The 2018 Liberation Day celebrations are picking up where they left off with festivities at the Garapan Fishing Base resuming on July 17 and ending on July 21 with the parade set at 3pm on Saturday. This was what the Liberation Day committee had finalized in yesterday’s meeting at the Saipan Mayor’s Office conference room in Oleai.
Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang and the committee—led by chair Joe Ayuyu Jr. and parade chair Brad Ruszala—decided to postpone the activities last week due to inclement weather as advised by the CNMI Homeland Security and Emergency Management and the National Weather Service-Forecast Office Guam.
The parade was originally scheduled on July 4 with the festivities supposed to be ending on July 7, but Tropical Storm Maria, which passed by the Marianas, foiled their plans and prompted the committee to postpone all activities as Liberation Day officials put the public’s safety first.
“The situation was beyond our control. If it was up to me, we could have finished things up but we had to make a decision on the situation. I hope that the public and community understand that,” said Apatang.
He and the committee are now reaching out to all the vendors and entertainers to again join them for another five days of fun and celebration, and all the participants—competition and non-competition—prepare again for the postponed Fourth of July parade.
Apatang said they would ask for weather updates from the CNMI HSEM and the NWS-Guam if there would be any changes on their forecast. “I believe that we’re going to have great weather in the coming weeks. Still, we’re going to get weather updates for the proposed dates.”
Staff from the mayor’s office and other personnel would begin setting up the grounds—from the tents and electrical connection—this weekend and are also inviting all vendors to prepare their respective stalls in time for the July 17 (Tuesday) reopening.
The Liberation Day grounds will be from 6pm to 10pm from Tuesday to Friday, July 17-20, and 6pm to 11pm on Saturday, July 21—with the parade set at 3pm following the same route from National Office Supply to the Garapan Fishing Base. Beach Road, however, will be closed starting at 12pm from the Atkins-Kroll intersection.
Daily prizes will be given away every night including daily bingo with the main raffle, where the $10,000 cash grand prize is at stake, will be on Saturday at 9pm. Fireworks will be at 10pm. Raffle tickets will be sold nightly at the parade grounds.
Several weather disturbances forced the postponement of the Liberation Day festivities and parades a few years ago.