Mashramani celebrations yesterday filled the streets with the gyrating bodies of revellers from all races, who made this year’s theme, ‘One People, One Culture, One Celebration,’ a reality.
The annual costume and float parade began under overcast skies at junction of the Camp and Church streets and saw highs and lows from the approximately two dozen bands that were registered to participate. Some bands took pride in the celebrations, with high energy performances and well-designed costumes, while revellers in others just walked, waved their flags a little, and drank water as they proceeded.
The skies were overcast at the start of the day but the scorching sun eventually appeared as revellers trekked through the streets towards the National Park. Most of the people on the road tapped their feet rhythmically to the vibrant music. When an energetic Soca song hit the dancers, both young and old and men and women shook their bodies with passion.
Revellers of the Region Four Regional Democratic Council band, outfitted in dark blue tops and silver trousers, were the epitome of vitality. The band had all body types trotting on the road. Sweat dripped from them but there was no indication of exhaustion.
The same could not be said for Minister of Housing Irfaan Ali, who seemed to be struggling as he tried his best to move his waist. He did not look like he could make the trip to the National Park.
Minister of Health Bheri Ramsaran, on the other hand, was full of life. The Ministry promoted health and vitality and almost all of its dancers were in shape. The dancers were well choreographed and a considerable amount of care went into the costuming. The band even gave out free condoms, which was much-appreciated by the crowd.
There was also the APNU-AFC band, which was propelled by their energetic revellers, although member Basil Williams had to be saved by the liveliness surrounding him. Dancing proved to be difficult for the stiff politician.
The Guyana Police Force also had one of the largest floats and its message was ‘Education Builds the Nation’.
The police force’s revellers comprised a lot of youngsters from places such as Agricola and Albouystown, where the police have started youth clubs, who appeared joyous in their dancing.
Another standout was the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs. The costuming of the band was unmatched by any other and the dancing was well synchronised.
Then there was Digicel, with the reigning Soca Monarch Jumo Primo and runner-up Kwasi ‘Ace’ Edmondson. At one point the popular Soca artists tried in vain to inspire the Digicel revellers to
move only for a vagrant, who was present, to outshine all with his dance moves.
Some bands disappointed, however, such as the Heart of Amazon, whose revellers were costumed in a dingy red cotton cloth that seemed to be void of any creativity.
After one such lull, the crowd rose to a thumping steelpan orchestra that belonged to the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport. The energy from the steelpan gave life to the leader of the float. However, he was blocking the revellers behind him and the brilliant costuming by Sean Thomas.