LA TRINIDAD, Benguet, Feb. 16 (PIA) - -  It’s fiesta time in the highlands with  this town’s   Strawberry Festival set to open next week  even Baguio City’s Panagbenga  Festival  unveils  its major  events.

 The Strawberry Festival which will showcase the town’s agriculture, culture, history, and arts opens on February 20 and will run until March 31.  This year’s theme is   “Sustaining the Fruits of La Trinidad’s Agro-Eco Tourism”.

In a recent kapihan forum, Mayor Romeo Salda bared that the Strawberry Festival will start earlier this year to take advantage of the influx of tourists in the ongoing Panagbenga who may opt to visit the town. The Panagbenga which opened Feb. 1 will have its crowd-drawing grand street parade and float parade on February 25 and 26 respectively.

The Strawberry Festival has a lot to offer to tourists and residents alike.   The Agro-Industrial Fair  will open from Feb. 20 - March 31,  Coffee Fest on Feb. 28 – Mar. 3,  Biggest and Sweetest Strawberries; Flower Arrangement Contest on Mar. 17,  Strawberry Cake Competition on Mar. 21 to name a few. The main program will be held Mar. 18 at the Mun. Gym.

 There are new activities and innovations introduced in this year’s festivities such as the Search for Strawberry Festival theme song on February 24 at the Municipal Park, conduct of a strawberry local film fest on March 24-26 at Mar. 24-26 and float parade using a non-motorized float on March 19 from Km. 6 to Municipal Hall.

 Other activities include   Valley Clean-Up Drive on Feb. 24-25 municipal wide; Art and Photo Contest on Feb 28 – Mar. 1 at the Art & Photo Lane, Mun. Park; Ecumenical Service and Opening Program on Mar. 6 at the Mun. Gym; Opening of Strawberry Lane on Mar. 6 at the Mun. Park; Job Fair on Mar. 10 at the Mun. Gym; Concert at the Park on Mar. 6 & 31 at the Mun. Park; Duting tan Dukto and Fun Run on Mar. 11 at the Mun. park; Dog Show on Mar. 11 at the Mun. Park; at the Mun.Park; Mr and Ms. La Trinidad Pre-Pageant on Mar. 17 at the Mun. Gym; and Civic Parade on Mar. 18 from Km. 6 to Mun. Hall;   Owik tan Tayao and Multicultural celebrations on Mar 18 at the Mun. Gym; Street Dance, Drum and Lyre, with the Float Competition and Parade on Mar. 19 from Km. 6 to Mun. Hall; Strawberry Cake Fest on Mar. 19 at the Lednicky Hall; Feast of St. Joseph on Mar. 20 at the San Jose Parish Church; Strawberry Cake Competition on Mar. 21 at the Mun. Gym; Mass Wedding on Mar. 24 at the Mun. Gym; Mr. and Ms. La Trinidad Pageant on Mar. 25 at the Cordillera Career Development College Gym; Dongba ni Kavadjo on Mar. 25-26 at the Wangla Sports Complex, Balikbayan Day on Mar. 30 at the Mun. Gym; Barangay Night on Mar. 30 at the Mun. Gym; and Closing and Awarding on March 31 at the Mun. Gym.

There are other community and sponsor-led activities such as mural competition, acoustic band contest, concert, battle of the bands, and music and arts fest, Tawang Agro-Eco Tourism Festival, Road Safety Seminar, 1st Regional Youth Assembly, Benguet Agri and Cultural Tourism Village Experience; Bloom Fest: A Coffee Festival and fireworks.

Sports event include Cordillera Motocross, Strawberry Tennis Cup, Arnis Competition, Badminton Cup, Mountain Bike XC race, Basketball Clinic, Dart wars, Strawberry Zumba, Amazing Race-LT, Flair Competition 2017, and Strawberry Marathon.  

Salda invites the public to participate in the month- long festivities not only to enjoy but to meet friends. (JDPSCA-PIA-CAR, Benguet)