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08.03.2007 General News

Thousands Turn Up For Fun

Thousands Turn Up For Fun

Thousands of revellers yesterday turned to the La Pleasure Beach, the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park and the Ghana International Trade Fair (GITF) Centre for leisure, a day after events which climaxed celebrations marking 50 years of Ghana's self rule had been held.

Yesterday was declared a national holiday by an Executive Instrument to allow Ghanaians to enjoy the historic milestone of Ghana's history.

At the La Beach, revellers of all ages and wearing different apparels, most of which were designed in the colours of the national flag, relaxed at the sandy shore to drink and eat.

Others sat on horseback and paraded the beach, while others met old friends and interacted with them.

The entrance to the beach was choked with all makes of vehicles waiting to enter the already jammed car park as of 1.30 p.m. when the Daily Graphic got there.

From the Burma Camp through to the Kpeshie Lagoon area there was heavy vehicular traffic as revellers waited in a slow-moving queue to get onto the fair grounds at La.

Some had to alight from their cars to walk long distances to get to the gates to the fair grounds which were also crowded with people.

The situation at the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park was slightly different because those in attendance were mostly schoolchildren.

They walked round every corner of the park to see at firsthand the black Presidential Rolls Royce which the first President used.

Others stood in front of the statue of Dr Nkrumah, which was erected at the exact spot he stood to declare Ghana's independence, to take pictures.

There was a spectacular performance by masqueraders to entertain the schoolchildren, some of whom were there with their parents.

The Oxford Street at Osu, the epic centre of fun, was, however, virtually silent.

Only a few cars drove by and activities at most of the popular joints such as Papaye, Frankies and the Osu Food Court were absent.

However, the decorations in the national colours were still flying high on houses, in corporate offices and on vehicles.

At the Independence Square, the venue for yesterday's celebrations, a handful of people who could not partake in the anniversary parade walked around with their children.

The seats at the Presidential dais which had accommodated about 20 African Heads of State on Tuesday, as well as the various wings at the square, were empty, except for a few people who paraded round the place to keep it tidy.

At the area near the Ohene Djan Sports Stadium, Zoom Lion, a sanitation and waste management company, was clearing the litter left by the teeming number of people who took part in the celebrations.

A trip through other areas within the capital city showed some residents still adorned in paraphernalia made in the national colours of red, gold and green, with the Black Star in the middle.

Vehicles and cars, both commercial and private, still had different sizes of the national flag either on their roof tops or at various parts.

However, the business aspect which characterised the arrival of the day was significantly missing as the street vendors who made sales in the various items made with the national colours were absent.

As typical with all national holidays, the streets of the city were empty, except for a few commercial vehicles.

The streets of the Kwame Nkrumah Circle were free from vehicular and human traffic, since people were resting following the activities which marked the Golden Jubilee celebrations.

Scarves, dresses, accessories such as earrings, necklaces and handbags, head and armbands all in the national colours were seen on people still in festive mood.

A group of six young ladies who were seen at the Darkuman Junction smartly dressed in [email protected] T-shirts said they decided to “outdoor” theirs after most people had worn theirs on March 6.

Madam Faustina Darkwah, a 54-year-old trader around the Kaneshie Market, spotted the national colours with a pair of slippers painted in red, gold and green.

In a chat, she said she decided to have her own special celebration a day after the main event.

She said she chose to stay at home yesterday to watch the events on television because she did not want to struggle with so many people who went to the parade grounds.

Mr Kofi Ansah, a taxi driver who had a [email protected] T-shirt on, said he wanted to wear it till the end of the week.

“I feel so good wearing it so I will either find another one in addition to this or wash it at night when it is dirty,” he said.

Madam Abba Brew, a 74-year-old resident of Kaneshie, who said she was present at the Old Polo Grounds when the first President, Dr Nkrumah declared the nation's independence, told the Daily Graphic,

“Most of us continued to celebrate that occasion for almost a year. I expect the present generation to have a similar attitude.”

Story by Graphic reporters

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