Carnival Calabar 2010: One event, five bands, diverse attractions – CometoNigeria
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Carnival Calabar 2010: One event, five bands, diverse attractions

The just concluded Calabar Festival got to its climax on December 27, a day after the electrifying floats of the children’s carnival was held in Calabar the Cross River State capital.

The festival has continued to send unprecedented signals to the world that Cross River State, has not only developed a domestic product blended with international style to engage domestic tourists but has also created a platform to attract foreign tourists and visitors to appreciate the hospitality and cultural wonders of the state.

The festival has claimed a melting pot for individuals, groups, families, tourists and corporate organisations, domestically and internationally, is significantly opening a new chapter for the government of Cross River State to fully actualise the benefit of tourism, to better the lot of the people.

For a month, precisely December, the festivity continued with pump and ceremony for holiday seekers who came into the city to be part of the biggest street party in Africa. And for the business oriented too, it was just the right time to make the best out of the money spinning event that directs traffic to Calabar.

The festival village, where business activities sprout with great fun and enthusiasm, made the concept of the Christmas market a boost that step up the socio-economic value for all categories of vendors who erected pavilion to feel the patronage pulse of the event.

However, this year’s edition of Carnival Calabar, was pepped up with different innovation to sustain the patronage to the yearly event and also attract newer visitors. The bands’ (passion four, masta blasta, bayside, freedom and seagull) magnificent regalia, artistic and socio-cultural presentation and colourful performance speak volume of the passion, strength and time each band had committed to the success of the 2010 carnival.

Unarguably, one will give it to the state government, carnival commission and different bands for the level of coordination, arrangement and transitional display of style and colour, considering the heavy down pour that affected carnival floats of some bands a previous day, they still had a good outing to behold.

Meanwhile, Passion Four Band, three-time winner of Carnival Calabar, has again repeated the feat by emerging the 2010 Band of the year. Beating four other Carnival bands namely: Bayside Band, Masta Blasta Band, Seagull Band and Freedom Band, Passion Four went home with the cash prize of N10 million while Seagull Band and Masta Blasta Band that came second and third, carted away N5 million and N3 million respectively.

Bands innovation
Bands in this year’s carnival fiesta were down to earth to giving the best to spectators and judges at every adjudication point. They showcase different dance steps, costumes and floats to give a perfect interpretation of the carnival Calabar theme; “ Our strength and resilience- the bedrock of our future”

The carnival train came with diverse attractions also availed spectators the opportunity of choosing from different adjudication points, along the 12-kilometre stretch of carnival route to watch while they relaxed to enjoy delicious meals offered for sale by food vendors, restaurants and hotels. Also the bands added colourful decoration and artistic impression to the carnival train.

The people
The enthusiasm of the Calabar people was total and practically showcased in the whole process of the carnival. From their promptness to the carnival route, warm reception, tfriendliness and hospitality, the culture of Carnival Calabar has developed to become a household affair.

Preparation for 2011
To know how practically committed the Cross River State government is to making subsequent event bigger and a far departure from the 2010 edition, a survey team was on ground during the carnival, taking data and putting across to tourists, visitors and the host city questions on how to improve on the carnival contents.

Speaking with TTH at the Millennium Park in Calabar, recently, was one of the representatives of the commissioned research company, Mr. Michael Ushie, who said the survey which is the first with RMS was to collect, analyse and present data that will assist the Cross River State government at setting a benchmark for every year’s festival with preference for the quest of visitors.

According to Ushie, “We have been on ground right from the beginning of the festival, making sure that we sample opinion from different audience; groups, individuals, families, visitors and tourists and we have been receiving good result from the respondents.

“We are sure that by the time we are through with the exercise, there would be a holistic trend in subsequent event.”

Written By: Wale Olapade
News Source: Nigerian Tribune
Date: 01/07/2011

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