The Carnival Calabar and Festivals which started at the beginning of the month has been building up gradually, with the biggest shows set to take place this week. Playing host to hundreds of thousands of tourists from around the world, the Carnival will this week showcase some of the best costumes, artistes, dancers, acrobats, magicians and other entertainers from within and outside Nigeria.
Commencing tomorrow in what has been tagged the “Power Week” by organisers, there will be a Youth Carnival starting 10 in the morning, a Children’s Party hosted by the wife of the governor at noon and the Night of Kings andQueens which also doubles as the South Korean Culture day at the UJ Usuene Stadium from 7pm.
The Youth Carnival, which is a new concept, is meant to bring an academic bent to the carnival and encourage research, especially in interpreting the theme of the Carnival which is Climate Change.
On the 27th, there would be a Cultural Carnival for 8am, a Bikers Carnival at noon and a Street Party from 6pm.
Last year’s Biker’s Carnival played host to over 1,000 power bikers drawn from Nigeria, China, Canada, Australia, Germany, the US, Philippines, Togo, Ghana and Benin Republic. In a 12-kilometre ride, the bikers performed different types of stunts to the admiration of the ecstatic crowd that lined up along the carnival route to catch a glimpse of the extreme riders.Among the famous faces this year would be former Cross River Governor Donald Duke and Senator Dino Melaye.
A Governor’s Pre-Carnival Ball will be held at 9pm where attendees will be able to interface with the governor, sponsors and other dignitaries in a relaxed atmosphere.
The highlight of the carnival will as usual be the street parade on December 28, where five bands will compete and eight non-competing bands will strut their stuff. The parade is billed to start 10 am and expected to last well into the night and possibly the wee hours of the morning.
This year, there’s a new twist to the street parade. In the past, there was a particular take-off point where all bands congregated and proceeded one after the other. However, this meant the audience at the latter parts of the 12-kilometre carnival route had to wait until late in the evening to see the bands pass through.
This time, there would be five different take-off points for the five bands. The idea behind it is to get Calabar agog at the same time. There is also an increase in performance points in addition to the traditional adjudication points.
December 29 will be the day for the International Carnival which will kick-off 7pm. There will be representatives from about 20 countries participating.The next day, December 30, will be the Green Carnival, the Green Ball and Sponsors/Stakeholders Dinner as well as the unveiling of the 2017 Carnival theme. At Tinapa there will be the Dark Knight motor drift rally and stunt display, while the Calabar Rocks music concert with some of Nigeria’s leading entertainers will take place at the stadium.The climax of the Carnival party will be December 31, with a fireworks display ushering-in the New Year.