CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- This city’s celebration of its 9th Cityhood Charter anniversary, dubbed “Kaganapan 2010,” formally kicked off Saturday with a cycling caravan.

Some 500 cycling enthusiasts and bikers from the city and nearby towns participated in the event.

This year’s half-month long celebration of cityhood, themed “Ika-9 na Kaganapan: Tungo sa Kanlungan ng Kadakilaan,” is set to formally open on Monday with a citywide clean up day.

Click here for stories and updates on the Sinulog 2010 Festival.

The cityhood observance also features a host of activities, including Muslim and Farmers’ days, inter-secondary schools cheerdance competition, medical and dental missions, arts day, legal consultations, serenata and lantern exhibition, job fairs, a mass wedding, the Outstanding Fernandino awards and many other highlights designed to perk up the annual celebration of this world class city’s charter.

On hand during the kick-off activity was Mayor Oscar Rodriguez, Vice Mayor Edwin Santiago, Councilors Alex Patio, Jimmy Lazatin, Ato Agustin, City administrator Ferdinand Caylao and city councilor aspirants lawyer Elmer Teodoro and Engineer Marni Castro, together with Capitol’s sports coordinator and board member wannabe Gil Cortez and this year’s “Kaganapan 2010” chairman Loy David of the Multi-Sectoral Governance Council.

Rodriguez, in his remarks, said the city’s celebration of its 9th charter anniversary, like major events observed by the City Government, traditionally kicks off with a cycling caravan that makes the rounds of the city’s barangays.

“This is not only good for our health and staying physically fit but also a very good way of bringing the good news to Fernandinos all over,” he said.

Rodriguez added that the City Government would pursue its plans of establishing bicycle lanes along MacArthur Highway and Lazatin Boulevard to ensure the safety of bikers and promote cycling as an alternative means of transportation that is healthy, economical and environment-friendly.

This year’s cycling caravan plowed a 65-kilometer route that passed through 29 barangays to announce “Kaganapan 2010.”

Cycling groups that joined the caravan include the Cabalen Cycling Club, Bulaon-Calulut Riders, Bikers Alliance of Pampanga, Manibaug (Porac) Bikers Club, Pampanga High School Batch ’84, City Hall Bikers led by City Administrator Ferdinand Caylao, Juliana Bikers Extreme, Mexico Bikers Association, Black Hawk San Fernando and the Dela Paz Norte SC Cycling Association.

The caravan started at City Hall and culminated at Heroes Hall, where the cyclists were awarded certificates of participation and treated to brunch by the City Government.