Christmas in the Marianas returns in December

(MVA) — The Marianas Visitors Authority, PDM Promoters Inc., Team PDI, and other travel partners will bring back Christmas in the Marianas every Saturday in December at Paseo de Marianas in downtown Garapan, Saipan.

The month-long celebration offers weekly holiday entertainment for visitors and residents, alike, from 5 to 9 p.m. each night.

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Students display their Christmas costume made from recyclable and natural material during the Marianas Visitors Authority’s Christmas in the Marianas at Paseo de Marianas on Dec. 17, 2016.  Christmas in the Marianas will return every Saturday evening in Dec. 2017.  MVA photo

The annual school-wide Christmas Tree Decoration Competition will be held on Dec. 2, along with the official lighting of the pedestrian mall Christmas tree and a Christmas caroling competition for elementary schools. The school trees, decorated with recyclable material, will remain on display at the pedestrian mall in Saipan’s main tourist district throughout the month.

“In the spirit of the holidays, we are pleased to announce the return of Christmas in the Marianas every Saturday in December in downtown Garapan,” said MVA Managing Director Christopher A. Concepcion. “The enthusiasm of the students is contagious, and we invite the public to come down any or every night for the festivities. We really can’t say enough about the effort of our partners PDM Promoters and Team PDI in making this a joyful holiday for the children, and especially the Education Tax Credit donations given by local businesses for the schools.”

On Dec. 9, middle and high school students will continue with the Christmas Caroling Competition. On Dec. 16, the Parade of Floats will be held around sunset from the Carolinian Affairs Office in Garapan along Beach Road to American Memorial Park, followed by a costume show. Awards for all competitions will also be made. Winners of all competitions will also be announced on Dec. 16. The event will run from 5 to 9 p.m. for the first three Saturdays.

Dec. 23 will feature individual acts; interested musicians and performers may contact MVA community projects specialist Lynn Sablan at 664-3200/01to request to be scheduled.  

The Japanese Mochitsuki Festival will be held on Dec. 30, marking the pounding of rice to make “mochi,” a traditional event in preparation for the new year.

Participating schools are Oleai Elementary, Koblerville Elementary, Gregorio T. Camacho Elementary, Kagman Elementary, San Vicente Elementary, Hopwood Jr. High School, Chacha Ocean View Middle School, Kagman High, Marianas High, Tanapag Middle School, Dandan Middle School, Agape Christian School, Seventh Day Adventist School, Saipan Community School, Green Meadow School, Saipan International School, Northern Marianas International School, and Grace Christian Academy.

For more information on the event, contact MVA community projects specialist Lynn Sablan at jsablan@mymarianas.com or 664-3210.