Students showcase talents at Christmas in the Marianas

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THE island’s talented students took center stage on the final night of Christmas in the Marianas on Saturday.

We have seen more talents this year, and they performed like professionals,” Marianas Visitors Authority project coordinator Ray Villagomez said, referring to the students who participated in the caroling contest.

The monthlong celebration of Christmas in the Marianas at Paseo de Marianas also saw the participation of 17 schools in the Christmas tree decoration contest, which Dandan Middle School won.

In the caroling competition, Villagomez said nine groups competed in the elementary school category, which San Vicente Elementary School won.

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Four schools each participated in the middle school and high school categories, which were both topped by Agape Christian School, Villagomez added.

We want to thank the teachers and the parents for preparing the kids in the caroling competition — their performances are second to none,” he said.

Four schools participated in the float competition — Green Meadow Elementary School, Saipan Southern High School, Marianas High School, and Koblerville Elementary School, which won first prize.

Next year we will aim for 15 participants in this category,” Villagomez added.

As in the past celebrations, this year’s Christmas in the Marianas — which is held each Saturday of December — culminated in the Mochitsuki Festival and the pounding of “mochi” or glutinous rice in preparation for the New Year.

In an interview, Japanese Society of the Northern Marianas chairman Masato Tezuka thanked MVA for giving the Japanese community an opportunity to celebrate the Mochitsuki Festival, one of Japan’s annual traditions.

Villagomez said Christmas in the Marianas showcases different cultures. “We welcome everyone willing to perform. Or they reach out to us, so we give them the opportunity to perform,” he added.

Wolkwang Christian School from South Korea flew to Saipan two weeks ago to perform at the Christmas in the Marianas.

Among the other performers on Saturday were the Saipan Awaodori team, Hopwood Middle School’s Glee Group, Marianas High School’s Rhythm N’ Harmony, Pacific Flowers, and the Refaluwasch Warriors.

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