The Calabar Carnival: West Africa’s biggest street party

The Calabar Carnival is the largest street party in Africa. With the aim of promoting tourism and helping the economy, former Governor Donald Duke of Cross River state started the Calabar Carnival in 2004 . The state takes pride in it as countries across the world come to witness this event. The annual event begins every 1st December till New Year’s eve. Last year’s carnival was themed “Season of Sweetness” by the Governor of Cross River state, Senator Prince Otu.

The event commenced with the tree lighting ceremony followed by fashion shows, music performances, various competitions, masque parade, etc. The major events during the period were the Biker’s Parade, Miss Africa Beauty Pageant, Calabar Street Parade & Band of the year, Wonder on wheels and the Green Carnival. The Biker’s Parade was a thrilling display of luxury motorcycles and their owner’s skills on the streets.

Different bikers brought the audience awe as they showcased their skills on two wheels. In the evening, models from different African countries entertained the spectators with their vibrant cultures, dances and traditions. These models had a huge impact on the audience as they embraced every ethnic group, states and counties. The most anticipated event was the Calabar Street Parade & Band of the year, the bands; Bayside Band, Freedom Band, Seagull Band, Masta Blasta Band, Passion 4 Band and the recently added bands, Diamond Band and Calas Vegas come out in their respective colour of blue, yellow, red, orange, green, purple and white to display their dances, floats and costumes that interprets the theme of the carnival in the state’s U. J. Esuene Stadium.

They then proceeded to the streets where the people and judges awaited them. The Wonders on wheels has different vintage cars on display while the Green Carnival is all about caring for mother earth. The atmosphere of this whole event was inviting as people from far and near came to witness this electrifying street party.

The events are always broadcasted to about 50 million homes so they won’t let out on the excitement. This event is always used to end the year in a beautiful way.

Achong, Ritem James,

Plot No. 186A, 14 Road, Federal Housing Authority, Adjacent Authority Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC),

Lugbe, Abuja.