Thousands of Kenyans have turned up for the 55th Mashujaa Day celebrations at the refurbished Mama Ngina Waterfront in Mombasa.
Long queues were Sunday morning seen from the Likoni main gate which was opened at 5am with security personnel positioned at strategic areas around the park.
With large crowds in attendance, all public vehicles were barred from accessing the venue. Only those with special passes were given access.
At the entrance, Nation Media Group gave a free copy of the Sunday Nation to every person entering the Mashujaa Day venue.
The newspaper edition had a special 48-page pull-out featuring Kenyan heroes and heroines.
"Sunday Nation has provided us with a detailed copy on our heroes and heroines from different sectors. It is educative and timely for the day," said Juma Said, a Mombasa resident.
Leaders arriving for the celebrations received arm welcome from the crowd.
Earlier in the day, police officers were deployed at Tononoka grounds where some traders who were affected by the government’s directive to haul cargo via the standard gauge railway line from the Mombasa port to Nairobi were planning hold a parallel function in protest and to push the government to rescind its decision.
The traders argue that that directive has negatively affected the trucking business.
This is the first time since independence that Kenyans will be witnessing a military ocean parade conducted by the Kenya Navy.
Mombasa is the sixth county to host national celebrations.
During the event, more than 200 heroes are expected to be feted.
The revamped recreational park which was rehabilitated from the scratch at a cost Sh460 million now has two gateways, paved pathways, lush gardens and restaurants which have replaced the old kiosks.