Dressed in their finest dresses a group of young girls waits on the steps of City Hall in Red Deer prior to a Santacruzan parade in 2017 (File photo)

Santacruzan, a colourful parade of ‘queens,’ will go through Red Deer Sunday

Filipino events to take place Saturday and Sunday in Red Deer

It’s a big-celebratory-type-of-weekend for the Red Deer Filipino community.

Philippines Independence Day is celebrated on Saturday, followed by the third annual Santacruzan celebration on Sunday.

During the month of May, Filipinos around the world celebrate the saints and the flowers of their country.

But due to the unpredictable Alberta weather, the Global Filipino Canadian Cultural Society scheduled the celebration in June, said Mildred Manuel, society member.

Everyone is invited to watch the colourful Santacruzan parade where girls will wear splendid, colourful outfits and walk along in a procession with flowers.

The procession will include 30 Central Alberta “queens” followed by a potluck.

Manuel said the festivities commemorates the search of the crucifix by Queen Reyna Elena and her son Constantine the Great.

“Because of that, we offer flowers to the Virgin Mary.”

Santacruzan is celebrated in all towns and cities in all parts of Philippines.

Some traditional Filipino games such as “pukpok palayok” – breaking a clay pot consisting of candy and coins – will entertain children after the parade.

Santacruzan at Bower Ponds runs from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m.

On Saturday, residents are invited to take in Pinoy Connect: Independence Day at Red Deer Public Library at the G.H. Dawe branch where attendees will learn about the country’s history in a short video presentation.

Philippines fought for independence from 300 years of Spanish rule and got it in 1898.

Pinoy Connect stands for connect with Filipino. The event runs from 3 to 5 p.m.

Those who attend are invited to try “merienda,” a Filipino snack, and see people in traditional Filipino outfits from various parts of the country. The actual Independence Day is June 12 but the socieity wanted to host the event on a weekend, said Manuel.


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