Christmas Village all lit up

TWENTY-EIGHT government agencies and private businesses are participating in first lady Diann Torres’ Christmas Village which opened on Sunday in the courtyard of the Gov. Pedro P. Tenorio Multi-Purpose Center.

Mrs. Torres said they expect two more participants in this year’s event. “It is better than last year. We see more people here than last year, and the participants are more creative,” she added.

She said it is a competition but “the intention is to bring happiness to the community, especially to the kids.”

On Tuesday, Nov. 28, the voting for the People’s Choice Award will begin. Community members get to vote for their favorite theme. The other awards are Most Christmas Spirit and Most Creative.

Chavel Green, one of the judges, said the CNMI needs “this kind of activity that brings people together. I am in awe at how much they have put into it. And people appreciate it.”

She said it took the participants “only six days to develop their [themes]. The kids in general are the ones they are trying to appeal to.”

Appeal to the general public is one of the judging criteria, she added. “We look for visual impact. How does it stand out? We also look for completeness. Did they use the space properly allotted to them? We look for craftsmanship. How much time did they spend working on the project?”

She said they are also looking for originality and for best theme, which should be related to the festivity of Christmas.

“They have all caught my eye. They are all eye-catching,” Green said.

Among the participants is the Division of Youth Affairs. Shelane Borja, executive assistant for youth affairs, said their theme is “Snowman’s Jukebox.”

“We put it up to be able to play music. Our staff came up with this idea. This is what they wanted,” Borja said.

Acting Joeten-Kiyu Public Library Director Erlinda Naputi said their theme is the “Giving Tree.”

“We want to give back to the community as a library and to promote literacy away from the library,” she added.

“The concept of the Giving Tree is that families can come out and take books from our little library. They are welcome to choose books, take them home and share them with their families. It is a way to promote literacy and it’s free.”

On weekends, JKPL will have a free movie night.

The Department of Public Safety opted for a Willy Wonka-themed, two-story candy factory.

Police Officer 3 Patrick Arriola said the “factory” has many colors, and that should appeal to children.

DPS won last year’s competition with its “Grinch” theme.

“Win or lose all the themes are winners, and we want everybody to enjoy them,” Arriola said.

Rep. Angel Demapan’s office is also participating in the Christmas Village.

“The holiday is always a time of joy, a time of peace and a time of getting together with your family and friends,” he said. “We felt that this year, when Emoji the movie came out, a lot of kids were excited about it and it brought happiness to them. So we chose the emoji theme this year to do the same — bring the spirit of joy and spread happiness to the people of the commonwealth.”

He added, “We should put all of our differences aside at this special time of the year to celebrate the reason for this season. That is the joy of Christmas.”

The first lady said the Christmas Village is open on weekdays from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and on weekends from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Source: Marianas Variety :

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