Region 10 hosts Mashramani extravaganza

Revellers and patrons took to the streets of Linden, Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice) on Sunday, to indulge in the splendor of the Mashramani costume and float parade, as the celebration returned to where it all started 49 years ago.
The sunny weather in the mining town provided the perfect atmosphere for the celebrations as the streets exploded with a kaleidoscope of colours. Though things got off to a bit late, a total of six magnificent floats were showcased along the streets of Mackenzie and Wismar which made their way from Republic Avenue before culminating at the Bayroc Ground, just before sunset.
Party trucks and troopers kept the atmosphere alive with the enticing sounds of Soca as thousands of onlookers lined the streets to get a glimpse or to join in on the gyrations. The Ministry of the Presidency Department of Social Cohesion Culture Youth and Sport showcased the largest float and contingent, with approximately 120 revellers.
The Department also partnered with other organisations to showcase a wide variety of cultural heritage. The colourful display highlighted Guyana’s beauty as it relates to the country’s rich cultural diversity in the theme of the colours of the Golden Arrowhead.
Also showcased were the Regional Democratic Council’s (RDC) float which showcased Guyana’s oil and gas sector, the Linden Technical Institute (LTI) and the local masquerade band. In an invited comment, Permanent Secretary within the Social Cohesion Ministry, Melissa Tucker explained that the floats were designed in an effort to put Guyana’s national colours on display.
“Our theme that we’re celebrating is beauty in Guyana and cultural diversity…with the red, the gold, white, green and the black. We want to promote everything Guyana in terms of culture, so we are very patriotic. Every year we will come with our colours that represent cultural diversity in Guyana. It’s important to promote that because…Mashramani is ours…so in true Guyanese style we’re celebrating after tremendous hard work by the Department,” she noted.
Meanwhile, residents lined the streets to take in the music, food, games and the exciting party atmosphere. Mixed feelings were expressed as to this year’s activity and turnout by those in attendance.
“I think this year was a bit better than last year in terms of the floats,” one bystander told this publication.
Another opined that more can be done as it relates to pushing the celebrations forward in the region.
“I always think we can do better with Region 10 Mashramani celebrations since Linden is where Mash start. Every year we keep asking for more floats. I just think they need to invest more in Linden Mash”, a resident indicated.
The Mashramani celebration was first observed in Linden in 1970. It was organised by the ‘Jaycees’ Committee which had been organising the country’s Independence celebrations since 1966, as they sought to have a ‘carnival-like’ festival to commemorate British Guiana gaining its Republican status in 1970. This year, the observance was celebrated under the theme, “Celebrate Mash 49 with victory in mind”.