A kaleidoscopic riot of colours of rich, bright costumes transformed the streets of Lethem, Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo (Region Nine) into a vibrant spectacle on Saturday, March 3, as the border town celebrated Guyana’s 48th Republic anniversary with its annual Mashramani Float Parade.
Five bands represented St. Ignatius Secondary School, the region’s health, education and agriculture departments, the Mayor and Town Council, and the Region Democratic Council (RDC).
All locally designed, the floats in large, medium and small groups displayed the splendour of the Rupununi-waterfalls, the Kanuku Mountains, flora and fauna, gold and diamond minerals, and several other facets of the Region. Also portrayed was the transformation of Lethem into a township, and the upcoming construction of the Linden to Lethem Road.
The energetic revellers braved the heat as they ‘tramped down’ the streets, from the Republic Bank area onto the Lethem Community Centre Ground, dancing and gyrating to the rhythms of soca and calypso music.
Leading the Lethem Town Council Band was out-going Mayor Carlton Beckles, who told the Department of Public Information (DPI) that he was delighted to be part of what he described as one of the ‘best’ costume and float parade ever held in the region. Mayor Beckles also explained that all the materials used to create the floats were local and in keeping with the Government ‘Green State’ agenda.
Regional Chairman, Brian Allicock expressed pride in the creativity shown in the designs of the bands and costumes, particularly the depiction of the Linden to Lethem road made by the students of the St. Ignatius Secondary School.
Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Sydney Allicock commended the organisers and participants for pulling off a spectacular event. “This year’s activity was bigger and better, and I am very proud of the creativity shown”, he said.
The event culminated with a concert which featured local artist Jomo Primo and Granny Ivelaw.