Saturday, 03 November 2012 00:00
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Canaan City embraces new dawn

GOVERNOR Liyel Imoke of Cross River State has flagged off the first leg of the Carnival Calabar Dry Run and also unveiled the carnival theme, "celebrating a new dawn" in an event held recently at the Millennium Park, Calabar (a.k.a The Canaan City).

In his speech at the ceremony, Governor Imoke commended the Cross River State Carnival Commission, organizers of the carnival, and assured that the carnival is becoming self-sustaining with more private sector involvement.

According to him, the ultimate aim 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 foster peace in the state.

The Governor hopes that the four participating carnival bands will, through their dance, songs and presentations, interpret the theme, which has a prize for correct interpretation.

He commended the team spirit of the bands and urged the citizens, visitors and investors to work towards realizing the new dawn in the state's tourism, hospitality and 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.

The governor, who was accompanied by his wife, Obioma, gave kudos to out-gone and incoming members of the state carnival commission for introducing what will help the state realize its vision of a carnival that will grow from strength to strength and outgrow already established carnivals across the world.

Speaking earlier, the Chairman, Cross River State Carnival Commission, Gabe Onah, assured that the commission  is  making 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 noted that the private sector led by the corporate world should identify more with the carnival, which is the largest street party in Nigeria.

With the successful first leg of the Dry Run, three other ones will be held before the main carnival in December. Onah noted that the Dry Run mock carnival is necessary to create more awareness, assess the level of preparedness of the band, and enable the organizers to make amendments that will lead to a successful outing at the grand finale.

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 (Bluel Passion 4 (Green), Seagulls Band (Red), Master Blasta (Orange) and Freedom Band (Yellow). They participated in the mock carnival while security and department of public transportation were at hand to ensure that things were in order.