Shoppers out again in the city

by Amanda Wilson
Guyana Chronicle
April 15, 2001

SHOPPERS were out again in Georgetown yesterday as hundreds flocked boutiques, salons, barber shops and city markets in preparation for the Easter holiday weekend.

Kite vendors, especially those along Regent Street, sang a different tune as sales surged from the lows of earlier in the week following the post-elections violence in Georgetown.

Colourful bird and box kites made of plastic and paper were on sale at just about every part of the city and caught the eyes of children who were out shopping with their parents and others for that perfect kite.

For those who wanted to make their kites, a wide variety of kite paper and twine were on sale in stores.

Vendors on the move, including one in a donkey cart, too sold kites and others paper and `glammer cherry' (kite paste).

Last week, kite vendors complained that shoppers were not patronising them because parents were scared to send their children out on Easter Monday and Sunday.

VENDING yesterday outside one of the stores destroyed in the Monday fire in Georgetown. (Corwin Williams photo.) Over the last few weeks, the city looked like a `ghost town' as fearful businessmen kept their stores shut or opened only a few hours during the day as violence broke out in several parts during anti-government protests.

The scene was different yesterday.

Party fans and parents with their children flocked boutiques, including `Exclusive Styles', `Boyo's Fashion' and `Clairan Enterprise' and stalls in Bourda and Stabroek markets putting together their Easter outfits.

At some boutiques, shoppers complained that buildings were extremely hot because of the protective bars, zinc sheets and pieces of wood placed at glass windows by store owners shortly before the March 19 elections.

There were long lines at barber shops and Automatic Telling Machines (ATM) at banks and traffic along Regent and Water streets and Avenue of the Republic was periodically congested.

Hair dressers too had their full share of customers and some businesses plan to open today to facilitate late shoppers.

Chocolate Easter eggs were part of yesterday's shopping list.

Parents, who plan to picnic at popular spots Easter Monday, were seen walking along streets with large shopping baskets.

As shoppers made their way around the city, small groups handed out fliers listing Easter events including Monday's `Soft Ball Ground' fair, `Academic Freedom' at the University of Guyana and Sunday's Street Fair in the vicinity of the Demerara Harbour Bridge mall.

While some families said they plan to picnic tomorrow in favourite spots along the coast and around the city, others headed out of town to the annual Bartica regatta and the Rupununi rodeo, among other places.

Traffic was still prohibited from using Regent and Robb streets between Camp and Wellington streets where almost a block of stores and offices was destroyed by fire witnesses said was deliberately set Monday.

Only pedestrians were allowed to use that area under 24-hour surveillance by uniformed police ranks since the blaze.

Some business places were still open up to yesterday afternoon.