive MVA giveaways. Sculptures and entries forms must be submitted to the MVA office by today, Dec. 12, at 4pm. Entries will be judged with a point system based on originality, detail, creativity, and neatness. Sculptures must be made from recycled material and be no larger than 4’ x 4’. Registration forms and full contest details are available at the MVA office on Beach Road in San Jose or by emailing email@example.com or calling 1 (670) 664-3200/1.
The final evening on Dec. 28 will be highlighted by another Saipan Awaodori team performance and annual Mochitsuki Festival, a Japanese holiday featuring the pounding of “mochi” (glutinous rice) for the new year. Holiday Rock’n in American Sign Language and other entertainers will fill the rest of the evening.
A shuttle service of the Commonwealth Office of Transit Authority will be provided from American Memorial Park parking lot to Paseo de Marianas beginning at 5pm (last shuttle at 9:30pm) and from Paseo de Marianas crosswalk across Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan to American Memorial Park beginning at 5:10pm (last shuttle at 9:40pm) every 15 minutes. (MVA)