Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State has inaugurated the `Calabar Municipal Garden’ which will serve as the 2017 Calabar Carnival village.
Ayade said the village was chosen because it was central and accessible to residents and tourists.
The governor, who was represented by Dr. Inyang Asibong, the State Commissioner for Health, said the village would serve as venue for funfair and market for Christmas shopping.
He said that adequate security measures had been taken to safeguard tourists and fun seekers at the village.
“It is to the glory of God that we have witnessed the first and second dry run of the 2017 Calabar carnival.
“I wish to declare the 2017 Calabar carnival village open to all. The 2017 carnival will be better and bigger.
“We have put in place more convenient facilities in this village that would serve the taste of our expected tourists.
“I wish to assure all those coming in for the carnival of adequate security.
“Calabar carnival is the largest street party in Africa. It is time for the world to visit Calabar again for that fun fair,’’ he said.
The governor said that the carnival had promoted unity and created strong relationships between the state and others in Nigeria and the international community.
The 31-day festival begins today, December 1 with the World AIDS Day celebration.
Earlier, Hon. Kenn Aklah, the Special Adviser on Event Management to Ayade, said that shops in the village had been concessioned to individuals with a view to create wealth.
“We have segment for food and drinks, recreational centre, Christmas wears and accessories, with good sanitary system and tight security.
“We also have trash cans in different spots where consumed items can be disposed’’, he said.
Major roundabouts along the carnival routes have been decorated with sparkling colours and lightings, while shops and buildings are being painted with blue and white to reflect the state colours.
See pictures from the World AIDS Day below: