A bittersweet farewell for the Last Lap Lime after 25 years 

Acting Consul General Grace Joseph and her son

The Last Lap Lime, a beloved cultural celebration within the Guyanese diaspora, marked its 25th anniversary with a blend of nostalgia and reflection. Spearheaded by a dedicated team of volunteers, the event has become a cherished tradition that brings together the community to celebrate Guyanese heritage, showcase local talents, and raise funds for educational initiatives. However, this milestone year also carries a poignant message, as the organizers have announced that this edition would be the last, marking the end of an era.

Originating from the combined efforts of five schools, (the remaining three partners are —Bishops High School, Queens College, and Saint Joseph’s High School) the Last Lap Lime emerged as a vibrant cultural extravaganza. Throughout its illustrious journey, the event has consistently showcased a myriad of performances, vendors, Guyanese foods and activities that capture the rich tapestry of Guyanese culture. Steelpan bands, traditional dance ensembles, and local artists have graced the stage, igniting the celebratory spirit that has become synonymous with the Last Lap Lime.

2020 was supposed to mark the official 25th anniversary of the event, but the global pandemic forced a postponement. Despite the challenges, the organizing team demonstrated resilience and dedication, waiting for the right moment to reintroduce the event. As the world slowly emerged from lockdown, the Last Lap Lime returned to offer a jubilant

Terry Gajraj and some proud Guyanese

celebration of Guyanese identity and community bonding.

One of the highlights of the anniversary celebration was the inclusion of renowned international artist Terry Gajraj. A stalwart supporter of the Last Lap Lime, Gajraj’s presence added an electrifying dimension to the festivities, captivating audiences with his music and charisma. Additionally, Jumo Primo, Guyana’s Soca star joined the celebration. Yet, the event was not solely focused on renowned performers; it also served as a platform for emerging Guyanese talents, showcasing a wide range of local artists, musicians, and dancers.

However, the 25th anniversary of the Last Lap Lime carries a weighty decision—the announcement that this edition will be the final installment. The reasons behind this decision are both practical and reflective of larger societal shifts. The aging of the core organizing team, coupled with a scarcity of young volunteers interested in dedicating their time to the event’s logistical demands, posed a significant challenge. The vibrant spirit of nostalgia and cultural heritage that the Last Lap Lime embodies requires a dedicated workforce, which has become increasingly difficult to maintain.

Jumo in action

As the event’s final iteration unfolded, it carried an air of both celebration and farewell. Reconnecting with volunteers, entertainers, and the wider Guyanese diaspora community held special significance, as it marked a poignant moment of unity and reflection. The Last Lap Lime has not only served as an avenue for cultural expression but has also contributed to tangible educational initiatives through fundraising efforts.

The legacy of the Last Lap Lime will endure, a testament to the power of community-driven initiatives. It stands as a reminder of the importance of fostering cultural pride and unity within diaspora communities, while also highlighting the challenges that can emerge over time. As this final chapter unfolds, the Last Lap Lime bids adieu with gratitude for its remarkable journey and with hope that its spirit will continue to inspire new avenues of celebration, identity, and community bonding among the Guyanese diaspora.