Issue of March 4, 2018
Mt. Province

Panagbenga Flower Festival
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Culture, wine, food, music & more at Strawberry Fest ‘18
by Ofelia C. Empian

STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL -- The capital town of La Trinidad, Benguet led by Mayor Romeo Salda and Vice Mayor Joey Marrero officially launched this year’s Strawberry Festival, as it invites the public to be part of the series of activities lined up during the month-long celebration, which promotes strawberry products and by-products. -- Ofelia Empian

Fresh strawberries will not only be the centerpiece during the 2018 staging of the La Trinidad Strawberry Festival but also its various by-products.

Strawberry products will be on display at the “strawberry lane” and agro fair opening on March 9 at 10 a.m. while the discovery of the biggest and sweetest strawberries is set on March 13 at the municipal park.

With the theme “La Trinidad strawberries forever,” the festival kicks off on March 9 with an ecumenical service and opening program at 9 a.m. at the municipal gymnasium.

Mayor Romeo Salda said the town is ready to welcome a projected 20,000 visitors during the month-long celebration.

The main program will be on March 16 followed by kekkan, owik tan tayao and the multi-cultu-ral celebration at the gymnasium.

The most awaited street dance, drum and lyre, and float parade where the 16 barangays will flaunt their well-designed floats will be on March 17.

Salda said the floats would be non-motorized, to sustain last year’s innovative approach in float parades.

No ‘biggest strawberry shortcake’ will be baked for this year’s celebration but there will be entrepreneurs who will put on display their version of the strawberry shortcake in the various stalls.

Products to look forward to in the strawberry lane are cakes and pastries, wines, shake, as well as non-food items such as soap, body wash and scrub, and other cosmetic products made out of strawberries.

Salda said the town’s strawberries are enough to supply the festival. The town has 79.49 hectares of plantation yielding almost 1,775 metric tons or an average of 22.5 tons per hectare or about 1.7 million kilograms annually.

Municipal Agriculturist Felicitas Ticbaen said the local government is encouraging the farmers and entrepreneurs in the town to delve into various products using strawberries.

She said one of the events, the strawberry wine fair on March 20, will feature the best strawberry wine makers in the municipality.

The wine fair will have a minimal entrance fee with drink- all-you can strawberry wines.

Music lovers will also be treated to a public concert on March 10 at 5 p.m. and March 18 at 5 p.m. at the public market grounds and a battle of the bands on March 9 at 5 p.m. at the municipal park.

The art and mural competition is set on March 14 and 15 at the strawberry farm walls, La Trinidad Got Talent on March 17 at the gym, Mr. and Ms. La Trinidad search on March 21, and balikbayan day and barangay night on March 23 at the gym.

The dongba ni kabajo will be on March 24 and 25 at the Benguet Sports Center, and Mr. La Trinidad body building competition on March 24 at the gym.

The closing and awards program will be on March 27 at the gymnasium.

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