The Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation has set aside $120,000 for the Saipan Mayor’s Office to be used for the staging of the upcoming Liberation Day festival in July.
During the Liberation Day committee’s weekly meeting yesterday at the Saipan Mayor’s Office, Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang announced that the local delegation has appropriated a portion of the poker gaming revenue tax to the Liberation Day festivities.
“The whole intent [of the $120,000 that was appropriated by the local delegation] is to use it for the Liberation [Day festival],” he said.
For now, the committee can only use $64,000 of that $120,000.
“…What they [SNILD] did is they broke down the $3 [million and also allocated it to] other agencies…we can only get $64,000 out of that right now. That’s all the available funding that’s coming in from the poker revenue,” said Apatang.
For now, that funding from the poker gaming revenue tax is the only source of funding that the committee can tap into, he said.
“We are still waiting for the remaining balance so we can use it for the rest of the activities here…It will come in as soon as we get available funding from the poker revenue,” Apatang said.
Fortunately, Apatang and the committee are already looking for alternate funding sources, with an eye toward hosting the best possible Liberation Day festival.
“I approached [the Marianas Visitors Authority] yesterday and they helped us out a little bit…but we are going to check with the [Hotel Association of the Northern Mariana Islands] for help and see if they can help us out a little bit more,” he said.
The Liberation Day queen competition is also a fundraiser for the festival, with the candidate raising the most money, through ticket sales, being named the Liberation Day queen.
The festivities will start on June 29 and will lead up to the Liberation Day parade on July 4. The festivities will be held at the Garapan Fishing Base.