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LIBERATION Day celebrants don’t just camp out and have fun the day before the parade, they also camp out the day before they get their permits to camp out the day before the parade.
Today, the Department of Parks and Recreation will be issuing camping permits at the Paseo Stadium starting at 8 a.m. The permits reserve a space along the parade route and are given out on a first-come, first-serve basis. To ensure they get in line first to secure the best spot, celebrants have set up tents in the Paseo area and have been camping out as early as Monday, with more tents popping up during the week.
A system of fairness has arisen amongst the campers. The first family to arrive, the Baza family of Agat, started a sign-in sheet. As each family arrives, they put their name on the list.
“It eliminates the chaos and conflict,” said Randy Perez, of Santa Rita, whose family was second to set up camp. As the families arrive, they get to know each other and have a good time.
“They have the system of their own and we’ll respect it as long as it’s organized,” said Peter S. Calvo, acting director of DPR.
Calvo said there are more than 150 slots available and he is confident everyone will be satisfied. “In the past we had to turn people away,” Calvo said. “I think this year it’s a better situation.”
Calvo points out that the area has been extended from the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant to the Adelup Mobile Station. Also, with the help of the Department of Corrections, the route has been cleaned up and cleared to make the area more accessible to the general public, even after the parade is done.
“DOC has helped us clean up and making the parade route more accessible to the general public after the parade is done,” Calvo said.