About Calabar carnival 2012 - Nigeria info blog


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1 Dec 2012

About Calabar carnival 2012

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Calabar Carnival, Biggest Street Party (Picture Credit: folio.ng/)

Where will you be this Christmas?  well, for me its definitely CALABAR in Cross River State Nigeria. And yes, that's the place to be. The annual calabar carnival which is the biggest street show and the largest cultural festival in the whole of Africa has never failed to live up to its hype and expectations. And this year it has even promised more, and i have no doubt whatsoever as to  if it can deliver on that.

About calabar carnival
Calabar carnival is a unique display of African culture 'n heritage showcased through music,dance,drama and visual creativity which is reflected in the design of floats, costumes and make-up. Despite the fun and relaxed interpretation of the carnival theme under a strict adjudication process. The result is simply pure magic - an outpouring of colour, sound and spectacular, unmatched by anything else on the continent. i mean, there can never be any equal. At least anyone who has been there once can attest to that. little wonder its somehow addictive as people who has gone there once always come back for more. some even wish its a more regular show  so they can always do a weekend getaway with there loved ones to calabar. So i must warn you at this point, that its quite addictive, leaving you asking for more.

typically, the carnival parade is held on the 26th and 27th of december and it is the climax of 32days event which begins  on 30th november and ends 1st of january.

 The calabar carnival features  5 major competing bands and 10 non-competing bands. The major bands are comprised of approximately 10,000 revellers each, including up to five kings and queens wearing large-scale but beautifully made carnival costumes that interpret the annual theme and set the tone for the other outfits.

Sections of these costumed revellers create a riot of  beautiful colors and sparkle, along a 12km route accompanied by great live music, DJs, well-decorated floats and steel bands through the utterly delectable streets of Calabar, all making you feel like this should never end. The Carnival parade terminates at the UJ Esuene Stadium which is the final adjudication and end point of the competition for 'Band of the Year' in various categories. With 50,000 costumed revellers, the competition attracts and additional 15,000 seated spectators and 10,000 others in an around the stadium, 2 million spectators as well as 50 million TV viewers. can you beat that.
Big names like Akon, P-Square and Wizkid are some of the artistes that has been confirmed to perform at the festival.

A little advice to you, if you plan on flying to Calabar for the festival/carnival,  you may need to book for your flight early enough to avoid the rush and scramble for Calabar bound flight/tickets as has already witnessed on the kick off/ Christmas tree lighting on the 30th of November. I therefore enjoin you, especially if you leave around south-south and south-east, to make out time and be in Calabar. And if you stay in/around calabar or you've got all the time to spare this Xmas  then you can even stay longer for other events that made up the calabar festival such as 
  • Carnival Calabar football competition(The Carni-Cal Cup)
  • Traditional drumming, arts, crafts and food festival
  • Adults' and children's dry runs(the dress rehearsal for Carnival)
  • J'ouvert
  • Band fetes(Mbre Mbre)
  • Carnival Calabar Queen Pageant grand finale incorporating the Mary Slessor Golf Charity Dinner
  • Children's Carnival and Christmas party
  • Cultural Carnival
  • Carnival Calabar Adults Costume Parade.                                                                                                ....so never a dull moment through the holiday.                                                                           For further info on the dates of these other events and other things, check the official carnival website at www.carnivalcalabar.com

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