Durban Park confirmed as venue for 50+1 Independence Ceremony

(Georgetown, May 8, 2017) – The Durban Park has been confirmed as the venue for the staging of the 2017 Flag Raising on May 25. According to Lt. Col Godfrey Bess, Director of National Events, who met with various stakeholders on Monday (Today) at Durban Park, the meeting was to assess and address where the necessary preparatory works will be undertaken and to charter a way forward to ensure the soundness of the venue to host the 50+1 event.

The venue can accommodate in excess of 30,000 persons. The event that culminates with the hoisting of the flag and fireworks display was shifted from the Stabroek square and the Parade ground because of the likely inclement weather, and to ensure that there would be no disruptions of normal life and business in that area, as there was much preparatory works to be completed.

As a result of the change of venue from the Stabroek Square, the proposed cultural show featuring the Carifesta entrees at the National Cultural Centre and all other flag raising related activities, will be hosted as part of the event at Durban Park.

This is in addition to the Regional flag raising events that will be hosted as planned and there would be ministerial representations in each of the ten administrative regions for the regional flag raising programmes. The stake holders in attendance at Monday’s meeting included  Georgetown Mayor and City Council, Ministry of the Presidency, Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Ministry of Communities, the Guyana Police Force,  the Guyana Defence Force, The Department of Culture, Youth and  Sport and the Guyana Fire Service.

According to the Director of National Events, Lt Col. Bess, the ultimate objective is to ensure that the event is grand and as inclusive as possible.  He noted too, that it (the event) will be a showcase that includes Military, Para-Military and civilian involvement.

While it seems that it was not so long ago that Guyana hosted a grand Golden Jubilee, the time is drawing closer for the nation’s observance of its 50+1 Independence Anniversary, and a week of activities is on the cards.

Even as engagements are continually being held at various levels, recently, Hon. Minister Nicolette Henry met with several officials to flesh out concepts further aimed at ensuring a successful, celebratory observance.

At that meeting it was revealed that a week of activities is planned from May 21 -27 and the approach will see active participation from several ministries spearheaded by the Ministry of Education Department of Culture, Youth and Sport.

The ultimate 50+1 Independence event would be the flag raising ceremony.  That event will feature a military parade and mass band display, as well as a cultural showcase followed by a spectacular fireworks display on the evening of May 25.

Director of Culture Ms. Tamika Boatswain while noting that cultural and other Independence events abound in all Regions, stated that the mega culture- filled evening would celebrate Guyana’s ‘Past, Present and Future’ with specific focus on presenting the nation as an ‘Emerging Green State’ in keeping with President David Granger’s vision.

This cultural showcase will feature Guyana’s offerings to the upcoming Carifesta XIII slated for Barbados.

While other pre and post activities are planned at the regional levels, Guyana will also be observing Youth Week which will coincide with the Independence observances, and a plethora of youth related activities are scheduled to take place from May 21 and culminating on May 27.

The theme for Youth Week is, ‘Inspiring our youth, celebrating our achievements’.

Youth Director, Melissa Carmichael, at that meeting had reported that the events will target approximately 5000 Guyanese youth aged 14-35 and would feature events such as a  Military/ Paramilitary Parade, an Interfaith Opening Concert, Youth Folk Exposition, a Career and training exposition, Youth expressions, and more.

Actively involved in the planning are officials from the Ministries of Agriculture, Communities and Business with guidance from Lt. Col. Best, Director of National Events.

The Ministry of Communities will play a pivotal role in helping to make the 50+1 Independence Anniversary a most memorable one. A Housing Expo is also carded.

Another concept meeting will be held in a week’s time that will speak to subjects such as Agriculture, Business, Cottage Industry, a Farmer’s Market and sale of fresh produce as well as Youth Week, in addition to a Fine Arts exhibition.



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