By Leonardo V. Micua
DAGUPAN CITY, Sept. 27 (PNA)–To the credit of Dagupan City, the Street Party of the Dagupan Festival held every April, is still the biggest street party in the Philippines, attended by some one million people yearly.
This was reconfirmed by Department of Tourism (DOT) Regional Director Martin Valera as he urged other local government units to also put up their festivals to enhance commercial and tourism activities in their areas.
The DOT earlier hailed the bangus street party as the biggest street party in 2009 when Mayor Belen Fernandez was still vice mayor of Dagupan and its yearly executive chairperson.
It was adjudged as the biggest street party in the Philippines as soon as it was transferred to the new Jose R. de Venecia Expressway Extension by then Vice Mayor Belen Fernandez during the administration of then Mayor Alipio Fernandez Jr.
When Alipio Fernandez failed in his reelection bid in 2010 polls, the bangusan street party was returned by the new mayor, Benjamin Lim, to its usual venue, A.B. Fernandez Avenue from 2011 to 2013..
However when now Mayor Belen Fernandez succeeded as mayor of Dagupan in 2013, he brought back the street party to Jose R. de Venecia Expressway which is a wider venue and can accommodate more than one million people at one time.
Thus from 2014 to 2015, the Bangusan Street Party was being held at the Jose R. de Venecia Expressway to allow more party lovers to flock..
Director Valera urged LGUs to emulate the example set by Dagupan and create their own crowd- drawing activities and make their towns and cities known by the whole nation.
Other festivals of national significance in Pangasinan are the Pista’y Dayat in Pangasinan, the Bagoong Festival in Lingayen,.Talong Festival in Villasis, Corn Festival in Sto. Tomas. Puto Festival in Calasiao, Mango and Bamboo Festival in San Carlos City, Patopat Festival in Pozorrubio, Pakwan Festival in Bani, Hundred Islands Festival in Alaminos City and others.
Festivals such as the Bangus Festival can generate economic activity as well as promotional mileage for the local government unit and in these activities, it is not the LGUs that are spending by the private sector, said Valera.
Noting what the Bangus Festival did for Dagupan, Valera urged other LGUs to create their own festivals and benefit from these economically.
“The challenge is how to sustain these festivals. One time, these festivals are held just by spur of the moment–no continuity,” he lamented. (PNA)