Governor Liyel Imoke
The organisers of Carnival Calabar have expressed their preparedness to host a top-notch 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 colorful 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, Governor 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 hopes that the four participating carnival bands will through their dance, song and presentations interpret the theme which has a prize for correct interpretation.
The governor who was accompanied by his wife, Obioma, 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.
Speaking earlier, Gabe Onah, chairman, Cross River State Carnival Commission, assured that the commission is make 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 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.
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 securities, department of public transportation were at hand to ensure things were in order.