May 27, 2016 News
As early as 09:30 hours, spectators began to take their positions along the parade route which ran from Stabroek Market Square, along Brickdam, to D’Urban Park.
The young, the old and even persons in wheelchairs and with crutches came from all parts of the country to be part of the celebrations.
There were some 39 floats, including some from the Administrative Regions. There were also floats from the various Government Ministries and private entities. These thrilled the spectators with dazzling displays of colour and design. Most of them paid homage to the country on its 50th anniversary of independence.
The brilliantly decorated floats, displayed the amazing talent and creativity of local designers, adding to the pulsating carnival-like atmosphere.
Many of the revelers that accompanied the floats were decked out in elaborate costumes, some of which were extremely revealing, definitely giving those lining the streets something to look at, and in some cases comment upon.
A contingent from the Ministry of Social Protection highlighted the country’s presidents. It also displayed a feature on the Treaty of Chaguaramus, which established the Caribbean Community and Common Market, later known as CARICOM. It was signed by the Heads of State of Guyana, Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad on July 4, 1973.
The participants in this band paraded the streets dressed in colours from the flags of these four countries.
The Guyana Amazon Warriors band was one of the first to take the streets. They were accompanied by a booming version of the Amazon Warriors theme song, as onlookers joined in and gyrated down the streets.
The costumes on display by the Ministry of Public Health were very unique. Under the theme ‘Good Health for all Guyanese’, members of this band were clad in garb representative of the medical field. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Digicel were among the largest groups.
Earlier in the day, persons were asking “weh Digicel deh, that band gon be bad!” The Digicel entourage took to the streets around 15:00hrs.
The celebrative atmosphere thrilled not only locals, many overseas Guyanese indicated that the feeling created was nothing short of overwhelming. Many of them came out donned in the colours of the Golden Arrowhead. Some of them exclaimed that this opportunity would only come once in a lifetime and that they had to be home to celebrate this milestone with their relatives and friends. The ‘foreigners’ expressed varying levels of satisfaction, pointing out that their trip back home was fulfilling.
Patriotism was in abundance. Party goers were given the full repertoire of local music which sent persons tramping down the road. Many had the colours of the Guyana flag painted on their faces. They were others who flaunted hairstyles with the colours of the flag.
Onlookers and band members sang lustily to Adrian Dutchin’s “I am a Guyanese”. And it seemed as though Christopher Martin’s “Not a Blade of Grass” was set on repeat. This song was played by almost every band. Patrons danced energetically and proudly waved their flags.
Some even held the hand of the person standing next to them. However, it appeared as though spectators enjoyed the rollicking reggae, calypso and soca by popular Caribbean artistes like Destra, Kes the Band and Konshens.
Food vendors flooded Brickdam, providing revelers with more than an adequate supply of food and drinks. There were those who opined that these vendors could not provide them with “quality eateries” and opted to walk with their picnic baskets of home cooked meals.
Also on sale were hats and T-shirts with the jubilee logo. These were bought by many for souvenir purposes.
Yesterday’s celebration was deemed a success by many. However, it appeared as though there was some confusion with the assembly point since some of the bands assembled on the parapet adjacent to St. Andrews Kirk on Brickdam.
The police presence at the Float Parade was substantial, with the officers ensuring that some degree of safety and order was maintained.
As the day’s activities came closer to an end, persons walked hurriedly down to D’Urban Park to reserve their seats and to get a final glimpse of the costume bands, particularly the larger ones, that moved along as the evening approached. For many, it was a tough task to get into the packed venue. But it was worth the try. After all, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
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