Lunar New Year fete promises grand party

In what is being touted as the Commonwealth’s first Lunar New Year party, the committee organizing the event is promising a dazzling celebration in February that will showcase, among many, an acrobatic troupe from China and a parade of dogs to welcome “The Year of the Dog.”

To be held on Feb. 16 and 17, this year’s Lunar New Year party will be held at the Garapan Fishing Base, from 5pm to 10pm on both nights, and will feature ethnic food, demonstrations of celestial navigation, canoe rides, cultural games, and arts and crafts.

The star of the show will be the Shanghai Sinma Acrobatic Troupe, a group of 27 gymnasts who have performed internationally.

The performances will be free to the public, with 400 seats reserved for select students and their chaperones on the first night, and for the man’amko the second night.

The party’s planning committee met at the Saipan Mayor’s Office yesterday to unveil the event and discuss the preparations made so far.

According to Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang, the Marianas Visitors Authority and Betty Bai of the Chinese community of Saipan are leading the preparations of the event, which is intended to rekindle the islands’ ancient ties to the moon and the night skies.

Apatang said the ancient Chamorros and Carolinians depended solely on the moon and stars to guide their way when crossing the trackless oceans and the goal for the Lunar New Year party is to bring that feeling back to the indigenous people while allowing tourists a shot at the experience. That explains why the event would also feature celestial navigation and canoe rides.

According to Lunar New Year Party planning committee member Gordon Marciano, the event started off as a small discussion that later turned into a whole plan, thanks to the support of many.

There will also be a dog parade, in honor of the lunar year animal, the dog, which will have an open registration. All dog owners are invited to join the dog parade, dress their dogs in flashy outfits, and parade them on opening night. Registration for the dog parade is $5 and T Galleria will match every dollar raised from the parade for donation to the animal shelter of the Saipan Mayor’s Office to pay for the shelter’s necessities like food.

The dogs from the shelter will also join the parade and will be up for adoption during the event.

There will be canoes in the ocean during the two-day celebration. Tourists and residents will be able to go on either the Okeanos Marianas, Neni, the Richard Seman, and many more.

The two-day Lunar New Year party will be held at the Garapan Fishing Base on Feb. 16-17, from 5pm to 10pm. The acrobats will also perform on Rota and Tinian on Feb. 15.

The public should expect a fusion of cultures, from the food to the performances, the arts, and even the games and activities.

The committee said it will be Micronesia’s largest multi-cultural Lunar New Year party and it will be open to the public.

Kimberly Bautista Bautista
Kimberly Bautista is the youngest in the stable of Saipan Tribune reporters. She has covered a wide range of beats, including the community, housing, crime, and education, for the Saipan Tribune.

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