-cite small number of floats, little creativity
Berbicians turned out in their numbers for the Mashramani float parade on Sunday but many were disappointed at what they termed a lack of creativity in the floats and low participation from the private and public sector.
Earlier in the day spectators had eagerly lined the streets. Barbeque grills had been set up; street picnics and roadside vending were in full swing and ‘boom boom’ boxes had been placed at strategic spots between Kent and Mission Chapel streets to entice the younger revellers. However, the comment most often heard along the main thoroughfare was that the parade was “flat.” In an attempt to spice things up an adult put three minors on a truck to ‘show their motion’ and were left dumbfounded at their display.
The parade which began almost three hours after its planned 12 pm start, moved from Tacama Turn commonly known as Marks Bridge on the northern end of the township to State House lawns in the opposite direction, just over a mile away.
The Region Five contingent led the parade with two floats depicting the ‘grow more’ food initiative, followed by a group of revellers from the Bricklayers, an NGO, in collaboration with the health ministry which distributed condoms along the route. A group from the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport soon followed, then representatives from the New Amsterdam Multilateral School. However, the parade quickly descended into a battle among the various music sets which police turned off at 8 pm. Revellers then joined the participants along the route as they made their way to State House for an after-party dubbed ‘a washdown’ which police closed off at 11 pm.
Residents had hoped that with the opening of the Berbice River Bridge more floats would have been evident. Meanwhile, corporate bodies and businesses in the town did not decorate their businesses for the celebrations. One entrepreneur said in the wake of the global financial crisis he decided not to spend money unnecessarily. He said too even if money was available Mash has lost its splendour and excitement and he would not invest in it.