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Aside from the fireworks display, thousands of Cebuanos flocked to the “Cebu Summer Festival” in the South Road Properties (SRP) to partake of a free meal of barbecue and rice as well as free entertainment sponsored by the city government. Security in the area was tightened after big crowds excitedly lined up for the P25 meal of grilled pork and puso or hanging rice. Food stubs were earlier distributed to urban poor groups.

Buses, dump trucks and private vehicles parked on both sides clogged the three-kilometer stretch of the South Coastal Road from the Sugbu building. The event was held at the beachfront near the 10-hectare property purchased by Filinvest Land Inc., the first company to invest in the SRP.

The vacant lot in Pond F that was the designated parking area was already full before sunset. The week-long “Cebu Summer Festival” that kicked off the SRP launching began last May 1. It featured nightly entertainment activities, a trade fair, rides and sports activities. A barbecue cookout and a showcase of mixed martial arts exhsibition opened the final day of the celebration early in the evening.

At 7 p.m, 128,000 pyrotechnics were lighted up by a Cebu-based private firm named Pyroworks in an attempt to set a Guinness world record for the most fireworks lighted in 30 seconds. Cebu City policemen, the military and ronda tanods were on hand to secure the area while an Emergency Rescue Unit Foundation (ERUF) team was on standby for medical emergencies.

Banacia said the city government plans to make the weeklong celebration a yearly event. He said it will be Cebu’s second biggest celebration after the annual Sinulog every January.