CEBU CITY - Sinulog Festival 2017 officially opened on Friday, January 6, with a launching parade from Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño to the City Sports Complex.

City officials, Sinulog Festival Queen contestants, and students from different schools in Metro Cebu participated in the parade.

Wearing their vibrant and elaborate costumes, students entertained hundreds of spectators with their street dancing prowess.

Among the schools that participated in the parade were University of Cebu, Cebu Technological University, Apas National School, Cebu Doctor's University, Abellana National School, Cebu Institute of Technology University, Mandaue City College, Cebu Normal University, University of the Visayas, Indiana Aerospace University, University of Southern Philippines Foundation, University of San Jose Recoletos, Salazar Colleges of Science and Institute of Technology, Mandaue City Science High School and University of San Carlos.

The parade started past 3 p.m. after a solemn mass at Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño. The procession then proceeded to Osmeña Boulevard en route to the Cebu City Sports Complex.

The Osmeña Boulevard was closed to traffic during the parade and was opened around 5:30 p.m.

Sinulog, considered as the country's grandest festival, is a cultural and religious celebration in honor of the Holy Child Jesus. (USJ-R interns Tovya Kaiko Galeon and Quincy Jones Adriano/SunStar Philippines)