All set for Pampanga’s Giant Lantern Festival on Dec. 16

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga — It’s all systems go for the Giant Lantern Festival 2017 in this city, dubbed as the country’s “Christmas capital”, on December 16.

Some 50,000 local and foreign tourists are expected to witness the festival to be held at the Robinsons Starmills here.

Mayor Edwin Santiago, during a press conference on Monday, said they will enforce tighter security measures to ensure peace and order and public safety during the entire event.

“We will have an incident command system in the venue to strictly monitor the situation especially that more tourists are expected to come and watch the festival this year,” Santiago said.

For this year, 10 barangays will compete for the prestigious best giant lantern title — Sta. Lucia, Telebastagan, Sindalan, San Juan, Dolores, San Nicolas, Calulut, San Jose, Del Pilar and first timer Del Rosario.

The city mayor said that aside from holding the annual festival, the local government is also developing strategies to promote the lanterns and also the light industry not only during Christmas season but also all year round.

Giant Lantern Festival executive committee chair Gil Cortez, for his part, said he is grateful to be part of the most awaited event of the year that unites the Fernandinos and introduces the city’s culture to the world.

“I would like to thank the LGU for giving me the opportunity to lead something that livens up the community. I am also inviting everyone to support this year’s Giant Lantern Festival and all other related activities,” he added.

The committee also reiterated that admission for the event is free. Froilan Magtoto/