The large crowds that are usually synonymous with Mashramani celebration were
absent this year as many stayed away from the Mash route.
As the day’s activity commenced the streets were void of the usual frantic crowds as it was clear that the Mash fever was not contagious. The floats started their journey at the Bank of Guyana along Republic Avenue and that stretch of road from the starting point to the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts had a handful of spectators.
Many surmised that it was a combination of the heavy rain that fell the previous night leaving some sections of the route under water. Then there was the fact that many Guyanese did not take to the new route.
The vendors who usually line the parapets along the route to ply their trade were not many since large pools of water had taken their places. It was summed up aptly by one onlooker who said “I was trying to get into the Mash groove but for some reason it was not happening this year.
“Mash this year soft, buddy. You in see people hardly out here”.
Normally its takes a while to traverse the length of the route but this year it was a casual walk.
The day’s activity was likened to a lime. Those that stood at the sides of the road to get a glimpse of the float parade did just that. The revelry and participation from the viewing crowd was missing this year.
The fact that the bands did not flow fluidly meant that the waiting crowd had to find other means to keep themselves entertained and this served as a distraction. However as usual the music systems that dotted the landscape provided the necessary music as the alcoholic beverages flowed.
As the hours passed things did pick up. The Ministry of Education with the largest band brought much needed energy to the celebrations. The revelers had energy and they gyrated. It was clear that they were having a great time.
Their costumes had a penchant for the colour green as it was clear that they had embraced the message of the green state.
Junior Minister of Natural Resources, Simona Broomes, led her Ministry with much energy and gyration. Dressed in a figure hugging outfit she was engaging and fun and the revelers behind her were clearly feeding off of her energy.
Many spectators were happy to see her. “Look how Simona going on; she having a good time. I love that as a minister she enjoying sheself”.
The lack of space prevailed at the junction of Brickdam and Vlissengen Road where the majority of the crowd congregated. As a result the floats had to jostle with the spectators to get into Durban Park.
Despite initial rainfall, spectators occupied Durban Park in their thousands as revelers poured into the Pavilion at around noon yesterday. At the beginning of the programme a handful of people was scattered across the stands.
However as the afternoon went by, the size of the audience in D”Urban Park significantly increased.
Beyond the barricades, lay trampolines, kids’ rides, bar-b- que grills and stands which facilitated various types of vending. Law enforcement officers had the task of ensuring that the crowd remained behind the barricades.
The ‘Jubilee Park’ Homestretch Avenue, Georgetown was built to accommodate a crowd twice the size of the National Park. As such, the wide open pavilion provided a picturesque view for both the spectators and revelers. .
As the procession entered the pavilion, occupants of the stands cheered loudly in support of their favourite band or costume parade. As is customary, the onlookers were treated to a programme which featured not only colourful costumes but dancing, drumming, and masquerade.
The grand float parade consisted of some 32 bands; each piece depicting some social commentary or symbol of national importance or history symbols.
The pieces were adjudged by a panel of judges, as they danced and entertained the crowd at Durban Park. The revelers “mashed up the place” decked in their colourful costumes and gave their best presentations with their well-designed floats. Results for the winners of this competition will be released subsequently.
Mashramani this year was celebrated under the theme “Celebrating with unity Dignity and Greater Unity.
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