This article is a follow up to A Calabar Christmas Guide.

The streets of Calabar were once again filled with spectators and Carnival lovers as the 2012 edition of the Carnival Calabar was held on December 27th. Dubbed Africa’s biggest street party, thousands of costumed revelers danced along the 12 km Carnival route to entertain screaming spectators. It was a public holiday in the state which allowed for everyone to enjoy the day and cheer on their favourite Carnival bands.

The 2012 theme was “Celebrating a new dawn” and featured the regular competing bands, namely the Passsion4 band, the Seagulls band,the Bayside band, and last, but not least, the Master Blaster band. This year also had some Latin spice with the Sao Paolo Vai Vai Samba Carnival Band of Brazil, winners of the 2012 Brazilian Carnival. The Brazilian band was invited to attend and perform at the event. Vai-vai explained that Carnival is a practical way of thanking God through joy and party and that they have used that medium as an independent nation to express themselves internationally. He said they are in Calabar to display Brazilian Samba, which is reputed to be a world class dancing style and show off their beautiful costumes. They displayed their traditional Samba dance which got the crowds going wild. At the end of the day, the Masterblaster Band won Carnival and claimed the prize of N10m ($60,000), while Passion4 band came  in second place winning N5m ($30,000), while the Freedom Band went home with N3m ($18,000).

Entertainment at this year’s Festival was not lacking with shows every night during the month of December. Hip hop sensation, Akon, and legendary South African trumpeter, composer, and singer, Hugh Masekela, led a star-studded list of international and local musicians that performed at this year’s Calabar Festival. This was the second time that Akon performed at the festival. Some Nigerian acts that graced the stage included 2 Face, MI, Ice Prince, P-Square, Wizkid, J Martins and Naeto C, Wande Coal, Iyanya, and Flavour. The Azonto master Sakordie from Ghana also performed at the Festival.

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