by travel and tourism
As the year gradually rolls to end, the organisers of Carnival Calabar have expressed their preparedness to host a world-class carnival that will offer more excitement, fun and business to indigenes, visitors and sponsors than previous editions of the annual carnival.
In view of the development, Governor Liyel Imoke of Cross River State, has flagged off the first leg of the carnival Dry Run and also unveiled the carnival theme in a colourful event held recently at the Millennium Park, Calabar.
While commending the Cross River State Carnival Commission, organisers of the carnival, in his address at the flagging off ceremony, Imoke assured that the carnival is becoming self-sustaining with more private sector involvement.
The ultimate aim, according to him, is to make the carnival private sector-driven like other successful carnivals across the world and also to use the carnival platform to improve revenue generation, job creation, entertain visitors and to foster peace in the state.
Speaking on the theme of this year’s carnival: “Celebrating A New Dawn”, the Governor expressed the hope that the five participating carnival bands will through their dance, song and presentations interpret the theme which has a prize for correct interpretation.
He commended the team spirit of the team and urged the citizens, visitors and investors to work towards realizing the new dawn in the state’s tourism, hospitality, business among other sectors.
“As we celebrate the new dawn with great hope and expectations, we will combine a number of things to make Carnival Calabar a world class brand while the state remains a-must-visit for all”, Imoke noted.
The governor who was accompanied by his wife, Obioma, gave kudos to out-gone and incoming members of the state Carnival Commission for introducing ‘what will help the state realise its vision of a carnival that will grow from strength to strength and outgrow already established carnivals across the world.’
Speaking earlier, Dr Gabe Onah, chairman, Cross River State Carnival Commission, assured that the commission is making efforts at putting everything in place to ensure that 2012 Carnival Calabar becomes one of the greatest events in Africa and beyond.
The successful Dry Run which flags off the 2012 Carnival events, according to him, is a sign of more excitement and unique outing that awaits visitors for the 32-day Carnival in the Canaan city.
Onah commended the strong and growing Public Private Partnership in the 2012 carnival which makes it more exciting than ever as a lot of surprises have been introduced to make it the first of its kind.
Onah noted that the private sector led by the corporate world should identify more with the carnival which is the largest street party in Nigeria because of the marketing, product activation, and networking amongst other corporate benefits that are on offer on the carnival platform.
“With the successful first leg of the Dry Run, three other ones will be held before the main carnival in December,” Onah said.
He further noted that the Dry Run mock carnival remains necessary to create more awareness, assess the level of preparedness of the band, and enable the organisers to make amendments that will lead to a successful outing at the grand finale.
One of the new events in this year’s edition is the Children Carnival Dry Run.
However, the five competitive bands in this year’s carnival are: Bayside Band (Blue), Passion Four (Green), Seagulls Band (Red), Master Blasta (Orange) and Freedom Band (Yellow). They participated in the mock carnival while security, the public transportation departments were at hand to ensure things were in order.
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