Panagbenga 2016 preparations

BAGUIO CITY – The 21st version of the Baguio Flower Festival opens on February 1 with the school childrens’ drum and lyre parade from Panagbenga Park at Upper Session road, through the major thoroughfares and performance at the Melvin Jones Football grounds, Burnham Park.

A concert follows in the evening, at the SM Atrium.

Everybody is invited to all performances, Mayor Mauricio Domogan said, during the regular media Ugnayan last Wednesday. He added however that during the Feb. 1 opening, grand streetdancing and floral float parades on Feb. 27 and 28, respectively; candidates for the May elections should not take advantage of the occasion.

The grand street dancing parade starts at the Panagbenga Park, pass through Session road, Magsaysay Avenue, and Harrison road to the Athletic Bowl where performances will be shown. The float parade starts in front of the Regional Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) office, pass through Session road, Harrison road up to the Athletic Bowl.

“We do not allow any form of campaigning,” including breaking the lines to shake hands with spectators, or distribution of campaign materials, the mayor further said.

Campaign period for national positions start Feb. 9, it was known.

Innovations for this year’s flower festival include the noticeable lessening of stalls in the Session Road in Bloom, the mayor said. In a Baguio Flower Festival Foundation, Inc. (BFFFI) committee meeting where plans are finalized, more space is allotted for landscapes, the mayor intimated. Last year’s 300 stalls may now only be 100 or more, he added.

The city’s counterpart to the festival is P4M; specifically for prizes in various competitions, Mayor Domogan further said.

Traffic plans for the month-long celebration are now laid out, where alternate and one-way roads, and parking areas are designated; and notices in strategic places for tourists’ early information. Among the most-visited places are Wright Park, Camp John Hay, Mines View, The Mansion, Philippine Military Academy, thus roads leading to said areas are expected to burgeon with tourist-filled vehicles.

Other Panagbenga activities are: February 1 to March 6, Baguio Blooms exhibition and exposition, Lake Drive, Burnham Park; Feb. 8, Chinese Spring Festival; Feb. 14, Handog ng Panagbenga Sa Pamilya Baguio at the Melvin Jones Grandstand and Football grounds: Let A Tthousand Flowers Bloom, Kite-Flying Challenge, Panagbenga Variety Show, Fireworks Display;

February 19 to 21, PMA Grand Alumni Homecoming; February 19, Floral arrangement competition judging; February 15 to 17, School-based landscaping competition; February 27 to 28, Sponsor’s and exhibitor’s Day at the Athletic Bowl; Feb. 29 to March 6, Session Road In Bloom; March 5, Pony Boys’ Day, Wright Park; March 6, Closing Ceremonies and Grand Fireworks display at the Athletic Bowl and other areas in the Central Business District.

Activities yet to be scheduled is the Barangay-based Clean and Green Landscaping competition judging.

The theme for this year’s celebration is “Bless the Children with Flowers.”/Julie G. Fianza


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