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SAIPAN, Northern Mariana Islands (April 20, 2000 - Saipan Tribune)---In what appears to be a promising activity that may add color to the island's image as a prime tour destination, the CNMI is launching a festival of flowers and ornamental plants on May 13 at the Multi-Purpose Center in Susupe.

Sponsored by the Marianas Visitors Authority and the Commonwealth Development Authority, the flower festival is anticipated to attract garden and plant enthusiasts from throughout the Northern Marianas, according to businessman JM Guerrero.

Organizers said the festival will be launched to beautify Saipan by promoting local ornamental flowers in the islands, as well as help revive declining business activity in the tourism sector.

Flower and plant experts from the Northern Marianas College, the hotel industry and wholesale operators will be tapped to compose the distinguished panel of judges for the competition, which will be divided into 10 categories.

These categories are: palms, orchid, bougainvillea, dieffenbachia, ixora, hibiscus, cactus, roses, crotons and bonsai or dish garden.

Registration forms are now available for pick up at Calvo's Nursery, Saipan Plant Center, Inc., Tropical Garden, Design/Build Landscapes, and Landscapers Micronesia. Deadline for submission of application forms is May 6, 2000.

For additional reports from The Saipan Tribune, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The Saipan Tribune.

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