Governor Ben Ayade Kicks Off First Calabar Carnival Dry Run


The 2016 Calabar Carnival has been flagged off by Cross River State governor, Ben Ayade.

Governor Ben Ayade on Sunday October 23rd 2016 inaugurated the 2016 dry run to signify the commencement of the 2016 annual Calabar Carnival.

Speaking after the inauguration in Calabar, Gov. Ayade said that the celebration marked the 12th anniversary of the carnival.

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The governor disclosed that the theme of this year’s carnival is “Climate Change.”

He described the Calabar Carnival as “the largest street party in Africa.”

Ayade said that the carnival had promoted talent and creativity, adding that it had united the people of Cross River and Nigeria in general.

The governor promised to make this year’s carnival the best ever, saying:

“Today, we are flagging off the 12th annual Calabar carnival, the largest street party ever; the greatest show in Africa.

“We promised to make this year’s carnival the best and fun loving ever.’

Ayade lauded the efforts of the people of Cross River and the participants for coming out en mass for the dry run.

He used the occasion to invite tourists from all over the world to visit Calabar during this season to experience an exciting carnival.

Governor Ayade Flags Off 2016 Calabar Carnival Dry

Chairman, Calabar Carnival Commission, Mr Gabriel Onah disclosed that the carnival had continued to grow from strength to strength with new innovations added yearly.

Mr Onah said:

“We are celebrating 12 years of Cross River carnival, 12 years of oneness and unity, 12 years in showcasing what we have and what we are.’’

Dignitaries present at the carnival flag off included the Deputy Gov. Prof. Ivara Esu, Speaker of the state Assembly, Mr John Gaul-Lebo, and Sen. Florence Ita-Giwa among others.

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Carnival Calabar is a unique display of African heritage showcased through music, dance, drama and visual creativity reflected in the floats, costumes and make-up.

Despite the fun and relaxed atmosphere, a great degree of thought, creativity and discipline goes into it.

The carnival is the highlight of the 32-day Calabar Festival which runs from 30th November to 1st January.

Carnival Calabar is the largest cultural Festival in Africa. With 50,000 Costumed revellers, 2million spectators and an audience of over 50million.

The Calabar Carnival 2016 will feature 5 bands: the Seagulls Band, Master Blaster, Passion 4, Freedom Band and Bayside Band.