19 events lined up for 25th Panagbenga festival

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Some nineteen traditional events are lined up by the Baguio Flower Festival Foundation, Inc. (BFFFI) for the 25th edition of Panagbenga, popularly known as the Baguio Flower Festival, that will run from February 1 to March 8, 2020.

Organizers said the upcoming staging of the Panagbenga will be a purely private sector-led undertaking with the theme “’ Panagbenga 2020: Blooming Through the Years,’ which showcases the gains of the flower festival and its projected gains as the city’s major crowd-drawing activity.

The festivities for this edition of the Panagbenga will kick off on February 1, 2020 with the Grand Opening Day Parade featuring the 16 streetdancing contingents from the elementary and secondary divisions from the DILG-CAR rotonda along Upper Session Road up to the Baguio Athletic Bowl where the elimination round of the streetdancing competition will determine the finalists of the streedancing competition followed by the opening of the Baguio Blooms Exposition and landscaping at the Baguio Convention Center parking grounds which will be capped by the initial fireworks display.

The judging of the school-based landscaping competition is on February 12-15, 2020 followed by the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) alumni homecoming on February 14-16, 2020.

On February 16, 2020, activities for the day include the Handog ng Panagbenga sa Pamilya Baguio, also referred to as the Family Fair, simultaneous with several events such as the Let A Thousand Flowers Bloom, Panagbenga Open Kite Flying Competition, the second edition of the Panagbenga Cultural Show,  with another fireworks display to end the day.

Dance enthusiasts will have the chance to showcase their talents at the Panagbenga Cultural Dance Competition on February 22, 2020 simultaneous with the annual Flower Tee Golf Tournament.

The much-awaited Panagbenga grand streetdance competition and parade will be on February 29, 2020 followed by the Grand float Competition on March 1, 2020.

Panagbenga sponsors will be featured during the scheduled Sponsors Day on February 29 to March 1, 2020.

Session Road, the city’s main thoroughfare, will be closed to vehicular traffic for a week to convert it  into a promenade with sidewalk cafes among other flower-inspired products on March 2-8, 2020.

The traditional Pony Boys Day at the Wright Park area will be on March 7, 2020 followed by the traditional closing ceremonies and grand fireworks display on March 8, 2020.

The annual flower festival was founded in 1995 to help draw in visitors to the city.

Panagbenga is a Kankanaey term for the blossoming of flowers and an apt name for the festival as it is held at the time of the year when many flowers, both cultivated and wild, and even fruit trees, bloom and where the supply of flowers is abundant.

By Dexter A. See
Illustration by Don Ray Ramos