Despite the threat of rain, the community is expected to come out and join the festive mood of this year’s 71st Liberation Day Parade. The parade begins at 9am starting at Quartermaster Road to the Liberation Day Carnival grounds across Kristo Rai church.
Tents and tables have already been set up along Beach Road, the parade route, as families are expected to spend the day with their other relatives and friends in a reunion of sorts in a street party-like atmosphere.
Some even put ropes around certain areas and several pavilions to reserve the spot, while others are going to spend the night by pitching tents.
Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang said today’s celebration is dedicated to honor the period in the CNMI’s history where a number of people gave up their lives. “For 71 years, we the people of these great chain of islands have been celebrating the Fourth of July.”
“The celebration is dedicated to honor the special moment in our history to the people who gave us hope to continue their dream. Thank you to those who fought to give us the chance to live in peace and free of war,” said Apatang.
He added the annual Liberation Day celebration symbolizes unity, common cause, and vision for ourselves and the future generation by paying tribute to those who suffered in the war. “By coming together, we pay tribute to those who saw the many hardships right after the war.”
Skywalker Communications Group managing director Dr. Hu Bo said this year’s Liberation Day festivities saw a number of record-breaking achievements like the most number of Royal Court candidates, high turnout of volunteers, and the daily presentation at the carnival grounds broadcast live on the Internet for those who are off-island.
More than 10 floats are expected to join the parade with the 2016 Royal Court, led by Liberation Queen Christine Roque, and the other candidates joining community organizations and businesses.
The visiting Koenji-Awa-odori Association along with the Saipan Awa-odori Team, the Vietnam War veterans, the Navy marching band from Guam, and the CNMI JROTC are also expected to join.
Just like last year, a 20-minute fireworks display will be held tonight at the Liberation Day Festivities grounds at the Garapan Fishing Base.