– Carnival Calabar and Festival Timetable Unveiled –
A timetable showing 32 days of activities for this year’s edition of Carnival Calabar and Festival has been unveiled.
Carnival Calabar would take place on Thursday, December 28, 2017, according to the timetable unveiled yesterday at a press conference held at the Ernest Etim Bassey Press Centre in Calabar. It would be the climax of this annual celebration.
Speaking at the press conference, Mr Ken Aklah, Special Adviser to the Cross River State Governor on Events Management, said that Carnival Calabar “is almost like a driver in the entire 32 days”. He explained that government gives prominence to the carnival because the world associates Cross River State with it.
For this reason, he added that “government has lined up several exciting activities to ensure that visitors to Calabar would come and live and be at rest”, in line with Calabar’s acronym.
Mr Aklah disclosed that those “exciting activities” started on the 1st of December with a march of solidarity with people living with HIV and AIDS as well as commissioning of the Christmas Village located at Calabar Municipal Council.
According to him, “Christmas Village is a centre of commerce created by the government for the sake of our people and people around Calabar who are business inclined, to be able to see how they can make a living for themselves”.
He mentioned that in addition to ensuring that tight security has been provided at the village, a borehole has been sunk there, while modern toilet facilities have also been built there to ensure the best of hygiene and sanitation.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Events Management further disclosed that the last dry run for the carnival would take place on Sunday, 17th of December. He said that the dry run would be flagged off by the Honourable Minister for Culture and Tourism because “Cross River State is the flagship of Tourism in Nigeria”.
In addition, the Special Adviser announced that a food festival is scheduled for next week and would run for three days at the African Club, Calabar. According to him, it is necessary to showcase the fact that Cross Riverians are good in cuisines.
Furthermore, Mr Aklah said that “Power Week” would commence from the 26th of December. He explained that “Power Week is that week where all of the major events would take place. From the 26th of December, we are running the first of such events which is called the Cultural Parade. 22 states would be participating.”
“The 18 Local Government Areas of Cross River State would also be participating. The idea in that parade is for us to showcase our way of doing things through the clothes we wear and through our dances”.
The festival’s timetable shows that Bikers parade would take place in the morning of Wednesday, December 27th while Miss Africa beauty pageant would take place in the evening of that day. Also, “Wonders on Wheel” would take place in the morning of Friday, 29th of December. It would feature a display of vintage cars that are getting outdated.
An international carnival is scheduled to hold at the state stadium in the evening of that day. Green Carnival is scheduled for the morning of Saturday, December 30th where Cross River State would symbolically display actions that are favorable to the environment. This would culminate in a street party in the evening of that day.
There would be fireworks to usher in the new year on Sunday, December 31, 2017.
Mr Aklah explained that contrary to public expectations, city lighting and fireworks could not hold on the 30th of November because Governor Ben Ayade believes that it is good to satisfy people and put them in a mood for Christmas before symbolically lighting the city. Therefore, Mr Aklah disclosed that city lighting ceremony has been tentatively scheduled for Monday, 11th of December.
He submitted that all activities for Carnival Calabar and Festival are designed to ensure that guests to Calabar would be enticed to invest in Cross River State, in the interest of the state’s economy.
Earlier at the press conference, Mrs Rosemary Archibong, Commissioner for Information and Orientation in Cross River State, stated that despite difficult times in the country, Governor Ben Ayade has continued to ensure that Carnival Calabar and Festival remains a brand that brings global attention and prominence to Cross River State.
She said that work has commenced in filling potholes on roads, to ensure free movement throughout this period and beyond. The Commissioner added that the state government paid December’s salaries to workers ahead of time, so that people can be in relaxed moods for the festival.
Equally, Mr Gabriel Onah, Chairman, Cross River State Carnival Commission, described Carnival Calabar and Festival as a commercial success that is natural to Cross River State. He praised Governor Ben Ayade for sustaining and adding variety to it. According to him, some visiting countries to the carnival use the opportunity of such visits to forge beneficial relationships with Cross River State. He said about 25 countries are expected to attend this year’s event.
On his part, Mr Eric Anderson, Commissioner for Tourism and Culture, disclosed that the Cultural Center in Calabar would host regular theatrical performances showcasing Cross River State’s cultural heritage, during this period.
Also speaking, Mr Thomas Ikpeme, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor of Cross River State on Events and Tourism, disclosed that artistes such as Flavor, Inyanya, Style Plus, DJ Jimmy Jatt, Patoranking, Mafikizolo of South Africa and others, are expected to perform on some days of the ongoing festival.
- Cornelius Ellah
Facebook: Cornelius Ellah