LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- Morning prayers gave way to the opening of the Strawberry Lane and Agro-Industrial Trade Fair in the valley’s market and municipal grounds.
The province capital, La Trinidad has kept the moniker for its fresh berries and stamped its recognition with a Guinness World record for the largest strawberry cake in the 2005 and is known to have a thriving vegetable and strawberry producing town.
This year’s theme, “A More colorful agro eco-tourism,” focuses on the thriving industries of the Valley.
At the market grounds stand 16 stalls representing the various villages of the Valley coming together to display their products and services.
An Art Lane has been revived at the municipal grounds featuring the Tam –Awan Village Artists’ works and sketching sessions.
La Trinidad mayor Edna Tabanda is also optimistic this time there will be more participants in the mini float parade as well as the street dancing exhibition.
Highlights of the annual celebration include the mini float Parade and Competition featuring the different barangays as well as, greenest, cleanest Establishments, schools and barangays.
Schedule for the month-long activity include Strawberry Glam Jam on March 6, March 8 is the International Women’s Day while from March 7 to 28 will be the Art and Photo Lane (with coloring, hand painting, and solar painting activities), March 11, Battle of the Bands, March 12, Strawberry Fun Run, Duting tan Dukto, Strawberry Fest Motocross, Concert at the Park, March 15, Job Fair.
March 16, Strawberry Baking and Pastries Competition, March 17, Dog Show, Search for the Biggest and Sweetest Strawberry Fruit, Flower Arrangement Contest, Mr. and Ms. La Trinidad Pre-Pageant, March 18, Civic Parade, Main Program, Kekkan, Multi-cultural celebrations and Owik tan Tayao, Sisterhood Signing with Guam, March 19, Procession in honor of St. Joseph, Street Dancing, Mini-Float Competition, and Drum and Lyre Competition, Barangay Night, Strawberry Punch.
March 20, La Trinidad Got Talent, Strawberry Speed Fest, March 22, 2nd Valley of Colors Circuit Tour, March 21 to 25, 1st La Trinidad SME Convention, March 26, Strawberry MMA, March 27, Dart Wars, March 28, Mass Wedding and Renewal of Vows, Coronation Night of Mr. and Ms. La Trinidad, March 29, Search for the Cleanest and Greenest barangays and schools, Culminating and Awarding Program.
The Strawberry fields in Betag, Poblacion, Puguis and Pico have provided the region with the product all year round.
In 2008, some 26,292.28 metric ton of strawberries was produced in the Valley while peak season for the luscious fruits come in November with a 2,039MT produced two years ago till March with 609.56 in the same period.
There are an estimated 1,908 strawberry farmers in the valley. (MEC)