Only 3,000 fully ‘vaxxed’ persons allowed to attend ‘Mash’ competitions this year

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The annual Mashramani Soca, Chutney and Calypso competitions are making a return to the physical stage after two years as the country gradually returns to some form of normalcy.

Guyana last hosted Mashramani activities in 2020 but everything came to a halt as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The competitions are slated to be held at the National Stadium Tarmac between February 18 and 20; it is the first public activity that the government will be hosting since the start of the pandemic here in March 2020.

These events were held virtually as the authorities tried to contain the spread of the dreaded virus.

This year, only a limited number of people will be allowed to attend the events and they must be fully vaccinated, according to Coordinator for Mashramani events at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport Andrew Tyndall.

The maximum limit is 3,000 persons at each event; the capacity for the National Stadium Tarmac is 25,000.

The Junior Calypso and Soca, the adult Soca, Chutney, and Calypso competitions will be held this year. The Republic Bank Steel Band Panorama competition is also making a return and of course the annual flag-raising ceremony.

The Junior competitions and the adult calypso will kickstart the packed cultural weekend. The chutney competition, slated for February 19, is being held along with a duck curry competition. And the Soca Monarch competition will conclude the events with a ‘Cooler Fete’.

There are 10 finalists for the Junior competitions; 12 finalists for the Calypso; 10 for chutney and 14 for the Soca Monarch.

The contestants did not compete like in previous years due to the pandemic. There was only preliminary judging to get the finalists.

“All COVID protocols will be enforced at these events, so in order to purchase tickets you have to show your vaccination card and your ID, and to enter the venue you have to produce those same documents,” Tyndall told the News Room.

Meanwhile, Tyndall said there will be no annual float parade.

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