I’m pretty sure not everyone reading this article knows about the exciting activities held at “The Calabar Festival & Carnival” if you haven’t i urge you to read this!!!!
Festivals are event celebrated by community an centering on some characteristics aspect of that community and it’s religion or cultures. The Calabar carnival & Festival also known as “Africa Biggest Street Party” is an annual celebration which begins every 1st of December and lasts until 31st of December. The carnival has boosted the cultural mosaic of Nigeria people while entertaining millions of spectators within and outside, and boosting industry for all stakeholders.
Calabar is the capital of Cross River State, coastal south eastern Nigeria. The original name for Calabar was Akwa Akpa, from the Efik Language. The city is watered by the Calabar and great Kwa rivers and creeks of the Cross River. The largest celebrated festival Calabar was created as part of the vision making the Cross River, Nigeria number one of the tourists destination for Nigerians and all over the world.
The first carnival started in 2004 by Mr, Donald Duke which then was the governor of Cross River State and recently, the state has become the pride of Nigeria in the area of tourism, carnivals & hospitality and in Africa too.
The programme of the event at the carnival are drafted by committee in charge of tourism and cultural and new initiatives are introduced every year. Interesting activities that will blow your minds are participated such as competitions among bands e.g
- Seagull band was registered in 2005 for Cross River State annual Christmas festival. It’s the most stylish & co-ordinated body with the main objective of promoting & sustaining the tourism and hospitality industry.
- Bayside band is one of the five band registered as well in the annual christmas festival of Cross River State.
Masta Blasta Band:
- The masta blasta band known as the Orange Family is the largest & most entertaining of the 5 principal bands of the annual carnival calabar.
- Freedom band which is identified with the color yellow, was founded by Capt Henry Brisibe and Mr Larry Esin in 2005. Since it’s established, the band has consistently been among the best three in all previous editions of the Carnival Calabar event.
Passion 4 Band:
- Passion 4 is the most successful band in Carnival Calabar, having been six edition champions and two first runner up in the eight years of the existence of the competition aspect of the carnival.
Other activities includes essay writing involving both secondary & tertiary students, musical entertainment, street parties, art shows, food competitions, masque events, traditional dances, crowning of carnival queens and kings for each band, children carnival, Ekpe masquerade, beauty pageant, Mary slessor golf charity dinner, Christmas village etc.
The event has hosted top musicians, Nigerian actors, politicians, international artists and many more has thrilled the large crowd of Nigerians and tourist from outside the country. The carnival is been separated into four parts which includes the following:
1st – 10th December is the Millennium Week, 12th – 17th December is the Sports Week, 19th -24th December is the TINAPA Family Festival, 25th -31st December is the Carnival Week
The Calabar Carnival & Festival is an opportunity to bring people together is going beyond tribal and religious conflicts. It showcases Africa’s talent and presents present brand visibility for consumer & market awarness.