•Speaker, Cross River State House of Assembly, Hon John Gaul Lebo, (3rd from left) flanked to the left by Senator Florence Ita Giwa, chairman Carnival Association,  member representing Obudu, Obanliku and Bekwarra Federal Constituency, Hon. Legor Idagbo and wife Mrs Casandra Idagbo, Chairman Calabar Festival Committee, Mr. Ken Aklah and representative of Multichoice Nigeria listening to Chairman Carnival Calabar Commission Mr. Gabe Onah during the Carnival Calabar dry run yesterday

Cross River State governor, Prof Ben Ayade has assured residents and visitors alike of a bigger carnival this year. He gave the assurance at the Millennium Park in Calabar while flagging off the last carnival dry run to herald the main carnival which is slated for December 28.

Calling on the people of the state to open their hearts and doors to receive tourists who will be trooping into the state for this year’s Carnival Calabar, Ayade, who was represented by the Speaker, Cross River State House of Assembly, Rt Hon John Gaul Lebo, said; “The event which has become part and parcel of our state will be bigger and richer in content this year. So we must continue to exhibit the hospitality nature we are known for in receiving visitors.”

He expressed optimism that the current economic recession in the country will have a positive effect on this year’s Carnival.

“Cross River State will experience massive turnout of visitors to watch and participate in the biggest street party in Africa as it will be free, interesting, bigger and bolder,” he added.

The governor lauded the various carnival bands for their active and brilliant participation in the dry run and urged them to maintain the tempo.

Earlier, Chairman Cross River State Carnival Commission, Mr. Gabe Onah, disclosed that the event was tagged “dry run of celebrities” as some members of the Nollywood family were in the state to participate in the event prior to the 4th edition of the Cross River movie awards.”

Onah also said that,” this is the last dry run after two successful hosting; hence we expect a great show on December 28.”

The event saw revelers dancing in their beautiful costumes along the 12km carnival route.