Calabar Carnival the biggest street carnival in Nigeria


Calabar Carnival festival in Nigeria, also tagged ” Africa’s Biggest Street Party”, was created as part of the vision of making the Cross River State in Nigeria, the number one tourist destination for Nigerians andtourists all over the world. The carnival which begin on every 1 December and last till 31 December has boosted the cultural mosaic of Nigeria people while entertaining the millions of spectators within and outside the State, and boosting industry for all stakeholders.


The Calabar Carnival has come a long way. It all started 2004, when the governor of Cross River State, Mr Donald Duke, had a vision of making his state the hub for tourism and hospitality in Nigeria and in Africa

Cross River State and Calabar has become the pride of Nigeria or Africa as far as tourism, carnivals and hospitality is concerned.

The 2016 edition makes it the 12th anniversary with more bands being inculcated into the event. So far, there are 5 competitive and 7 non-competitive bands to participate in this year’s edition which is being tagged ‘Green Carnival’, a theme similar to that of last years’.

As Cross River State being the greener state in Nigeria, Green Carnival signifies the effort the state is using to keep it large forest to help reduce global warming.

Below are the participating Carnival Bands, their origins and what they signify.

1. Bayside Band

Bayside Band is one of the five Carnival Bands registered in the annual Christmas Festival of Cross River State of Nigeria. Membership in the Band is open to all Nigerians and foreigners. The Band is easily identified by its characteristic and distinctive aqua marine

Code colour (blue).

Leader:Donald Duke (Former Governor)

2. Seagull Band

Seagull band is one of the Carnival Bands registered in 2005 for the Cross River State annual Christmas festival. It is the most stylish and co-ordinated body with the main objective of promoting and sustaining the Tourism and Hospitality industry and at large, to enhance the status of the under privilege through charity. The band display the African Culture through aesthetics, talents and innovation, paraded annually during the Carnival.

The band is under the dynamic and charismatic leadership of the vibrant distinguish Sen. (Princess) Florence Ita-Giwa (OON)

Code colour: Red

3. Freedom Band

Freedom band which is identified with the colour Yellow; was founded by Capt. Henry Brisibe and Mr. Larry Esin in 2005. Since its establishment, the band has consistently been among the best three in all previous editions of the Carnival Calabar event. His Excellency, Barr. Efiok Cobham, the Former Deputy Governor of Cross River State, is presently the grand patron of the band.

The band is under the dynamic and charismatic leadership of the vibrant distinguish Sen. (Princess) Florence Ita-Giwa (OON)

4. Masta Blasta Band

The Masta Blasta Band also known as “The Orange Family“, is the largest & most entertaining of the 5 principal bands of the annual Carnival Calabar.

The Masta Blasta Band was established in December 2005. Also known as the “Orange Family”, the band has a membership base of over 10, 000 members from all over the world. They are the largest and most entertaining of all the 5 competing bands on parade during the annual Carnival Calabar (the largest street party in Africa).

The Orange Family is currently the overall champions of the 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 Carnival Calabar. They are on record, as the only band that has won the most prices in all categories of the competition within a single year, in the entire history of the Calabar Carnival.

5. Passion 4

Passion 4 is the most successful band in Carnival Calabar, having been six edition Champions and two editions first runners up in the twelve years of the existence of the competition aspect of the carnival. Passion 4 has been declared as Africa’s most outstanding band by all its adjudicators as the band continues to grow in creativity, organization and style in the Africa’s biggest street party.

Passion 4 whose former leader and founder’, Mr. Chris Agibe who also served as the former Executive Secretary of the Cross River State Carnival Commission has new band leader called Barr. Attah Ochinike, the Attorney general and and former Commissioner for Justice of Cross River State.

Passion 4 which is also the green band is the only band that creates a level playing field for children and adults to have fun. The band is every sponsor’s ideal platform for partnership and the mileage we offer is next to none

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