Monday, April 8, 2013

Lagos Carnival, regatta thrill tourists at Easter

By Jimoh Babatunde
Lagos state is gradually becoming the city to be for Easter as the annual Lagos Black Heritage Festival has continued to attract tourists to the state.
Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS) was filled to the brim on Easter Monday for the grand finale of the week long activities as Lagosians and tourists trooped out to be part of the carnival.
From the National Museum, Onikan,  where the 6km children  carnival kicked off to Ikoyi where the adults  kicked started their  9km parade,  the streets where filled with carnival floats and onlookers watching with excitement.
Vehicular movement was restricted within the Lagos Island as revellers displayed varied creative designs and colourful costumes with a large number of beautiful people.
Over 2500  children from schools in Lagos  took part in the procession  as they  brought  creativity to bear on their choices of costumes depicting stories relating to the theme of this year’s event which is “Bring Back Brazil”.
A day earlier, the state aquatic splendour came alive once again with cultural troupes from around the state on Easter Sunday when the  fourth edition of the  Lagos Water Regatta took place.
Tourists at the Falomo waterfront and Civic centres were thrilled by parade of floats and canoes with traditional, cultural and social troupes from all communities within the state The men in the boats later danced and rowed to show agility and their prowess in handling water transport.
The Regatta consisted of large fishing boats, ferries, water lightening, barges and other marine vessels each depicting the social, cultural, traditional folklores and occupational aspects of the Lagos people.
Governor Babatunde Fashola  said the regatta was a decision of the government to expand, as well as showcase, the cultural heritage of the state.
The Regatta was conceived as part of activities for the celebration of the Lagos Black Heritage Festival which serves as a platform for us to rejuvenate our socio cultural values in the state.
“The Regatta, on its own, has become a social asset, a renaissance of a greater part of the culture of Lagosians. This administration is poised to exploit the commercial essence of its content by heightening the interest of corporate organisations here in Lagos and around the country in promoting it into tourist’s delight.”
Earlier the Regatta Planning Committee Chairman, Mr. Olusegun Jawando, said the event offered the opportunity for residents and tourists to enjoy the beauty of the lagoon in a safe and exciting atmosphere.
He said, “The Lagos Regatta is a private sector initiative supported by the state government as a part of the Black Heritage Week event. It is born out of the desire of the government to draw attention to the state’s waterways which is one of its biggest assets.”