Drumrolls sounded and the crowd grew wild with excitement as the march pass began, signalling the commencement of the grand celebrations of the official township status declaration for Bartica, Region Seven (Cuyuni Mazaruni) on Saturday.
Usually a quiet ambiance, the mining community was colourfully decorated in the colours of the Golden Arrowhead and erupted into cheers and applause as families came out in huge numbers to join in the festivities.
Despite the light drizzles, residents lined the streets with smartphones in hand to capture photos and videos of this historic moment.
The march pass suavely made its way to the Bartica Stelling, where President David Granger, Regional Chairman Gordan Bradford and Mayor Gifford Marshall were awaiting.
The ceremony started off with prayers by several religious groups, after which President Granger delivered the feature address.
The Head of State, who is deeply connected to Bartica, was overjoyed that this day has finally arrived. He noted that Bartica has been awaiting its township status for over 100 years, since the ordinance was passed to make Bartica a town in 1887.
With having gained its official township status, Bartica can now set the stage for other municipalities to follow.
According to President Granger, Bartica can lead the way in becoming a green town, a town that attracts investors from all across the Caribbean, and a town that is a magnet for economic growth.
“Bartica has to lead the way, become our first green town… Solar energy, electrical vehicles, wind energy, solid waste management, recycling… Bartica is going to become a laboratory for Guyana’s green economy,” he stated.
Amid the pomp and ceremony, the plaque was unveiled and President Granger officially declared Bartica a town, much to the delight of residents.
The celebrations continued into the evening with a blast of cultural extravaganza.
Among those present for the celebrations were First Lady Sandra Granger, State Minister Joseph Harmon, Social Cohesion Minister Amna Ally, Health Minister Dr George Norton, and others.