Governor confirms no Liberation parade and carnival this year

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The traditional Liberation Day parade has been canceled this year due to COVID-19. (PNC file photo)

For the last 75 years, Guam has come together to celebrate the liberation of our island from the Japanese occupation. But this year, an invisible invader, the coronavirus, put a halt to some of the Liberation Day festivities.

There will be no Liberation Day Parade or Carnival this year, Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero confirmed at today’s online news conference.

“We are not planning a parade and carnival. These are events that have a massive congregation and at this point and time, it is just less than eight weeks away, and we’re still in this pandemic public health emergency. I am not willing as Governor of Guam to expose the safety of our people out there,” the governor said.

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In February, the Mayors’ Council of Guam met with the governor to talk about the 76th Liberation Parade and festivities.

MCOG executive director Angel Sablan says that at that meeting the governor took on the responsibility of planning and putting together the parade and carnival, leaving the Liberation Queen festivities and memorials to the MCOG.

But Guam, like the rest of the world, was hit with the COVID-19 pandemic and talks of Liberation festivities were put on the back burner and haven’t been discussed since.

Sablan says this year’s liberation festivities will not be like the ones we have seen in the past but he would like to make some festivities happen.

“Certainly, there is that possibility. I already know that we will not have the festivities as we have in the past. At this point, we do not believe that there will be a carnival. As far as memorials, we feel that we still want to make that happen but there will be some protocols put in place to make it happen,” Sablan said.

As for the Liberation Day parade, which draws out thousands of island residents, while it is not going to happen the governor is looking into other options for celebration.

“It wasn’t a very light decision to make because we are always celebrating our Liberation Day. But we may come up with ways to virtually celebrate our Liberation Day. But as of now, I am not at all inclined to allow parades or carnival,” the governor stressed.

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Jolene Toves
Jolene joined the PNC team in 2017, as a producer, co-anchor and investigative reporter covering law enforcement, courts and crimes. Notable coverage includes the Ehlert case, the Mark Torre Jr. trial, the Allan Agababa trial, exclusive pieces on the Life of a Drug Dealer/Addict, and Life behind bars...the story of Honofre Chargualaf and Kevin Cruz. In 2019, she was promoted to Assistant News Director and Lead Anchor. From 2015 to 2017 she served as Public Relations and Promotions Manager, for the Hotel Nikko Guam handling local radio and advertorial promotions, as well as produced and directed tv commercials for the hotel. Prior to this she worked with KUAM for three years as a reporter and segment host. She began her journalism career in 2012, working with Glimpses of Guam contributing to the Guam Business Magazine, R&R magazine, MDM magazine and the Marianas Business Journal.