By Patrick Obia
The once Africa’s biggest street party, Carnival Calabar 2022 first dry run has been scheduled to hold on Sunday, 16th of October.
Mr. Eric Anderson, Cross River State Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, and the Executive Secretary of the State Carnival Commission, Evangelist Austin Cobham jointly disclosed the government’s readiness to make this year’s carnival unique.
While speaking at the unveiling and presentation of a certificate of registration to one of the newly added bands – the Calas Vegas band on Wednesday in Calabar, Mr. Eric in a pep talk noted that there was a need to add two bands because “the non-competing bands are more than the competing bands.”
“On behalf of His Excellency, Sen. Ben Ayade, commits that the carnival will be held this year starting with the first dry run next week, and I will encourage every band to hit the street for the exercise,” he assured.
Affirming the Commissioner’s assertion, the Executive Secretary of Cross River State Carnival Commission, Evangelist Cobham said the 2022 Carnival Calabar will be the first in Africa after the COVID-19 lockdown, enjoining all to come out en masse on Sunday, 16th October for the dry run.
“I want to expect that the world is watching Carnival Calabar. I had to monitor Northern Hills Carnival in August, and we heard the ripple report it had that London was almost shut down because people were getting mentally imbalanced because of the two years of COVID-19 compression.
“In Africa, there has not been any public gathering yet after the COVID-19 look down, and Carnival Calabar is offering its first opportunity in Africa. Sometimes it’s hard for you to know what you have, maybe until it is over and once it is over you will know what we have.
“We expect that on Sunday next week, our first dry run, the bands should come out and spoil the city; let the signal go out to the world that we are ready. It will still keep us as the first, biggest, and largest carnival in Africa, third in the world; it will now make sponsors know that the destination is Calabar, and they will be interested in bringing money for us to run the carnival.”