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By Moneth G. Deposa

SAIPAN, CNMI (Mariana Variety, Dec. 20) - Tinian Mayor Jose P. San Nicolas has canceled the island’s traditional New Year’s Eve fireworks display.

Every year, San Nicolas said the municipality spends US$65,000 for a 20-minute fireworks display on New Year’s Eve.

[PIR editor’s note: Tinian is among the islands of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, just south of the main island of Saipan.]

"I don’t want to burn dollars for fireworks. Tinian needs money and we will not blow it as we have done every year… US$65,000 is a lot of money," he told Variety yesterday.

San Nicolas said he will use the money for "good purposes."

"We will have an island wide party on Tinian where everybody can come and enjoy the occasion. Just before the midnight Mass, people will also witness a fireworks display but different from previous displays because we will only spend US$1,000 for it," he said.

San Nicolas said government employees; community members and tourists can join the celebration which will feature special cultural performances by Chamorro, Chinese, Filipino, Korean, and Japanese groups.

For food, the municipality is estimating it will spend US$3,000, San Nicolas said. "We’re expecting food to be brought in also because this is a potluck party for everybody," he said.

He said various items such as kitchen utensils will be given to those joining in the celebration.

"Instead of just seeing fireworks, we decided to offer them gifts for Christmas…everybody will have a chance to get a gift because there will be raffle draws," he said.

San Nicolas said the municipality has also given away books, pencils, coloring books, and school bags to St. Joseph Elementary School and Tinian Elementary School students.

"This is our way of sharing with the people and schoolchildren of Tinian," he added.

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