Sinulog parades to take over Osmeña Boulevard
SINULOG festival organizers are expecting a bigger crowd of spectators, but fewer contingents in the street dancing competitions this year.
Osmeña Boulevard will be the main route of religious processions and parades that start on Thursday, Jan. 7 up to Sunday, Jan. 10. (See table.)
Ricky Ballesteros, Sinulog Foundation, Inc. executive director, said more spectators are expected to turn up for this weekend’s parades — Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Lalawigan and Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Dakbayan — as well as the Jan. 17 Sinulog Grand Parade this year.
Ballesteros said some of the estimated 15,000 delegates to the International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) are expected to arrive early in Cebu to witness the festival.
The congress is scheduled from January 24 to 31, or about a week after the Sinulog Grand Parade on January 17.
Many local government executives are busy preparing for the May elections and have less time and funds to prepare for a festival entry, said Ballesteros.
With the recent reshuffle of school principals by the the Department of Education (DepEd), many new appointees are pressed for time to prepare for the dance competition.
For these reasons, Ballesteros said only 30 contingents will likely join the street dancing competition this year. More than 40 contingents joined last year.
“But that’s okay, that is very manageable number . We’ll probably finish early, at around 7 p.m,” Ballesteros said.
Contingents from Masbate, Panglao in Bohol, Lanao del Norte, Tangub City in Misamis Occidental, Abuyog in Leyte and Catbalogan City in Samar have signed up.
This weekend, a parade and Sinulog dance contest of public school students in Cebu province will be held on Jan. 9 followed by city counterparts on Jan. 10.
The 1st prize winner will get P350,000 (an increase of P50,000 from last year) with other cash prizes starting from P100,000 for the top five placers.
The Sinulog festival will officially start on Friday with a 2:30 p.m. mass at the Basilica del Sto. Niño followed by a parade.
Suspended Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama will still declare the opening of Sinulog 2016 since he is chairman of the foundation that organizes the festival.
Dancers from local colleges and universities will participate in the parade along with candidates for Miss Cebu 2016 on board vintage cars.
After the program, fireworks will fired simultaneously at the sports center and Fuente Osmeña rotunda.
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