Seventeen food and drink vendors are set to tantalize the taste buds at today’s (June 29) opening of the Liberation Day festivities at Garapan Fishing Base.
The festival grounds open at 6pm with an opening ceremony, and the evening’s entertainment will include Hopwood Dance Music Productions Empire at 7:30pm, CAB Dancers at 8:30pm, Man Antigu at 9pm, Refaluwasch Warriors at 9:30pm, and Micro Mix at 10pm.
Food and drink vendors this year include Fruittie Smoothies, Rose BBQ Cheap Cuts, Champ’s Snowball, J-far Corp, Saipan Brewing, Salty’s, Homemade Kitchen, Island Grindz, Sierra’s Pearl Shake, Furusato, MarPac, Ina’s Kitchen, Matty’s, Vi-Lyn’s BBQ, Terry’s Snack Bar, Cups and Rolls Pan Fried Ice Cream, and Fong’s Catering.
The festival will also include retail vendors Natasha, Anew Excel International, Squish and Slime, Island Flowers & Novelties, Maranatha, E&J Retail, Che’lu, E&J Retail, S-Mart, Rita’s Accessories, U2 Collection and Gift, Tidal Wave Slide, and local artists.
The festivities, presented by the mayor’s office and the 2018 Liberation Day Committee, will be held through July 7, 2018, from 6pm to 10pm (closing at 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays). The celebration will also include games and BINGO. This year’s Liberation Day theme is “Sea to Shining Sea,” celebrating the International Year of the Coral Reef and the islands’ oceanic heritage and cultures.
The opening ceremony on Friday will include remarks by Saipan Mayor David Apatang, Liberation Day Committee president Louis Rodgers, and 2018 Liberation Day Committee chair Joe E. Ayuyu, Jr.; and the introduction of this year’s Royal Court.
Over 50 marching units and floats have signed up for the Liberation Day parade on July 4 at 3pm. The parade will start at National Office Supply and proceed along Beach Road to the festival grounds. Cash prizes will be awarded to the best floats: $4,000 for first place, $3,000 for second place, $2,000 for third place, and $1,000 for fourth place.
Title sponsors this year are: Marianas Visitors Authority, Imperial Pacific International, Skywalker Group, Ana. Corp., McDonald’s of Saipan, Tournament of Champions, IT&E/IP&E, Triple J Ent., Marianas Variety, Tan Holdings Corp., Hyatt Regency Saipan, The Shack, MATSON, Coca-cola/Foremost, and Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation.
Additional sponsors include Bridge Capital, LLC., J.C. Tenorio Ent., Korean Community of Saipan, VaprSpot, P.D.I., Bank of Guam, DOCOMO Pacific, Roil Soil, Chong’s Corp., Saipan Travel, Saipan Ice and Water Co., Saipan Shipping Company, I Love Saipan, Pacific Islands Club Saipan, Bank of Hawaii, Cha. Coral Ocean Golf Resort, Mariana Resort & Spa, KKMP, KCNM-KZMI, G4S, Spicy Thai, MyCapitures, Bank of Saipan, Atkins Kroll, Joeten Superstore, Bank of Saipan, Aqua Resort Club, Athlete’s Foot, Joeten Supermarket, AA Enterprises; Bank Pacific, Kensington Hotel Saipan, Moylan’s Insurance, Fiesta Resort & Spa, Saipan World Resort, Kanoa Resort, Borderline, American President Lines, Island Apparel, Atkins Kroll, AON Insurance, Calvo’s Insurance, Delta Management Corp., First Hawaiian Bank, Hard Rock Café Saipan, Java Joe’s, Saipan Stevedore, Saipan World Resort, Take Care Insurance, LaoLao Bay Golf & Resort, Kingfisher Golf Links, All-Star Sporting Goods, Joeten Motors, and the Commonwealth Council for Arts & Culture.
Supporters include CNMI Office of the Governor, Commonwealth Utilities Corp., Dept. of Fire & Emergency Services, Dept. of Public Safety, Div. of Sanitation, Alcoholic Beverage & Tobacco Control, Bureau of Environment Health, Hotel Asso. of the Northern Mariana Islands, Hawaiian Rock Products, Herman’s Modern Bakery, IP&E, Aon Insurance, Marianas Institute of Filipino CPAs and Accountants, and Dept. of Public Lands.
For more information, visit www.saipanmayor.net or www.facebook.com/CNMILiberationDay, or call the Office of the Mayor of Saipan at (670) 234-6208.
Liberation Day is celebrated annually in the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas to mark the release in 1946 of Saipan and Tinian residents from World War II civilian camps.
Following the invasion of the islands by U.S. forces on June 15, 1944, the large civilian population was held by the U.S. military in three camps: Camp Susupe and Camp Chalan Kanoa on Saipan and Camp Chulu on Tinian.
Upon the end of the war, island residents were granted increasing allowance under guard to leave the camps during the day for subsistence farming and other activities, receiving full liberty to return to their homes permanently with the closure of the camps on July 4,1946. Liberation Day is observed annually in the CNMI with a parade and other patriotic and cultural festivities on July 4, coinciding with America’s Independence Day. (PR)