The deserving capital of Cross River State, this town and its residents happily invite people to visit the wonderful attractions that mark her past and present :The Slave Trade Museum, the Tinapa Water Park Resort ,the botanical garden , among many other wonderful locations, would enthrall tourists desirous of premium experience for their time, energy and money .
The city also proudly hosts the world in its yearly Calabar Carnival.
While many players in Nigerian tourism industry have described Calabar Carnival as the nation`s biggest street party, other operators labelled it Africa`s biggest. This event began 18 years ago as a cultural extravaganza to bring diverse people to the friendly capital of Cross River State. Since then it has grown in size and importance.
The 2018 Calabar Carnival turned out to be even more colorful , more vibrant and more representative of lively league of nations as shown in the diversity of participants who graced the fanfare. Representatives came from as many as 26 countries, virtually from all the world continents came one reveler or a group of participants .
Brazil, the nation of the biggest carnival in the world, was ably represented. Organized under the pacesetting efforts of Calabar International Carnival Consultant, the Brazilian representatives came to the parade full of enthusiasm and winning spirit .They were among the winners of the 2017 event .Although South Africa took the 1st Prize in the 2018 street parade , Brazil put up commendable show.
While different stunts and acrobatics were in display , Brazilian representatives came with their national staple , the Capoeira which is Afro-Brazilian martial art display that combines music , dance and defensive acrobatics. Other countries who made notable presentations in the street parade include Mexico ( they won the Second Prize ) ,Lithuania ( Third Prize ), Ghana, Switzerland , Ethiopia , the United States ,Kenya ,Guinea ,Ukraine , Senegal and others.
The 31- day event (December 1 to January 1) was a mega tourism booster both for the welcoming people of Cross River and Nigeria . Approximately 2 million people attended, according to the organizers . The event was broadcast live to estimated 50 million audience in Nigeria and around the world.
During the past years themes of the Calabar Carnival had been brain gain versus brain drain of African immigration , the reality and impact of climate change, and other relevant sub-themes . Africanism, the 2018 theme , remains the most audacious and germane .Africanism is a topic that is not only brilliantly contemporaneous but a subject that inspires more awareness and pride in the wealthy continent where civilization started.
African rich cultural heritage, its diversity and vibrant people deserved a profound collective story. The wonderful parades and creative displays helped to tell this story in a grander style and embellishment. The dance, music, colorful costumes and organization revolved around this wonderful African theme.
Special kudos to the Cross River State Government under the visionary leadership of governor Ben Ayade. Exceptional thank you note goes to Calabar Carnival Commission directed by a result-oriented chairman, Mr Gabe Onah. They worked tirelessly with other stakeholders to give the world a successful biggest street party in Africa .Special thanks to agents, business men and women who ensured that guests from all over the world came participated and travelled back to their destinations without problems.
Calabar International Carnival Consultant , Mr. Ikechi Uko , has been in the forefront of organizing intercontinental cultural and business events and providing necessary logistics support to enable representatives participate fully in Calabar Carnival and other shows in the continent . This firm deserves commendation for its professional delivery. Africanism machine is on the move!
by Christopher N. Nwachukwu