Music pounded and jubilant revellers filled the streets of Georgetown and later poured into the National Park as part of the celebration of Guyana’s 42nd Republic Anniversary, which was hosted this year under the theme ‘Mashin’ with Pride, Keepin’ we Traditions Alive’.
Not only did the general public come out in large numbers, but both the public and private sectors played their part with a total of 33 floats participating in this year’s festivities.
The costumes and floats were of a high quality with a lot of gold, glitter and feathers being used. Digicel’s King of the Band float was a replica of the towering Kaieteur Falls showcasing the country’s rich eco-tourism. Banks DIH’s Queen float was a resplendent mermaid, straight out of Guyana’s folklore.
The Ministry of Education’s King costume was a particularly agile and active ‘bird in the hand’ under the theme ‘Oral Traditions’. The Jaguar One – Corentyne the New Frontier showcased an oil rig, as its Queen costume. Several other bands showcased Guyana’s fruits and other produce.
Streets everywhere leading to the National Park were splashed with bright, rich blends of colour worn by revellers and viewers alike, some of whom sang lustily to the customary soca music as they gyrated merrily behind the bands.
In addition lined off along Church and Irving streets—the route of the parade—were hundreds of families, who decided to comfortably sit themselves down and have a picnic while others were more fascinated by the action in the streets.
It would have been impossible to ignore the thunderous roaring of speakers on just about every truck. Men and women of every size, race, religion and age were jumping and dancing under the hot sun and light intermittent showers, the just about perfect weather which every Guyanese was hoping for.
The party continued late into the night after the floats would have made their way into National Park for judging, with persons, including a number of tourists, taking to the streets, especially on Vlissengen Road, to mingle.
There, the aroma of various foods—some such as barbecue meats and fried fish being cooked on site—invited persons to the stands.
At this time, many of the children had been taken home and adults enjoyed the remainder of the day in large groups with a variety of drinks and snacks.