Gov. Bassey Otu of Cross River on Thursday flagged off the street party of the 2023 edition of Carnival Calabar, with the theme, “Season of Sweetness”.
Otu, during the ceremony held at the Millennium Park in Calabar, said this was a fulfillment of one of his campaign promises to bring back the carnival on a bigger platform.
“This is one of our campaign promises that we are going to bring Carnival Calabar back and in a bigger platform.
“What you have seen is a tip of the iceberg because we are taking it to the next level. I can see our sponsors in their beautiful colours, we appreciate your efforts.
“Carnival Calabar remains the biggest street party in the world, it cost us some issues, funds and there was a break in transmission.
“And I am glad we have reconnected back fully, if you look at the energy, current and electricity here, you will know that the world is ready for us.
“I want you to know that this is an all-night event,” he said.
The governor appreciated the direct organiser of the carnival for a job well done, considering the level of organisation.
“I thank the organisers, you have done so well. I want to believe this will add more feathers to your caps.
“We believe that Cross River State is the destination, you have seen our full potential on display and I want to assure you of a period loaded with fun.
“In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, let this party begin,” he said.
Earlier, Dr Gabe Onah, Chairman of the state’s carnival commission, appreciated the support enjoyed from Gov. Otu, as he described him as an epitome of humanity.
“Mr Governor, you have created history here today with sons and daughters of the land coming to grace this carnival.
“We are overwhelmed, more than six AIGs in attendance along with the tam of sponsors here.
“This is the beginning of good things to come and I call Mr Governor an epitome of humanity,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that all seven carnival bands in different colourful attires displayed all forms of dance in reflection of the rich culture of the state.
The carnival has all the bands to perform in various theatrical areas from the Millennium Park, with a brief halt at each adjudication points and finally end the carnival at the UJ Esuene Stadium.
The bands are : Freedom, Passion 4, Bayside, Calasvegas, Masta Blasta, Seagull and Diamond, who are to cover a 12km distance during the carnival.