Black Immigrant Daily News
Hundreds of revellers from all walks of life decked out in their multi-coloured, shimmering costumes gyrated to the sound of Soca rhythms through the streets of Georgetown on Saturday as the Children’s Costume and Float Parade returned for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic.
The parade, which celebrates Guyanese culture in February every year, was not held in two years due to the coronavirus pandemic.
However, the event has grown, and this year, it brought together several hundreds of children from across the country to participate in the parade which started at Parade Ground and ended at the Everest Cricket Ground. They drew gatherings of spectators – some of whom lined the city streets to get a glimpse of the scores of costumes and floats, while others waited patiently in the stands at the Everest ground to witness the spectacular performances.
This event culminated a series of activities that were organised by the Education Ministry to usher in Guyana’s 53rd Republic Day celebrations.
This publication spoke with a few schools, and Stephan Johnson, a teacher at Kingston Secondary School, said their school was representing the Bandstand on the seawalls.
“This year’s theme is revelling our infrastructure development, and we decided to do the float to represent the Kitty seawall, which is the First Lady’s project… this is what we need after two years, we are ready, we are back, and we are greater than ever. One Guyana.”
Sherwyn Blackman, Regional Education Officer of Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) said, “It is indeed amazing to be out here again, and giving the children the opportunity to participate and enjoy this after two years”.
Akeila Dey, a teacher at Ascension Secondary School, said that her school has not been on the road since 2019, and she is happy that after two years of battling the novel coronavirus, they were able to return to the streets.
“I feel very excited… the last that we were here in 2019, we were looking at our budding oil industry. I feel very excited, and enthusiastic, and it is a great opportunity to allow these children to have the experience, to represent something very patriotic,” she said.This publication also spoke with some of the spectators who shared their excitement about the festivity.
“I am coming from Sophia, A Field, and I am excited about the parade. I feel excellent being out here after two years,” Malinda Arthur said.
Before Saturday’s event, there were also local, regional, and national level competitions in dance, song, dramatic poetry, and masquerade that featured children.
Education Minister Priya Manickchand was in the midst of the parade on Saturday and also expressed excitement at its return.
“We are back and we are back strong! The children have been looking forward to this event and we have a lot of creativity out here and good clean fun… It is a really good way to teach the social studies lesson of our republic anniversary and all that is involved in our diversity and unity – this is how we choose to celebrate [this year] and I am very glad that I am able to play a small part in that…What is happening here today in Georgetown is a representation of all ten regions and it is something we would like to move around the various regions, starting next year,” Minister Manickchand shared.
This year’s celebrations are being celebrated under the theme “Mixing and Mashing as One Guyana”.
A total of 34 groups of young people – through either schools or organisations – participated in the float parade. (Photos taken from Ministry of Education Facebook)