MVA undecided on Christmas lights along Beach Road

Plan to put up holiday lights along Middle Road also uncertain

The Marianas Visitors Authority had originally planned to put up holiday lights along Chalan Pale Arnold Road or Middle Road—a first time ever—but now the MVA can’t decide at this time whether to proceed with the project.

With Super Typhoon Yutu’s destruction on Saipan and Tinian, a similar plan to install Christmas lights on Beach Road is also uncertain.

MVA managing director Christopher A. Concepcion disclosed that they had planned to put up Christmas lights along Middle Road for the first time this year to lessen its industrial and commercial look.

However, Concepcion said, with many debris scattered along Middle Road and Beach Road, with power not fully restored in many areas, and with many vendors unable to install them due to multiple reasons, the MVA is unable to decide at this time whether they will proceed with plans to install the holiday lights.

He said their efforts will be concentrated on illuminating Paseo de Marianas and its surrounding areas so the main tourist district in Garapan is lit up for tourists and residents.

“We feel this is the best use of our limited resources at this time, given the destruction and the significant drop in tourist arrivals we received as a result of Super Typhoon Yutu,” he said.

MVA earlier announced the cancellation of the annual “Christmas in the Marianas” at Paseo de Marianas this December, due to the catastrophic destruction of Super Typhoon Yutu.

The MVA, however, still plans to go ahead and decorate the Paseo de Marianas with giant holiday sculptures, thousands of lights and other holiday-themed decorations to allow tourists and residents to regain a sense of normalcy and feel the holiday spirit.

With the cancellation of Christmas in the Marianas, Concepcion is encouraging everyone in the CNMI to decorate their surroundings so that children can “become upbeat, optimistic and cheerful about the Christmas season.”

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a veteran journalist who has covered all news beats in the CNMI. Born in Lilo-an, Cebu City in the Philippines, De la Torre graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is a recipient of many commendations and awards, including the CNMI Judiciary’s prestigious Justice Award for his over 10 years of reporting on the judiciary’s proceedings and decisions. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@saipantribune.com

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