The 8th Annual Rockstone Fish festival, billed for October 26th and 27th, was launched yesterday, amidst grand plans for an even more exciting event.
The community of Rockstone, some 18 miles from Linden, in Region Ten (Upper Demerara/Upper Berbice), is renowned for hosting Guyana’s largest fish festival – the Rockstone Fish Festival – an attraction for both tourists and locals alike.
A two hour trip will allow persons to experience camping , fishing, bird-watching, or simply exploring the Essequibo.
During the launch, officiated by the Director of the Guyana Tourism Authority, Mr. Indranauth Haralsingh, the Planning Committee outlined the progress of preparations underway to transform the community of close to 250 persons into a hive of activity, ranging from the grand fishing competition to river expeditions.
At the ceremony, held in the boardroom of the Tourism, Industry and Commerce Ministry on South Road, Georgetown, Mr. Haralsingh assured that the Ministry of Tourism and the GTA will remain supportive of the activity, now heralded as one of the biggest fish festivals in the Caribbean.
The Rockstone Fish Festival forms part of the Tourism Ministry’s calendar of events, and is very integral to the development of tourism in Rockstone.
Meanwhile, the President of the Rockstone Tourism Association (RTA), Ms Lynette Benn reported that all arrangements are being made to ensure that this activity remains fun, entertaining and safe; while arrangements have been made for an improved venue, the parking facilities have been expanded as well.
Benn informed too that adult tickets cost $500, children $300 and vehicles range from $1000 for cars to $10,000 for trucks.
More than 5,000 visitors are expected to throng Rockstone for this year’s festival, which will be jointly hosted by the Tourism, Industry and Commerce Ministry, the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA), and the Rockstone Tourism Association (RTA).
Prizes will be offered for the biggest catch of the day in several categories and it will be a winner take all stake, other activities include melon eating and fish deboning competitions.
First staged in September 2006, the aim has always been to promote the location as a major tourist attraction and generate income and opportunities for residents of the community.
The programme begins on Saturday, October 26th and continues with some happenings as early as 04:30hrs the following day, including the fish-catching competition in the waterway, which teems with fish, including one of the largest freshwater fishes in the world, the Arapaima (a protected species)
The area also boasts a rich population of birds – at least 140 species – and is a natural habitat for the giant otter, big river turtles, ‘Howler’ monkeys, labbas, iguanas, bush hogs and black caimans. Moreover, it is home to Guyana’s National Flower, the Victoria Amazonia or the Victoria Regina.