To ensure a better outing at this year’s edition of the annual Carnival Calabar, the organisers have commenced early preparations, amid the promise of the best-ever show.
According to the Cross River State Carnival Commission, the organisers of the carnival, which is the largest street party in Africa, activities of the carnival have commenced with the unveiling of the theme of this year’s edition by Bassey Out, governor of Cross River State, recently at the Akwaaba African Travel Market in Lagos, where he was the special guest of honour.
Speaking at the unveiling, the governor declared the theme as ‘Season of Sweetness’, noting that the theme varies every year to align with the happenings surrounding Nigeria and the globe.
For him, the unveiling of the carnival was an intellectual platform to entertain, educate, and inform the public and the audience at the carnival.
According to him, this year, the carnival will exhibit rare colours, costumes, floats, pyrotechnics, magic, acrobatics and more through the 12-kilometre carnival route.
The carnival, according to the governor, is the expression of the state and the people’s heritage of hospitality and Africa’s warmest welcome.
“Carnival Calabar represents the most tangible tourism product in the calendar of events of Cross River State and in Nigeria in general.
“It was and still is a strategic plan for the actualisation of the vision of transforming Cross River State socio-economically through the instrumentality of the performing arts,” Governor Otu said.
While exploring a robust public-private partnership framework, the governor noted that some of the new contents of the carnival include; children’s carnival, boat regatta, the exciting and colourful Night of Kings and Queens and essay competition to sustain the academic component of the carnival.
Other new projects, according to Gabe Onah, chairman, Cross River State Carnival Commission, include the collaboration with the Brazilian Embassy to improve on quality of finished works from the costumes to wire bending to the floats on the road.
With the newly constituted members of the Commission, Onah averred that this year’s show will witness an unprecedented outing in contents and offerings.
Robert Ewa, Commissioner for Tourism, Art and Culture, Cross River State, assured of security and better road network as the new government is already working to ensure supporting infrastructure is in place.
“I can assure you that this year’s Carnival Calabar will be different because we are bringing in new ideas, and innovations and we are going to do our best by using our superior contacts to scout for sponsorship.
“From our discussion here today, the Commission is more than prepared to tackle the challenges ahead and give us a good show this year,” the commissioner said.