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Alcohol, street party banned along Sinulog parade route.

If you are raring to get drunk and wasted during the Sinulog Grand Parade, better think again.

Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmena has prohibited any street party and drinking along the 6-kilometer parade route to prevent a repeat of the stampede on General Maxilom Avenue in last year's parade.

Several revelers were hurt in the stampede while photos of drunk young men and women slumped on the streets were trending on Facebook.

Senior Supt. Joel Doria, Cebu City police director, said revelers should take the warning seriously.

'If you cause disorder during or after the parade, then we will get you,' Doria said.

He said that at least six mobile jails will be stationed in areas along the parade route.

'We will be lenient. But if your actions are too much, to the point of hurting other people, then you will receive the consequences of your actions,' he added.

Organizers said drinking of liquor and other alcoholic beverages will be prohibited along the route of the Sinulog Grand Parade on Sunday, the culmination of the 10-day festivities in celebration of the feast of the Holy Child Jesus.

But several changes will be imposed during this year's celebration.

Revelers would no longer get to see the 10-minute fireworks display that would normally close the annual festivity.

The parade route would also be shorter by at least a kilometer, said Ricky Ballesteros, executive director of the Sinulog Foundation Inc.

Spectators, Ballesteros said, would still get to see the performances of winning groups, like the 'Land of Beauty and Bounty' contingent from Lanao del Norte province, which won in the free interpretation (FI) category last year.

Tribu Katbalaugan, which was second in last year's FI, had registered for the parade together with the crowd favorite, Tangub City Sinanduloy Cultural Troupe, that placed third in last year's Sinulog-based category.

The nine-day novena for this year's Fiesta Senor celebration kicked off with the annual 'Walk with Jesus' procession, joined by 40,000 devotees, last week.

Ballesteros said he expected fewer participants this year.

'Naturally (fewer contingents register) after the elections. New mayors have their own priorities, budget. (We expect that) next year most of them will (again) join (the Sinulog). They will not join unless they are prepared,' said Ballesteros.

The final presentation of participants will be held at the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC) grandstand.

Ballesteros said the grand parade will start at 9 a.m. at the Imus Road assembly area while the opening Mass will be held at the CCSC grand stand.

Dancers will perform along General Maxilom Avenue, Fuente Osmena area and Osmena Boulevard before making their way to the CCSC grand stand stage for judging.

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Jan 12, 2017
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