Christmas in the Marianas officially kicked off last Saturday at the Paseo de Marianas with the lighting of a giant Christmas tree at the Paseo, the event made even more special by the participation of Skymark Airlines Inc., which made its inaugural daily flight between Saipan and Tokyo last Friday.
It was a night of friendship as delegates from Japan, led by Skymark chair and director Nobuo Sayama, were warmly welcomed by the Saipan community at the first day of the five-week Christmas in the Marianas celebration.
“I will bring many friends from Japan to Saipan,” Sayama said, which brought loud cheers from the crowd. The airline chairman also gamely led the countdown to the festival opening, with everyone else chiming in.
It has become an annual tradition to decorate and light up the Paseo de Marianas for residents and tourists to enjoy throughout the holiday season. The activity is led by the Marianas Visitors Authority, PDM Promoters, Inc., Team PDI, among many others.
“We invite you to stick around for the rest of the night and every Saturday to enjoy all the festivities for Christmas. I would like to wish you all a merry Christmas and happy holidays,” said MVA managing director Priscilla M. Iakopo.
Aside from the ceremonial lighting of the official Marianas Christmas tree, the community also enjoyed a performance by the Saipan Awaodori dancers and Christmas caroling by elementary students from Kagman, Green Meadow, Koblerville, Oleai, San Vicente, Mount Carmel School, Saipan International, Grace Christian Academy, Agape Christian, and Green Meadow Middle School.
The many Christmas trees lining up the Paseo that many schools decorated with recycled materials were also a hit among families and tourists.
The Christmas caroling continues for middle, junior, and high schools next Saturday, Dec. 7, from 6pm to 10pm.
For more information, contact MVA Community Projects specialist Ray Villagomez at email@example.com or (670) 664-3200/1.