All set for virtual Liberation Day celebration

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THE virtual celebration of  Liberation Day on the Fourth of July, Saturday, will be highlighted by local performances and simultaneous motorcades on Saipan, Rota and Tinian and concluded with “virtual fireworks,” lead organizer Gary Sword of KKMP radio said.

He said this year’s theme, “Strength in Unity – Marianas Strong,” reflects  the resiliency of the local people who survived a war and two years in Camp Chalan Kanoa, and then had to endure natural disasters and, now, a global pandemic.

The motorcade will start at the former Mariana Resort at 1 p.m. and end at the Airport Field where the main event of the program will start at 5 p.m.

Sword estimates that about 300 vehicles will join the motorcade, which will be led by the Matua Riders and the Saipan mayor’s office.

Only two floats have registered for the competition. The floats will be built at home and a five-minute video of the entries have to be submitted to the organizers.

Commonwealth Utilities Corp. Executive Director Gary Camacho said they will be involved in the festivities.

“It’s been a challenging year not only for the CNMI, but internationally and we’re going through so we’re praying that things will get better soon.”

CUC Liberation Day event coordinator Shani Cabrera said three of their big trucks will join the motorcade.

At the Airport Field, Sword said local entertainers will perform on stage and members of the public can watch, but must observe social distancing protocols and are encouraged to remain in  their vehicles.

“We can accommodate 300 cars,” he added.

The program will be live-streamed on the Facebook page of CNMI Liberation 2020.

Gordon Marciano, one of the organizers, said the entertainers will include the Baraha Band,  Saipan Man Antigu/Domatsui Warriors, Saipan Music and Dance Studio, Tasi and Alii’, Untouchables/Fat Heads, Parker Yobei, Marvin Deleon Guerrero and Jay Babauta.

“All is set for the festivities,” Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang said, as he encouraged community members to join the virtual celebration.

This year, the mayor said his office has partnered with KKMP radio and other local stakeholders to make sure that the Liberation Day festivities will be successful despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sword, for his part, expressed his appreciation to the Liberation Committee headed by Joe Ayuyu Jr. for assisting organizers in getting the funds needed for  the event.

Sword said the first virtual Liberation Day celebration of the island will be hosted by Mayor David M. Apatang and the event sponsors are the  governor's office, TSL Foundation, CNMI Census 2020 and the Governor’s Covid-19 Task Force.

The Marianas Visitors Authority is the gold sponsor while McDonald's, Bridge Capital and Triple J Enterprises are the silver sponsors.

For its part, IT&E will provide the optic links between Rota, Tinian and Saipan to ensure better connection during the virtual program.

The event organizers are also thankful for the support of, CUC, the Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation, Northern Marianas College, Star Marianas, Joeten Enterprises, Triple B Forwarders and the Commonwealth Ports Authority.





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