Sunday’s Liberation Parade commemorating the 75th anniversary of Guam’s Liberation lived up to all expectations, with all participants — from the colorful and elaborate floats, the various marching bands and military formations, and the many attending celebrities led by Pia Mia — giving their all to make this year’s celebration a truly unforgettable one.
Even the weather cooperated, with just a few mild sprinkles of rain, although the temperature was very hot and humid. But this did not deter the participants and the local residents from enjoying every minute of the parade. As a good sign, a rainbow even made an appearance early in the morning about an hour before the parade started.
Governor Lou Leon Guerrero, dressed in bright red, opened the parade, saying she was very humbled and honored as Guam holds this very exciting milestone celebration.
“Thank you for remembering our survivors, those who have died to protect our freedom, our service members, and the Chamorro people who suffered and struggled but then came back as strong and resilient people,” the governor said.
This year’s parade had 81 floats, not including the motorcycle contingents and hotrods.
The prize for this year’s best float is $3,000 which proved to be a great incentive as all the floats displayed creativity and imagination in their interpretations of Guam liberation whose theme this year is “A Legacy of Peace and Friendship.”
The village of Santa Rita eventually won in the village float competition while GWA/GPA won in the GovGuam category, with Port Authority of Guam and Department of Public Works tying for second place.
For the first time in the history of the Guam Liberation parade, the governor had her own float which included the names of the island’s war survivors.
One of the highlights of the parade was Guamanian singer, fashionista, and star celebrity Pia Mia, who had her own float in a green, jungle theme with white flowers. Pia Mia’s outfit was also green and had a tropical theme.
Many of the residents not only camped overnight but were set up as early as Friday evening. Most of them had colorful canopies bearing their family names or clans as family members took turns grilling meat and preparing delicious Chamorro specialties.
The Reyes family, which was camped out since Saturday, even roasted one of their home-grown pigs right there, inside their liberation parade canopy.
People interviewed by the Sorensen Media Group in the field were very aware of the significance and special nature of this year’s Guam Liberation celebration. Many even came from off-island, wanting to participate in this special diamond anniversary of Guam’s liberation. There were also youths who were first-time visitors to Guam, accompanying their parents or elders to enjoy this milestone event in the homeland.
As the parade was winding down, rain thankfully cooled down the hot crowd.
Throughout the parade, Peggy Denney’s I Recycle group was working to help clean up the parade premises.
The group had distributed wire bins throughout the parade route and people were encouraged to bring them home after the end of the parade in order to promote recycling.