In an effort to increase public awareness of Vigan as a unique historic city to be conserved and protected, the Save Vigan Ancestral Homes Association, Inc. (SVAHAI), a local non-government organization involved in the conservation of Vigan Heritage, initiated the 1st Viva Vigan Festival of the Arts in May 1993. With the help of members of print and broadcast media, as well as Manila-based proponents of conservation, the first festival was a success.
Encouraging public response has made festival a yearly activity. It has also proven to be a stimulus for the local tourism industry. Over the past years, the Viva Vigan Festival has become one of the biggest cultural events in the North, attracting domestic and foreign visitors who come to Vigan on a pilgrimage to our heritage.
Viva Vigan is held every 1st week of May. It features a calesa parade, binatbatan street dancing, ramada games, religious rituals, santacruzan, bankathon, exhibits, trade/food fairs, abel-iloco fashion show and other exciting events.