Cross Rivers State Government has announced that the Calabar Carnival will be back in December after a two-year hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Commissioner for Culture & Tourism, Eric Anderson revealed during a briefing to introduce the Carnival’s planned events adding that two more competing bands will perform, bringing the total to seven bands.
Calasvegas and Diamond Bands are the new two.
They join the former five of Seagull, Bay side, Passion4, Freedom and Master Blasts Bands.
While speaking about the Calabar Carnival, Eric Anderson explained briefly why the carnival had to be suspended and gave a hint on what do expect going forward.
“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.
“Decisions were made and steps taken in 2020 and 2021, earlier to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and save humanity from this creeping scorch but when we were to unveil 2021, the Omicron variant of the Covid-19 was not in any way to be undermined.
“We will agree that it was ingenious and a carefully considered decision to halt the Calabar Festival experience for this two years.
“Lessons have been learnt on the contributions and vacuum the Carnival Calabar & festival experience has on the state tourism and local economy.
“As we gear up for the 2022 experience, we are starting with full engagement of the public and private sector with a participatory innovation.
“We are calling for entries for suggestible carnival theme for 2022 and the person with the selected theme will be carting home a cash reward of N1m. Entries opened 2nd August and close in 10days.”