Carnival Calabar is one of the events at Calabar Festival
Announcing this at the final adjudication point, the chairman, Cross River State Carnival Commission, Gab Onah, said Masta Blasta beat four other bands – Seagull, Freedom, Bayside and four time winner, Passion4, to emerge overall winner.
Masta Blasta Band first defeated Passion4 at the 2012 edition of the carnival.
Speaking after the announcement, one of the band leaders, Bassey Ekefre, said Masta Blasta Band intended to maintain the feat for the next ten years. Mr. Ekefre, who is a NEITI board member, thanked all band members for their ingenuity, resilience and effort which he said paid off.
Carnival Calabar is a sub-set of the thirty-two days non-stop fun of the Calabar festival, packaged by the Cross River State Government to showcase its vast tourism potentials.
The carnival train takes off from the U.J Esuene Sports Stadium and completes a 12 kilometre route.
The festival, which started in 2000, has grown to become an international brand, with the carnival being the high point. An estimated 2.7 million visitors reportedly attend the festival each year.
“The carnival keeps growing by the year with many more countries indicating interest to participate,’’ one of the organisers said.
This year, over seven countries- including Brazil, Ghana, and Trinidad and Tobago- as well other states within the country participated in the carnival; with the Nigerian Army, Police and Civil Defence Corps as non-competing bands.
The festival got more sponsorship this year, with DSTV joining other corporate sponsors like First Bank, Guinness, Dangote, Unicem, among other corporate organisations.
More images from the Carnival