21 Apr 2017
- By Junhan B. Todiño - firstname.lastname@example.org - Variety News Staff
THIS year’s Liberation Day festivities will be organized by young professionals from various fields in the public and private sectors.
On Thursday, the newly formed committee led by Matt Deleon Guerrero, the governor’s chief of staff, met at the Saipan mayor’s office to discuss their initial plans.
“This is completely a different committee from previous years,” Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang told reporters.
In 2015 and 2016, the mayor’s office worked with the Hong Kong-based staging and events organizing firm, Skywalker Communications Group in planning the festivities.
This year, it was decided to limit the festivities to only 18 days instead of the normal month-long celebration, but the venue is still the Garapan Fishing Base.
Apatang said other agencies and community groups also use the fishing base for their activities, adding that they want to avoid conflicts in schedules.
Deleon Guerrero said they will also deal with small businesses this time.
“We will give them the opportunity to test their products and build their reputation,” he told reporters.
In charge of public information for the Liberation Committee, Laila Y. Boyer, Marianas Variety’s publisher, said this year’s celebration will be highlighting family and culture, adding that they will only have 20 booths for food and games.
There will be local entertainers performing nightly, but sponsors will get a chance to showcase their products and hold demonstrations and presentations on the grand stage.
For this year’s Liberation Queen fundraising pageant, Boyer said the contestants’ share from the tickets sold will be raised from 10 to 20 percent.
Local artist Parker Yobei of the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs-Arts Council will head the program and entertainment committee, Deleon Guerrero said, adding that they will form other working committees and appoint their chairs in the next meeting scheduled for April 25.
Apatang said he will assist the parade committee, especially in securing a lowboy for the float participants. He will also look for a sponsor for the fireworks display that will mark the culmination of the festivities.
Also attending the committee meeting on Thursday were Miss Marianas Peachy Quitugua, James Nelson of Power 99, MariaValentina Haberman of Hyatt Regency Saipan, special assistant to the mayor Henry Hofschneider, the mayor’s field operations director Joann Aquino, Farah Younis of the Public School System, Mark Robles of the Department of Public Lands, Thomas Blas and Hambros Sandy of the Department of Public Safety, Anthony Babauta and Romeo Iginoef of the Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services and Skep Palacios of the Department of Commerce.
In a press statement, the committee said this year’s theme is “Celebrating Cultures, Community and Service.”
The two-week festivities will be held from June 17 to July 4.
The event will offer nightly entertainment, traditional games and food booths featuring delicious family and community recipes from all over the CNMI.
“This year is about giving our families, nonprofit groups and small start-ups a chance to share their culinary creations for all to enjoy and help raise much needed funds,” Deleon Guerrero said.
“It is also about focusing on our diverse cultures, promoting the natural beauty of the CNMI and honoring our men and women in the U.S. military, who are performing the highest service of all,” he added.
Only family-based or nonprofit groups can apply for booth and game concessions.
Applications for food and game concessions will be available next week at the Saipan mayor’s office and the fees are $400 for food vendors and $200 for games. The 18-day festivities will run from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
The committee also encourages families, school clubs and nonprofit groups to support a Liberation Day contestant for the 2017 Liberation Royal Court and receive 20 percent of the proceeds raised for their cause.
Eligible young women from 16 to 22 years old are encouraged to apply.
This year’s Royal Court community platform is to help promote the islands’ indigenous birds, with each Royal Court contestant to be named and dressed in the beautiful colors of local birds. Applications will be available next week at the Saipan mayor’s office and are only open to the first eight eligible applicants.
Prizes for the floats will remain $4,000 for first place, $3,000 for second place, $2,000 for third place and $1,000 for fourth place.
This year’s July Fourth Parade will begin at 3 p.m. with fireworks to follow on the carnival grounds after the parade and raffle.
Performers, singers, dance and cultural groups are also urged to participate in the July Fourth Parade and nightly entertainment.
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