CNMI cancels Fourth of July Liberation Day celebration

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Mayor David M. Apatang (From the Office of the Saipan Mayor)

The Office of the Mayor of Saipan has announced the cancellation of the Fourth of July celebration in the CNMI.

“The COVID 19 pandemic has altered the way we conduct our daily activities as we must constantly practice social distancing and avoid large gatherings.  In the interest of protecting everyone from the risk of exposure to COVID 19, we have decided that celebrating the Fourth of July with a weeklong festival and parade will have to be put off until it is safe to have a celebration,” said Mayor David M. Apatang.

“July fourth will still be recognized as a legal holiday, but our traditional festival at the Garapan Fishing Base and July fourth parade along Beach Road will have to be canceled,”  the mayor added.

The annual celebration is the biggest public event in the CNMI, and celebrating it has been a tradition even before the enactment of Saipan Municipal Ordinance No. 68 in 1968, designating July 4 a legal holiday.

“This year’s celebration will be the seventy-fourth anniversary after the gates of the camps in Susupe and Chalan Kanoa were opened, liberating many of our elders from confinements.  Remembering them should be an honor of highest respect that each one of us has a responsibility to teach our generation of today of the struggles and uncertainty they faced after the war,” the mayor said.

“We regret to have made this decision, but each one of us has a duty to ensure that we protect one another from the spread of the COVID 19, a virus that has turned almost every person’s life upside down.  But because we are all in this together, we will make it through and return to our way of life before the pandemic,” the mayor said.

“We appreciate everyone’s understanding and support during this period of uncertainty,” he added.