Digicel’s ‘Arabian Night’ wows Mash band judges

[www.stabroeknews.com] – After hours of trekking along the streets of Georgetown in an attempt to wow not only the judges but celebrating Guyanese on Sunday, the Digicel band is among this year’s big winners of the 2014 Mashramani Costume and Float Parade.

Judges have chosen to award 16 of the 28 participating bands, which were judged in full costume,

Digicel’s Arabian themed truck

Digicel’s Arabian themed truck

semi-costume, and individual costume categories, among others.

Melissa ‘Vanilla’ Roberts was adjudged the 2014 Road March Queen, for her song “Yada,” which was played most during the day.

The full costume category comprised large bands, which consisted of over 101 participants; medium bands, which consisted of 51 to 100 participants; and small bands, which consisted of 30 to 50 persons.

A father and his son on a Mashramani Day stroll

A father and his son on a Mashramani Day stroll

In the full costume large bands category, Digicel earned itself the top spot with its “Arabian Night”-themed band. The band’s costumes were designed by Olympia Small- Sonoram. Copping the second spot was the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport under the theme “Cultural Folklore: Revived Stories Told.” The Ministry’s costumes were designed by Volda Ramsammy and team.

In the full costume medium band category, the Ministry of Tourism, Industry and

Drummers from the Progressive Youth Organisation

Drummers from the Progressive Youth Organisation

Commerce was awarded first place for its “Keeping Culture Alive Through Folklore”-themed band. Its costumes being designed by Jermaine Broomes. The Ministry of Labour, Human Services, and Social Security’s “Restoring Family Values; Burning Out the Ills of Society” band, with designs by Derek Moore, earned second, while the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs’ “Spirit of the Rainforest,” designed by Trevor Alfred, gained the third spot.

Education Minister Priya Manickchand (right) leading her Ministry’s float

Education Minister Priya Manickchand (right) leading her Ministry’s float

The full costume small band category saw the Ministry of Education come out on top, with its “The Legend of the Dutchman – Cloot De Nieunkirk,” which was designed by Nelson Nurse. In second place was the GT Recyclers band’s “Recycling is Everybody’s Business” band, which was designed by Carol Fraser. The Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development rounded out the winners with its “Better Communities, Better Country for All” band, which was also done by Fraser.

The semi-costume category was sub-divided between the large and medium bands.

A cozy makeshift camp along Church Street

A cozy makeshift camp along Church Street

In the large bands sub-category, the People’s Progressive Party/Progressive Youth Organisation was awarded first prize. The band, which mashed under the theme “Celebrating Our Unique Identity, Cultural Diversity and Progressive Destiny With Folklore in 2014,” was designed by Devi Ramcharitar. In second place was the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Guyana (FITUG) band, which mashed under the theme “A Future In Togetherness Under the Golden Arrowhead.” It was designed by Kenneth Joseph.

Under a tent on Merriman Mall

Under a tent on Merriman Mall

In the semi-costume medium sub-category, Digicel was the victor while Region #5 (“Showcasing Our Cultural Folklore in 2014” by M. Richards) and The Ministry of Health (“Health Vision 2020; Health for All in Guyana” by Carol Fraser) tied for second place.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs’ King and Queen costumes copped prizes in their respective categories, while Digicel won for male individual costumes, the Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Commerce for female individual costumes, and the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport for non-commercial float.

Regional prizes were also awarded in full costume, animal drawn, and individual pieces categories. In the medium sub-category of the full costume category, Region #3 (“Caressing the Rivers, Romancing the Fort and Rebirthing Tourism”) with its design by Antonio Paul won, while Region #4 (“Celebrating Region Four’s Legends, Folklore and Development),” whose designs were by J. Vanderhyden, received second and Region #6 (“Cultural Folklore: The Heartbeat of Preserving Berbicians/Guyanese Cultural Identity),” with designs by Maurice Richards, gained the third spot.

All geared up to watch the floats on Church Street

All geared up to watch the floats on Church Street

Region #5 also won the small sub-category.

The only band in the category, the Slingshot Mash Camp won the prize for best animal drawn band with its Paul Burnette design. The band, drawn by a horse during the Mashramani float parade, performed under the theme “Guyana Get Fit.”

The final category, individual pieces, saw Region #3 awarded for the King costume while Region #4 took the Queen costume and Male prizes.

The prize-giving ceremony for this year’s winners will be held on March 8 at the Umana Yana.