ORGANISERS of the Linden River-Front Festival, slated for June 30 to July 3, say this year’s event will meet everyone’s expectations, given the plethora of exciting, entertaining, informal, upbeat and family-oriented activities they have planned for the various venues along the river-front.
Those activities range from cycle races and parades, fishing competitions, market day and plant sale, regatta, breakfast for the elderly, swimming competitions, cricket competitions, a film festival, church services, a river-front development discussion, and a ‘Main Big River Lime’.
Founder of the Festival, Mr Samuel Wright explained that the aim of the event, now in its third year, is to promote the Linden river front, particularly Burnham Drive, as one of the main tourist attractions in Linden.
It is also intended to highlight, particularly to Lindeners, the beauty and diversity of the ‘river-front’ area, which has over the years been overlooked and taken for granted by both residents and regional officials.
“We want to promote the Linden River Front as a place for tourism, conservation and sports,” Wright said, adding:
“There is the issue with the garbage in the water, waste disposal and no development… It is not seen as a place to develop; people not seeing its potential; it is being taken for granted.”
While the primary objective of the Festival has not yet been achieved, Mr Wright is confident that with the input, planning and execution of this year’s activities, persons can expect to see some progress at last, as much more consultation and promotion was done, and there was also much more support this time around from the Linden Mayor and Town Council.
The ‘River Front’, if developed, he said, can create tremendous revenue, through tourism, for Linden, and while the hosting of the festival is not necessarily a profit-making venture, it’s a means of promoting what Lindeners are capable of in terms of talent, service and produce.
At the Market Day, for instance, which is being held in collaboration with the LMTC, the local farmers and vendors will have an opportunity to showcase their produce and goods so as to gain more patronage from the Linden community.
And while the Film Festival will highlight local talent in the arts, it will also include films produced in Georgetown and the Diaspora.
The sporting activities will see competitors representing various villages along the river, as far as Malali, while the ‘Main Big River Lime’ will showcase the beauty of the river bank at night.
The River Front Development Forum will see representatives for other towns and communities with interactive river banks share ideas on how these areas can be developed to help boost the entire country’s tourism industry.
Wright said that should the goal be achieved, the next step in the plan is to construct a boardwalk across the river, a wharf, restaurants and parks, rebrand the old waterwheel, and organise boat tours and fishing excursions along the way.
He said that in spite of the limited sponsorship and support they’ve received this year from the Guyana Tourism Authority as opposed to last year, the committee members were able to pool their own resources so as to make the venture a success.
Wright is hoping that in the longrun, the festival will impact on the mindset of Lindeners to change their culture where waste management is concerned so as to preserve the natural beauty of the town for the economic benefit of everyone.
“People should come out and see, and they will be pleasantly surprised,” he urged in closing.