Guyana Carnival 2019 has kicked off to a positive start, with large turnouts to the various events leading up to the costume parade, which is to be held on Sunday.
The Carnival activities, which began on May 17, will conclude on May 27. So far, events like the Soca Block Party— which was the official event to start the carnival season— the Guyana Carnival Curry Fest, Liat Touchdown and the UG Fete, have seen large crowd turnouts, with artistes like Farmer Nappy, Shenseea and Machel Montano among the lineup for the events.
At a press conference yesterday, which was held to promote yesterday’s ‘Wet Wednesday’ event headlined by Trinidadian Soca Artiste, Machel Montano, one of the founders of Guyana Carnival, Kerwin Bollers, stated that he was grateful to have Montano as the artiste to headline the show. Bollers added that events so far have been successful and they hope to continue that streak with the shows to come.
When Stabroek News spoke with chairman of Guyana Carnival, Bobby Vieira, he stated that he was pleased with how the events have been going and stated that there are a number of things that they have improved on for this year’s celebrations.
Vieira stated that all events hosted have improved security measures compared to last year. The chairman said that at each event, there are three security check points and that the events are no longer ticketed but patrons are presented with bands which have a barcode system on them so it would be impossible for someone to have a wristband and pass it to someone else for them to gain access to the event.
Vieira added that the newly implemented barcode system also helps organisers to keep track of how many persons enter the event.
“When you purchase admission, you get a band which is barcoded and the barcode is scanned and once it is scanned it goes into the system, so you can’t swap it and bring it to reuse it. The barcode now helps us to monitor and control admission, who’s in there and who’s not in there. It also helps us to get an immediate count, at any given time we can get a count of how many people literally entered the event,” Vieira stated.
Another safety measure which has been implemented is not having patrons use bottles at the events. “We’re trying to have people not use bottles, so at every event we give each patron cups before they enter the event,” he related.
Vieira added that the number of persons who would’ve come into Guyana so far for the Carnival season would be approximately 10,000, and he would expect about half of that amount between now and Saturday when Jamaican Reggae artiste, Buju Banton is expected to perform.
Vieira also said that costume sales for the various bands have also been going well and he expects about 5,000 revelers on the road on Sunday. He then added that he would like to thank the Government of Guyana for their support of Guyana Carnival.
Guyana Carnival events are expected to continue through to May 27, with the ‘Masquerade Parade’ scheduled for Sunday, May 26.