Linden River Front Festival – a celebration of the mining town’s tourism potential

DPI, Guyana, Saturday, June 16, 2018

Linden River Front Festival 2018 slated from the June 29 – July 2 which aims at showcasing Linden’s aqua-tourism potential also features a wide array of family oriented, sporting, religious and entertainment activities on the calendar of events.

While this is the fourth year of the festival, founder and coordinator Samuel Wright believes that Linden’s river front, which straddles both the Mackenzie and Wismar shorelines has much potential and the festival aims at putting this on the forefront. Therefore, the activities will be held on both sides of the rivers and in the river itself. Linden is the only town, where a main river (Demerara), passes through, thus dividing the town in half, something Wright described as very unique.

The weekend long activity commences on Friday with a Linden River Front Development Forum at the Watooka Guest House and concludes with the signature regatta and family day on Monday which is a holiday. Other events include a boxing competition on Friday which will be held at the Wismar Market tarmac, a boat parade and Burnham Drive lime. On Saturday, the calendar sees a riverfront health walk, river swim, market day and plant sale, street football and river wall jam amongst other activities. A church service will commence the activities on Sunday followed by river tours, exhibition of historical River Front photographs and jazz show and party. Closing the curtains on Monday will be the signature regatta and family fun day.

River front development should be prioritised

Wright, who is also an environmentalist and tourism enthusiast, has strongly campaigned to see the River Front developed into a tourism hub. Wright has expressed optimism that with the president’s call for same, his vision for the Linden River Front will soon be a realistion.

President Granger, during a recent address to Linden residents, said “I would like to see all of these waterfronts developed, so that young people could go strolling at night safely, with solar lights, good food, music, I would like to see this western shore like a boulevard; every town in Guyana must have a boulevard, full of beautiful trees so that young people can enjoy the environment.” He added, “Visitors will always remember the black water of the Demerara River.”

Linden’s River Front plays an important role in the everyday lives of Lindeners since major stakeholders including churches, schools, government offices, restaurants, river transport, markets business arena, banks, amongst other institutions, can be found along side. “If you want to get a sense of what Linden’s River Front is about, there are all the important things of Linden there, so it should be developed,” Wright said. He added, “So the festival is an attempt to bring people’s attention to the River Front, its purpose is to showcase and develop the River Front.”

Wright said the entire riverfront can be transformed since it is not just about tourism but recreation, economics and even religion. Giving the massive length of the River Front, there is need for a thorough strategised plan. “We can do all kinds of things on the [Linden] River Front, restaurants, fishing piers….there are so many stakeholders on the River Front, no one group should be deciding what happens on the River Front, let’s sit and decide how we will develop it.”

By: Vanessa Braithwaite   

Images: Vanessa Braithwaite