WITH the theme "La Trinidad's Strawberries Forever", the community-centered celebration of the 37th Strawberry Festival officially opened at the municipal grounds.
Mayor Romeo Salda on March 9 lauded the farmers for the abundant harvest of strawberry amid construction boom in the area.
Governor Crescencio Pacalso urged the municipality to take the challenge and preserve the identity of the strawberries in the fields of La Trinidad.
"It can be forever if we take care of it. Challenge kenya tayo ditoy (This is a challenge to us). Let us not allow the others to beat us. Masapol datayo ti nagrugi, dapat datayu ti marecognize ladta best strawberry in the country (We should maintain our standard as the best strawberry producer in the country)," said Pacalso.
Highlights of the festival will be on March 16 and 17, with a street dancing parade and float competition. The floats will be participated by all the 16 barangays with non-motorized floats.
Barangays can join in the two categories, "Valley of Color Floats" or those that make use of flowers and indigenous materials or the "Pro-environment Floats" which uses 90 percent recycled materials.
Lined- up events include the opening of the strawberry trade fair and battle of the bands on March 9 followed by Duting Tan Dukto and Fun run, Job Fair.
A public concert on March 10, Run for Amity and Indigenous Games will be held on March 11.
A flower arrangement competition and the search for biggest and sweetest strawberries will be held March 13 while an art and mural competition open to all high school, college students and out of shool youth and mass wedding is slated on March 14.
The Mr. and Ms. La Trinidad pre-pageant night will be on the 15th followed by a civic parade, Kekkan, Owik Tan Tayao and multi-cultural celebration on March 16.
Street Dance, Drum and Lyre, Float Parade Competition, Dog show, La Trinidad Got Talent on March 17.
Another public concert will be on March 18 at the Public Market Grounds, strawberry wine fair and the Mr. and Ms. La Trinidad pageant on March 21, balikbayan and barangay night on March 23, Dongba ni Kabajo, Mr. La Trinidad Body Building Competition on March 24 and the closing program with music jam and community bonfire on March 27.
The strawberry farm covers 79.49 hectares, with an average annual harvest of 1,775 metric tons or about 1.7 million kilograms harvested by 660 strawberry farmers.
The La Trinidad Municipal Police Station have deployed at least 337 personnel, police intern, women's brigade, kabalikat and BFP ambulance to keep the peace and order throughout the week long festivity.