(November 12, 2006; Tumon, Guam) The holiday season on Guam begins with a series of exciting annual events designed to enthrall residents and visitors alike! From family fun runs to the official lighting of this year’s spectacular Tumon Holiday Illumination to the annual Christmas Festival at Skinner Plaza, there will be something to put the holiday spirit in everyone and keep it going strong all the way through to the annual New Year’s fireworks spectacular.

The Hilton Resort & Spa says “All Aboard” and welcomes everyone to the hotel lobby on November 22nd for their annual Train Launch Ceremony. The Hilton’s trains have become an important part of Guam’s holiday celebrations and are beloved by all who see them. Enjoy the giggles and excited “oohs” and “aaahs” of children of all nationalities and ages as they follow the trains over bridges, through tunnels, and in to the station. Discover the kid in yourself as the Hilton trains captivate and fill you with holiday joy. The trains round the track at the Hilton all throughout the holiday season and well in to January.

The Guam Hotel & Restaurant Association will hold their annual Jingle Bell Run, a 5K fun run for the whole family that takes place the morning of November 25th. There is still plenty of time to sign up and information is available at the GHRA website, www.ghra.org Visitors and residents of all ages are welcome to participate.

The delighted sounds of children continue at the 27th Annual Japan Autumn Festival at Ypao Beach Park in Tumon. Hosted by the Japan Club of Guam, the event takes place on Saturday, November 25 from 3 to 10 p.m. and will showcase entertainment from local and Japanese school children. There will be dancers, drum performances from Japan, Bon Dances, and a fireworks display accompanied by plenty of refreshments, games, and booths featuring Japanese toys for sale.

The 2006 GVB Holiday Illumination will officially light up the streets of Tumon in a dazzling display of Christmas decorations and special lighted displays featuring Santa Claus and cultural icons of Guam. The decorations will remain lit throughout the holidays and the official lighting ceremony takes place on Friday, November 24th at 5:30 p.m. at the Guam Visitors Bureau.

Every year the streets are shut down the northern section of Tumon for the Pleasure Island Dance Festival and Street Carnival. This year the exciting and much anticipated event will take place in conjunction with the Tumon Holiday Illumination on November 24th. The roads will be closed from 3 p.m. on the 24th until 2 in the morning of the 25th to accommodate the thousands of people who come out to enjoy the Pleasure Island Dance Festival and Street Carnival. Featuring live entertainment, music, and dancing, the Pleasure Island Dance Festival and Street Carnival is a sure crowd pleaser.

If your idea of Christmas includes singing, dancing, and other live entertainment, then the annual Christmas Festival at Skinner Plaza is sure to fill your stocking with holiday joy! Located in the heart of Hagatña, the Christmas Festival will feature nightly entertainment and Christmas decorations so beautiful and well lit, visitors can see it from the plane as they arrive on Guam for the holidays. The Christmas Festival, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce and Guam Visitors Bureau, begins on November 24th and evening entertainment lasts throughout the season.

Music fans of all ages will find thrills galore during the return of the Battle of the Bands. This free concert event has been brought back by popular demand and will take place on Saturday, December 2nd. Hosted by Shimbros, the Battle of the Bands features the very best of Guam’s local musicians and starts at noon at the Paseo Softball Field in Hagatña and runs until sunset. No matter what your musical taste, you fill up on a wide selection of island and reggae music, cha-cha and Pala pala bands, rock & roll, and contemporary bands playing the latest hits. Something for everyone and the whole family is invited to root for their favorites as they vie to place in this musical extravaganza and competition.

Let the carols continue and we shall sing them by the sea at the annual Guam Symphony Society’s Holiday Seaside Concert at the Hilton Resort & Spa on Sunday, December 3rd. Everyone is welcome to bring their lawn chairs or spread a blanket on the grass and enjoy an afternoon of Christmas songs and entertainment, including a special visit from St. Nick in his carabao drawn cart! Special prizes are awarded to the most festively decorated picnic area and Santa will have plenty of sweets for the little ones.

The golfers have not been forgotten this holiday season on Guam and are invited to participate in the Governor’s Tourism Cup Championship Golf Tournament. This annual two-day event hosts the region’s best golfers and raises money for public safety. Held this year on December 9-10th, the event will culminate in an award’s ceremony and dinner. For more information on participating, visit GHRA’s website at www.ghra.org

This is just a sampling of the special events that take place on Guam during the holiday season. Everyone, residents and visitors, are welcome to enjoy themselves at any of these fine activities and keep visiting the Guam Visitors Bureau website for information about more fun and exciting events happening on Guam during the holidays and all year long!

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