Cross Rivers State government has revealed that over 10 countries and 20 states in Nigeria will grace the 2022 Calabar carnival.
Briefing the media in Abuja on Wednesday, Cross River State commissioner for culture and tourism development, Hon. Eric Anderson, said additional packages have been added into the carnival for maximum benefit of all delegates and the state in particular.
Hon Anderson said due to COVID-19 pandemic, Cross River State was not able to organize the yearly carnival which had led to much economic loss to the people and the state in the tourism sector.
He said the pandemic period had given the state much ample opportunity to think deeply to ensure the carnival concept is rebranded with additional concept and packages for maximum benefit of those involved.
The tourism commissioner informed that additional upward review of the Calabar carnival from 5 packages to seven will enhance mutual tourism benefit to all delegates including visiting countries of the world.
“Many Art Villages, Nollywood actors and actresses will be in attendance. There is also an Award Night to spice up the event.
“More choirs which include the legislative Choirs, the judicial Choirs among others will participate at the event that will culminate in award night.”
During Christmas Eve, the Commissioner said all delegates are expected to appear with their white garments.
One of the new features of the carnival, he disclosed is introduction of Arabian carnival that is to be hosted by the governor of Cross Rivers State, Prof Ben Ayade.
Another new concept injected into the yearly festival celebration is bikers, where operators will be expected to operate within some designated routes in the state.
According to the commissioner, Senator Florence Ita Giwa and Chief Eden Duke will lead the band around the state.
Reacting to questions fielded by reporters during the briefing, the commissioner assured that adequate security arrangement have been put in place to ensure adequate security before, during and after the carnival, maintaining that security meeting had severally been held with all security heads in the state about the upcoming event.
“On our first dry run which held in October, we had all the heads of those arms participating in it and they have given their full commitment. “Though we have pockets of insecurity issues around the country, but we will try our best to secure the state, the event venues, our routes and our people as much as we can,” he added.
While reacting to questions about availability of hotels within the state with a view to accommodate visitors during the carnival, the commissioner appealed to all residents in Cross Rivers to be willing and accommodative to visitors.