Ministries, companies putting finishing touches on costumes, floats for jubilee parade

Headdresses that have been created for the Ministry of Education’s jubilee float parade band

Government ministries and private organisations are racing to finish their costumes and floats for the highly anticipated jubilee float parade, which is slated for Thursday.

The annual Mashramani costume and float parade was delayed to commemorate Guyana’s 50th independence.

The parade, which is anticipated by the Department of Culture Youth and Sport to be one of the biggest events on the calendar is taking form as several government ministries as well as private organisations are working around the clock to ensure that their bands and floats are ready for the road.

In an interview, Desiree Wyles-Ogle, of the Ministry of Education’s Allied Arts Department, said that the Ministry of Education will be on the road under the theme “Celebration of the Spectra of Educational Achievement.”

She said that the band will be depicting various institutions of education as well as icons who have pioneered their development.

Apart from this, Wyles-Ogle said that some of the secondary schools that have participated in the children’s Mashramani costume and float parade will be participating, which will double the ministry’s numbers. She said that those schools will reuse their costumes but some funds were distributed to them to help with the preparations.

Wyles-Ogle said that the ministry has budgeted around $3 million for the materials for its band. The ER Burrowes School of Art has contributed tremendously by creating parts of the 100 costumes for the revelers.

When Stabroek News visited the art school, the supervisor of the creation of the costumes along with her students displayed the colourful and feathery creations. According to the students, the headdresses and knee and shoulder pads only took them two weeks to complete, while the body suits were still being sewn.

Wyles-Ogle mentioned that the float is being designed by designer Neilson Nurse.

The Ministry of Communities will be represented in the parade by a medium band comprising 97 revelers. The ministry’s coordinator parade coordinator is James Dunlock, who said that the band would be depicting where the ministry has come from and where it is going in terms of creating communities that are sustainable. Its theme is “Sustainability, Cohesion and Empowerment.”

The costumes and the float, which are designed by Jermain Broomes and his team, are expected to showcase communities that have been developed with all the amenities, including access to water, electricity, road, and schools.

The Ministry of Public Infrastructure will have 100 revellers in its medium-sized band under the theme “Empathy.” The band was officially launched on Friday.

Nurse has also designed this ministry’s costumes and floats and according to a press release, he hinted that the “King of the Band”, which will be revealed on Independence Day, will showcase the services provided by MPI.

Digicel, which launched its jubilee band last Wednesday, would be among the largest bands on the road with some 500 revelers, who would be celebrating under the theme “Phantom of the Arts—From Whence We Came.” Their costumes were designed by designer Olympia Small-Sonaram, who has been the company’s designer for several years. The band will be depicting masquerade and the golden jubilee, among other things.

Banks DIH along with GTT have decided not to participate in the float parade. GTT Public Relations Officer Nadia De Abreu told Stabroek News that although they will not have their usual floats, they plan to set up a VIP stage and bar in front of their mobile store, formerly known as the BlackBerry Store on Brickdam. She said persons can be at the Brickdam location and watch the revelers as they pass by.

The float parade is to move off from Camp and Church streets at 10 am and then proceed west along Church Street into Avenue of the Republic and then south until Brickdam and then east into the newly-built D’Urban Park.

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