Cross River State Governor Ben Ayade yesterday inaugurated the 2016 dry run to signify the commencement of the 2016 annual Calabar Carnival.
Ayade said the celebration marked the 12th anniversary of the carnival.
The theme of the 2016 carnival is ‘Climate Change.’ The carnival is ‘the largest street party in Africa.’
Ayade said the carnival had promoted talent and creativity, adding that it had united the people of Cross River and Nigeria.
“Today, we are flagging off the 12th annual Calabar carnival, the largest street party ever; the greatest show in Africa.
“We promise to make this year’s carnival the best and fun loving ever,’’ he said.
Ayade lauded the efforts of the people of Cross River and the participants for coming out en mass for the dry run.
He invited tourists from all over the world to visit Calabar to experience an exciting carnival.
Chairman Calabar Carnival Commission Gabriel Onah, said the carnival had continued to grow from strength to strength with yearly innovations.
“We are celebrating 12 years of Cross River carnival, 12 years of oneness and unity, 12 years in showcasing what we have and what we are’’, Onah said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that five carnival bands :Seagull, Master Blaster, Passion 4, Freedom and Bayside will participate.
NAN also reports that the participants were beautifully dressed in different attires, while security was mounted in all the carnival routes.
Dignitaries at the ceremony included Deputy Governor Ivara Esu, Speaker John Gaul-Lebo, Senator Florence Ita-Giwa, among others.