– Miss LTW Pageant notably absent from calendarLinden Mayor Carwyn Holland on Sunday declared the 20th year of the Linden Town Week (LTW) celebrations officially opened, signalling the commencement of 10 days of culture, sport and fete. This year, the annual event which celebrates the birth of the town is being hosted by Vybz Entertainment Inc once again, under the theme “Reflection, resilience, rediscover Linden. Celebrating who we are.” A church service followed by a march pass along Republic Avenue, Linden, were a prelude to the official opening held at the Linden-Georgetown minibus park.A number of melodic performances by local artistes as well as dance and an award segment set the stage for the 10 days of celebrations.A section of the gathering at LTW openingIn his presentation before a packed audience, Holland underscored the importance of Linden as a town, promising that it “will be made great again”. This year, Linden is also celebrating 46 years as a town and 100 years of bauxite mining.“As we launch this year’s Linden Town Week celebration, I look forward to rich, cultural presentations that remind us of our heritage and inspire our youths to become involved in the arts. This year’s celebration must be more than just an opportunity to frolic. It should represent the heart and the mind of the people of Linden. It should showcase the wealth of our resources we possess and entice investors to invest,” the Mayor said.He added that Linden Town Week is an ideal time to demonstrate the human and natural resources of the town because the season for accelerated income generation in the resources rich town is now.“Linden Town Week, when come and gone, should leave a trail of development. Something must be seen as evidence of success, of this sports, culture and entertainment tourism package… If this is not seen afterwards, then I encourage a re-think and a remodel of Town Week to achieve same”, Holland said.Chairman of Vybz Entertainment Inc Devin Sears said the LTW event has grown and underwent many changes over the years, developing from the idea of Linden Town Day, which was first crafted by Lindener Norvel Fredericks 20 years ago. He said Fredericks had a dream then, of showcasing everything that Linden has to offer.Noting that this is the second year Vybz Entertainment has the LTW franchise, Sears noted that there are numerous challenges, however it is a time for reflecting on how far the event has come and where it is headed. Young people, he said, are one of the primary focuses this year, as he outlined numerous activities planned to ensure their participation.“Linden Town Week is an opportunity for us to showcase what we have to offer, primarily through tourism… Linden Town Week 2016 offers a lot to our young people. Vybz Entertainment along with other promoters, have collaborated to bring you the Skip to My Lou competition… debating competition, we have Spelling B.A new feature has been added – the high school singing competition hosted by Code Red Records, has seen nine finalists…The future of Linden lies in our young people. We have to ensure that the talent they have is nurtured”.Senior citizens will not be left out this year, noted Sears who said the annual senior citizens receptions will be held. The event will also see karaoke competitions as well as the usual concept parties. Due to lack of sponsorship however, Sears said for the first time, there will be no Miss LTW pageant as is customary, however, the organisers will look at the possibility of hosting the event sometime later this year. The ‘Miss Big and Bold’ pageant will be hosted, nevertheless.“We’ve decided to shift it, in ensuring that quality of the Miss Linden Town Week remains, we had to shift it, but it will be coming before the end of this year so that Linden can enjoy, once again, having a queen that will reign for one year,” he assured.Sears said plans for next year’s activity will commence soon after the hosting of this year’s event, as organisers seek to promote Linden as a tourist destination.The 10 days of activities will also be marked by local exhibitions, village day showcases, and numerous entertainment activities.