Mashramani 2024 Costume & Float Parade dazzles Georgetown

The pulsating rhythms of local and regional soca music filled the air as Mashramani 2024 unfolded in a kaleidoscope of colours, sounds, and cultures.
This year’s celebration of Guyana’s 54th Republic Anniversary was nothing short of spectacular, drawing revellers from all corners of the globe to partake in the festivities that showcase the rich tapestry of Guyanese culture.

Ministerial Advisor at the Ministry of Labour, Gillian Burton-Persaud

This year’s Mashramani was themed “Celebrating our peoples and our prosperity”,
And as floats adorned with elaborate costumes snaked their way through the streets of Georgetown, the spirit of unity and diversity was palpable.
Among the highlights of the parade were the stunning displays by various organizations, each representing a unique aspect of Guyana’s heritage and progress.
The Guyana Shore Base Inc (GYSBI) captured the essence of water and shipping by sea with their breathtaking float. Adorned with shimmering blue and white hues, the float depicted scenes of bustling ports and majestic ships navigating the waters.

Edna, 106-year-old patron

Public Relations Officer of the GYSBI, Gomattie Gangadeen, has said she is hoping the company’s float would take the crown for best floats this year.
“This is the first time participating. We did not want to start small…our band represents the concept of water, and how it is used to fuel industries. GYSBI and Muneshwer’s Limited are ports that serve the oil and gas industry etc, so we wanted to take the water concept and show how we contribute to the development of Guyana”, she said.
The Public Works Ministry took centre stage with a magnificent display showcasing Guyana’s infrastructural development. Towering cranes, bulldozers, and construction workers adorned the float, symbolizing the nation’s progress in building roads, bridges, and other vital infrastructure.
Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Works Ministry, Tamika Barkoye, has said this float is a representation of all the Public Works Ministry’s agencies.
“Our main pieces display the work of the Government. We are also representing the Independence Boulevard…We have the Demerara Harbour Bridge, which is the contrast between the old and the new Habour Bridge, and MARAD”, she explained.

Amid the sea of floats, the Labour Ministry’s representation of Guyana’s job market stood out prominently. Draped in shades of blue and gold, with the word “job” emblasoned in giant letters, the float emphasized the importance of employment opportunities in driving economic growth and prosperity.
“Our band is ‘the Harmony in Prosperity’, and we are displaying the various components of Labour…we are semi or small costume band, and we are hoping to take the crowd home in that category this year”, said Ministerial Advisor at the Labour Ministry, Gillian Burton-Persaud.
Several Government Ministries put on a grand display, including Education, Housing, Human Services, Parliamentary Affairs and Amerindian Affairs, among others.
Beyond the impressive displays, Mashramani 2024 also welcomed visitors from around the world, adding an extra layer of excitement and cultural exchange to the festivities. Brazilians, Americans, and revellers from various nations joined in the celebration, immersing themselves in Guyana’s vibrant culture and traditions.
“We love you, Guyana!” exclaimed a group of Brazilian patrons, their faces beaming with joy as they danced to the infectious rhythms of Vybz music.
Reflecting on the day’s events, one particularly poignant moment came from a 106-year-old lady who had witnessed decades of Mashramani celebrations. With a twinkle in her eye, she reminisced about the joyous occasions she had experienced over the years.
“This year, we are blessed to see lots of sunshine, as opposed to last year, where rain was falling. I have been to lots of Mashramani (celebrations) before, and those days have been really good days, as well as today”, she said.
As the sun went down on Mashramani 2024, it left behind memories of a celebration filled with joy, unity, and cultural pride. With each passing year, Guyana’s flagship festival continues to captivate hearts and minds, leaving an indelible mark on all who have the privilege of experiencing its magic. (LaWanda McAllister and Misheal Henry)