By Magnus Effiong, Calabar
The Cross River government has said it was hosting gospel singers like Mercy Chinwo, Joe Praize, Jimmy D Psalmist, Moses Bliss amongst many other gospel artists as part of activities scheduled for this year’s Calabar Carnival, which fun lovers refer to as ‘Africa’s biggest street party.’
Eric Anderson, the State Commissioner for Culture and Tourism Development, who made this known in a telephone chat with our reporter in Calabar, Monday, said Mrs Chinwo and others would be joined by local-based artists and various choir bands in a special gospel event tagged ‘Praise and Worship Night’ at the UJ Esuene stadium on Friday, December 23.
He said other activities lined up include: Miss Africa Beauty Pageant, Old School Party, Bikers Parade, Cultural Parade, Choreography, Song and Stage productions, Award Ceremonies, Arabian Night, Street Parties, Power Week amongst others.
“Cultural parade will take place on Monday, the 26th of December. We are trying to introduce masquarade this time for a documentary. In the evening of that Monday, we will have an event tagged ‘Arabian Night ‘ at the Governor’s Lodge.
“On the 27th, there will be the bikers parade and in the evening, we will have the Miss Africa Beauty Pageant while 28th December is the Carnival Calabar proper. 29th is international carnival while the Old School Party is slated for 30th at the Glass House in Governor’s Office” he stated.
The Commissioner disclosed further that not fewer than 10 countries and 20 States would also take part in the 2022 Carnival Calabar.
“We are expecting not less than 10 countries. It would have been more but some countries still have issues on travel protocols. At least 20 States in the country have already told us they are coming,” he stated.
After a two-year break caused by the coronavirus pandemic, he said, the 2022 carnival, which has the theme ‘Agro-Industrialization’ is planned to be bigger.
“For two years, there was a global issue that did not allow events across International lines to take place and for us, we are resuming as most big events around the world had their Carnival a few months ago. Cross River is Nigeria’s Tourism destination, so we are ready with exciting events,” he submitted.
According to him, the Carnival Bands were increased from five to seven because “we discovered that there were a lot of people that want to be revelers in our Carnival Bands.”
On security, Mr Anderson said adequate security measures had been put in place, and noted “Though we have pockets of insecurity issues around the Country, we will try our best to secure the State, the event venues, our routes, and our people as much as we can.”
This is the last Calabar Carnival event for the Governor Ben Ayade-led administration, and this may have explained why the State government resolved to make it bigger and memorable.