CARNIVAL CALABAR & FESTIVAL 2022: CROSS RIVER ANNOUNCES PLANS TO HOST THE WORLD THIS CHRISTMAS
The government of Cross River State have announced plans to host the annual Carnival Calabar & Festival this year, following a two-year break post covid-19.
The annual festival, which last for 32 Days hosts guests and tourists from home and abroad. Announcing plans for the celebration this year while addressing press men in Calabar, capital of Cross River State, the Commissioner for Culture & Tourism Development, Mr Eric Anderson stated that ‘as we gear up for the 2022 experience, we are starting with full engagement of the public and private sector with a participatory innovation approach.
Mr Anderson said ‘we will be calling for entries for suggestible carnival theme for 2022 and the person with the selected theme will be carting home a cash reward of One Million Naira (N1, 000,000). This will usher in the public unveiling of the theme, followed by the release of dates for dry run, beginning from October 2022.’
“For two years we could not have the pleasure to come forth on a matter as this. The truth is that just as we wanted to sustain our tourism economy, the world was hit by a pandemic. So the government had held firmly to the commitment to always offer an experience that is safe and fair to all concerned and further more following global standards and expectations, it was only in our best interest to observe global sanctions against social gatherings,” his speech partly reads.
“Therefore as the head of the tourism cluster and state executive council member, I wish to expressly convey the commitment of His Excellency, Prof. Ben Ayade, the governor of Cross River State, on the assurances that Cross River State will not just host another street bustling colorful pageantry of feathers in 2022 following a two year off, but she is expanding the brand with innovations for increased participation and patronage while ensuring that the socio-economical benefits trickle down.”
Highlighting the introductions, he said ‘good to inform that key in the expanding development is that the competing carnival bands has been increased to Seven(7), with the constitution of two new bands being Calasvegas and Diamond Carnival bands, to add to Seagull, Bayside, Passion Four, Freedom and Masta Blasta Carnival Bands.
Also speaking, the Chairman Carnival Commission, Mr Gabe Ona opined that in the last 16 to 20 years of the signature events, the best partnership enjoyed has been with the media, hence the need to commence activities by hosting a parley with journalists. Other existing activities have also been spiced up with improved content, they include the Calasvegas African Music Night, Miss Africa Pageant, Bikers Parade, Masquerade and Cultural Carnival, Wonders on Wheels, International Carnival, Stunts and Acrobatics Night, Musical Concert and Corals, Utomo Obong, Acachak, Qua Festival, Arts-Crafts and Cultural Village and the Christmas village jamboree, Paradise Music Festival and Awards and the Cross River Movie Awards.”
In conclusion, the actor cum politician affirmed the readiness of the state to host the world in 2022; ‘Be rest assured, that Cross River State still remains the destination of choice and our flagship tourism product, the carnival is ever unfolding with enthralling thrills of exciting moments, he added.
The press briefing had in attendance the commissioner for Local Government Affairs, Mrs Stella Odey, the MD Waste Management, Sunny Oko, Austin Cobham, Executive Secretary, Carnival Commission, DG CRISSA, Effiom Effiwat, State Security Adviser (South), Henry Okokon, Executive Secretary CUDA, Joemary Ekeng and the DG Primary Health Care, Janet Ekpenyong.