The availability of the space cleared of vendors at the Stabroek Square led to it being selected as the new starting point for Thursday’s jubilee float and costume parade. Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Junior Education Minister Nicolette Henry said that the new route will be more child friendly for the 10 bands from the children’s parade that will participate.
She noted that in the initial part of the planning, the Stabroek Square was not available. “It is a bigger space. Certainly, we will like to take advantage of everything that is available as it becomes available, as that is the primary reason for the change,” Henry said.
The route from Stabroek Square to the D’Urban Park is shorter and the minister said that she has to think about the children who will be taking part in the parade.
Addressing concerns about traffic and the minibus parks stationed at the Stabroek Square, Henry said the Traffic Department would have a plan to divert traffic and to create temporary bus parks for the day. She said several roads along the route will be closed and this information will be provided shortly by her ministry.
The minister also spoke about vending along the new route and mentioned that a total of 70 persons have registered to vend and they have been allocated more than enough space.
Also speaking at the press conference was Coordinator of the Independence Activities, Lennox Canterbury, who said that the ministry has so far confirmed the participation of 27 agencies and 10 children’s bands in the parade. Some of the bands that are confirmed are the Guyana Police Force, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Social Protection, the Ministry of Public Health, Jumbo Jet Auto Sales, the Amazon Warriors, Blackett Promotion, Digicel as well as regions Three, Four, Five and Six.
Canterbury said the ministry also expects additional bands that may take the final tally to over 50.
Canterbury said the float parade, which will start at 10am, has two parts—the Children’s Showcase, which will start off the parade, and the 27 bands which will follow after. He said that the bands will be judged along the Stabroek route, when they traverse east into Brickdam and when they reach in the park as well. The parade will use the north west entrance to get into D’Urban Park.
Minister Henry pointed out at that the parade is expected to conclude at approximately 5.30pm.
Meanwhile, Canterbury also took the time to reveal some of the plans the ministry has come up with for the flag raising ceremony, which is scheduled for tonight. He said the flag raising, which will start at 8pm at the D’Urban Park, should accommodate roughly over 20,000 persons. Those in attendance are to be entertained by local music and videos of Guyana. Canterbury said the arrival of the special attendees and the arrival of the President and the Prime Minister should follow after the videos. He also said that after all the special invitees and dignitaries are seated, a major cultural presentation will start to pay homage to Guyana’s 50 years of nationhood. A military band performance will be staged by the Guyana Police Force and the Guyana Defence Force, Canterbury said, before adding that the Golden Arrowhead will then be hoisted, followed by the pledge and singing of a few national songs.
Henry also took the time to remind students who will be writing the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate examinations today to arrive at the designated schools on time and to avoid being caught in a hassle for transportation.