Revelers celebrate Guyanese pride at independence parade

Revelers celebrate Guyanese pride at independence parade
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

Thousands of Guyanese-Americans celebrated their homeland’s independence day in Brooklyn on June 11. The annual parade that starts in East Flatbush and ends in Canarsie, honored Guyana’s 51 years of independence this year. About 5,000 parade-goers attended the gathering waving the Guyanese flags and expressing their pride.

Organizers of the parade said that this year’s parade focused on uplifting Guyana’

“Our tagline this year is celebrate Guyana and reflect the journey, and that means that we want to celebrate but always respect our country’s history,” said Nevlon Duguid, director of publications for Guyana Independence Anniversary Committee New York.

“Our motto is ‘One people, one nation, one destiny’ and we wanted to remember that journey and what we did for independence.”

Guyana won independence from Great Britain on May 26, 1966. After the victory, the country celebrated the new statehood with a colorful independence parade, also known as Mashramani.

Bringing that tradition to the states, Guyanese honor the cultural event in similar fashion, added Duguid.

Marchers started the parade on Church Avenue near Brooklyn Avenue, walking along the route towards Ralph Avenue, where festivities continued with a concluding musical stage, the annual Guyanese Unity concert.

Dancehall artist Charly Black, Eddie Neblette, Terry Gajraj, Lisa Punch, and several more headlined the event. Duguid said the committee will continue to support their artists and countrymen, locally and back home.

“As we celebrate independence, our committee wants to support our artists as we did last year and preceeding years, and our focus is on promoting longevity of the Guyanese community and the growth of it,” said Duguid.

Reach reporter Alexandra Simon at (718) 260–8310 or e-mail her at