BACOLOD CITY: Organizers of the 2022 Masskara Festival have announced that “everything is set for the launch of the MassKara Festival.” Pinky Mirano-Ocampo, this year’s festival director, said festivities will begin with the MassKara Kick-off Salubong at the Bacolod City Government Center with singer Rico Blanco taking centerstage on Friday, September 30. A fireworks display at midnight will cap the program. Bacolod Mayor Albee Benitez and the city councilors are expected to join the countdown. Mirano-Ocampo said they have coordinated with the Bacolod City Police Office, the Negros Occidental Provincial Police Office and the military, along with other local enforcers, to ensure the safety and security of all revelers. Mirano-Ocampo reminded the public to be careful to avoid another spread of Covid-19. This year’s edition of the world-renowned “festival of many faces” is poised to be the grandest in the “City of Smiles” as it returns two years after the onset of the pandemic. The Masskara Festival 2022 is themed “Balik Yuhum,” which translates to smile again or bring back the smile, a reference to Bacolod’s tagline as the City of Smiles. Ahead of the official opening on October 1, the Bacolod Yuhum Foundation Inc., headed by Mirano-Ocampo, forged agreements on Tuesday with San Miguel Brewery Inc., SM Prime Holdings Inc., Megaworld Corp. and AB Leisure Exponent Inc.’s Bingo Plus, the major sponsors of the three-week festival, which will run until October 23 and expected to draw at least 200,000 revelers.