May 29, 2024

After three years, full community participation is back in this year’s celebration of the Strawberry Festival in La Trinidad, Benguet in March.

Mayor Romeo Salda said the usual municipality-led activities will be brought back and improved, including community-led events. 

One of the highlights of the festival on March 18 would be the drum and lyre, street dancing, and parade of small floats along the stretch of the Halsema Highway at Km. 6.

The 16 barangays will participate in the parade, including the different schools, civic organizations, line agencies, and civilians.

The main program on March 17 will have a civic parade, mass, program, the kekkan (feasting) in  the morning and the owik tan tayao (thanksgiving ritual)and the multi-cultural celebrations in the afternoon and acoustic band competition in the evening. 

The main event would also be graced by Philippine National Police Chief, Gen. Rodolfo Azurin who confirmed to be the guest of honor.

With the theme, “A festival for recovery: Building a brighter future from adversities,” the kick-off program and ribbon cutting of the Strawberry lane and agro fair will be on March 6 at the municipal park and will last until March 31.

Art and mural contest will be on March 7 and 8, the “Duting tan dukto” and Strawberry fun run and the biggest and sweetest strawberry at the municipal park on March 11, concerts at the park on March 12 and 25, and the search for Mr. and Ms. La Trinidad Strawberry Festival pre-pageant on March 19 and coronation on March 26 at the Benguet State University gym. 

The Balili clean-up drive is on March 24, job fair on March 25, barangay night on March 29, the commercial trade fair on Feb. 16 to March 31, and the closing program on March 31.

Expected to draw crowds is the “Dongba ni kabajo” on March 25 and 26 with the venue to be announced.

The Strawberry Festival will also feature the large strawberry siamese cake and the battle of the bands on March 18.

Other details of the activities will be announced at the press conference on Feb. 14 at the municipal park.

Salda said the minimum health public standards of using face masks will still be observed especially within enclosed spaces. – Ofelia C. Empian