The Mackenzie/Wismar Bridge and the Demerara River in Linden became quite a spectacle Saturday evening as the first of its kind Linden Boat Parade and Bridge Light-up attracted thousands of spectators from across Guyana.
The new initiative which is the brainchild of Linden Mayor Carwyn Holland, was planned and executed by the Linden Youth Leaders who collaborated with the Mayor’s Office and several stakeholders for staging the groundbreaking activity to kick start the Christmas Season.
According to the Mayor, the novel undertaking is an effort to reinvent the traditional Christmas tree light-up so Linden could have its own unique brand to launch the Christmas Season, using its significant landmark- the Demerara River which divides the town that is linked by a bridge.
Mayor Holland said that the idea came about as he clearly remembered walking across the bridge as a child to go to the Surapana Farm with his older siblings to purchase dairy products for his father. It was a great joy just to see the bridge, he said.
However he feels that in recent years the historic bridge has taken on a symbol of darkness and it will be unfair for the next generation to be raised with only such feelings attached to the bridge.
The result is that the thought of a bridge light-up was birthed. A Lindener based in the USA came up with the idea of a boat parade to go along with the light-up since the boats also play a significant role in bridging the two communities.
The Mayor further stated that the event will be an annual community affair, aimed at building social cohesion, promoting Linden’s tourism and hospitality and providing a positive medium to kick start the season for the local private sector.
Hundreds of viewers lined the river banks to witness the spectacle of well-lit boats on parade which culminated at the Wismar/Mackenzie Bridge where the grand light-up ceremony took place. The event was a charitable one with hundreds of children receiving their Christmas gifts and snacks while the champion athletes and several senior citizens were honoured.
The 2017 national schools champion athletes led by record breaker Daniel Williams, Chantoba Bright and Dashana Skeete and several senior citizens accompanied the Mayor and his family across the bridge while hundreds followed to switch the lights on.
Among the speakers at the event was former Regional Chairman, Steve Bovell; Acting Regional Executive Officer Maylene Stephens; Head of Linmine Secretariat, Emmet Alves; Linden Youth Leaders, Regional Executive Member of the PNCR Region Ten, Winston Caesar; and the Mayor.
Among the dignitaries were Bishop of Guyana, Rev Charles Davidson, and several diplomats and government officials. The event was sponsored by the Ministry of Communities, The Guyana Youth and Student Movement, and Capital Install under the Theme, “Let’s Celebrate a Clean; Green Christmas”.
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