Bangus Festival, first celebrated in 2002, was the brainchild of former mayor Benjamin S. Lim, who wished to emphasize the local bangus industry and promote Dagupan as the bangus capital of the world. Initially a part of the thanksgiving festival Pista'y Dayat, Bangus Festival developed into a two-week socio-economic program of activities that highlights the city's top produce.
The festival commences with the lighting of 1,000 barbecue grills lined up to cook thousands of bangus, which stretches up to two kilometers. This also serves as a competition for hundreds of cooks, whose dishes are judged not only by the grilling but also their taste and the creativity with which they are served. The contest was eventually called “'101 Ways to Cook Bangus” and won for the city a recognition in the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest barbecue in 2003.
Aside from the grilling challenge, the festivity showcases a bangus eating contest, a search for the biggest and heaviest bangus, the Gilon-Gilon dancing festival, the Pigar-Pigar festival, the Halo-Halo festival, and the Bangusan street party, where several local and Manila-based bands perform along Jose R. De Venecia Expressway Extension.
In 2010, a new activity called “Yaman ng Norte Diad Bangus Festival” was introduced to the festival. It aims to provide an avenue for towns and cities in North Luzon to promote their products, delicacies, culture, and events. Each participating town or city has a trade booth where visitors can avail of their products.
- About Bangus Festival, dagupanbangusfestival.com (accessed 15 March 2010)
- Bangus festival, travel.mapsofworld.com (accessed 15 March 2010)
- Dagupan Bangus Festival is on despite election, sundaypunch.prepys.com (accessed 15 March 2010)
- Bangus Fetsival 2010 to feature 'Treasures of North', City of Dagupan Official Website (accessed 15 March 2010)