La Trinidad Strawberry Festival canceled anew due to pandemic

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 19) — La Trinidad, Benguet Mayor Romeo Salda announced Tuesday that this year’s Strawberry Festival will be canceled anew due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Vice Mayor Roderick Awingan, the La Trinidad Strawberry Festival Executive Committee unanimously voted against the celebration. However, an indigenous ritual known as ‘Panudsuran,’ and a mass will be held with limited number of participants.

The festival was also canceled last year to follow the Department of Health's advisory against holding crowd-drawing activities amidst the pandemic.

The Strawberry Festival — which is usually set for March 9 to 31 — has been celebrated since 1981 to showcase the strawberry as the town's main product, and to strengthen ties between locals and visitors.

As of Monday, La Trinidad holds the highest COVID-19 active cases which is now at 142, followed by the towns of Mankayan, Itogon, and Tuba.

The provincial government added that there are 3,760 total confirmed COVID-19 cases in the province, and 468 active cases recorded as of January 18.

CNN Philippines correspondent Lauren Anuma contributed to this story.