The 2022 Calabar Carnival has been announced by the Cross River state governor, Prof. Ben Ayade. Theme – “Agro Industrialization”. This is the first dry run, marking the return of the Carnival since the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020. According to the governor, the carnival theme was carefully chosen to send a message to the global community that Africans can depend on themselves for food.
He said: “Today, we have great reasons to celebrate because Cross River is gathered yet again, to invent the charm that characterizes creativity. The theme for this year’s carnival is agro-industrialization and indeed, agro-industrialization is the way to go.”
He also stated that “the greatest insecurity is hunger and there is no insecurity more threatening to man than the insecurity of hunger.” “The war between Ukraine and Russia led to a scarcity of grains, this means that by the onset of 2023, the nation will be in big trouble.” “Therefore, I see a harbinger of scarcity, hunger, and pain, grinding people to their zenith in terms of criminality and animalism”, he said.
The carnival major band was also expanded from five to seven, which was said to be an avenue to create room for more people to participate. The seven competing bands are Seagull, Passion 4, Masta Blasta, Bayside, Freedom, Diamond, and Calas Vegas.
About Calabar Carnival
The origins of Calabar Carnival started in 2004, during the regime of Donald Duke as the governor of Cross River, Nigeria. According to him, the carnival would be the perfect way to boost tourism and the local economy of the state. He wanted to turn Cross River State into the number one tourist state in Nigeria.
The Calabar Carnival is without doubt one of the biggest, best, and longest tourism events in West Africa. It attracts over two million revellers and features participants from over 25 different countries. Calabar carnival is described as the pride of Nigeria.
It is a month-long celebration and also a fun-filled event. The breakdown of Calabar Carnival includes; the Street Parade that exhibits the Battle of the Bands. The Parade is only a tiny portion of Calabar Carnival attractions. There will also be ceremonies, concerts, art shows, street parties, masquerade events, sporting events, non-stop parties, and many others.
Where Would the Events Take Place
Calabar Carnival events take place in the city of Calabar. The majority of events take place in the Calabar Cultural Centre and the Calabar Stadium. The parade takes place through many city streets in Calabar.
When is Calabar Carnival Dry Run 2022
The carnival will be starting on the 1st of December and finishes on New Year’s Eve 31st of December 2022. This is a month-long celebration and a fun-filled event.
Opening of Festival Village: 1st December
Gospel Night: 18th December
Calabar Food Festival: 23rd December
Cipriano Night: 24th December
Cultural Carnival: 24th December
African Music Festival: 26th December
Bikers Carnival: 27th December
Miss Africa Pageant: 27th December
Carnival Calabar: 28th December
International Carnival: 29th December
Marian Street Party: 30th December
Crossover Fireworks night: 31st December
Calabar Carnival Events
The carnival begins with a Tree-Lightning ceremony. There will be musical performances, food competitions, solidarity marches, street parties, fashion shows, prestigious essay writing competitions, art shows, traditional dances, and masquerade events in the first three weeks.
Also, there will be J’ouvert Band fetes, the crowning of the Carnival Kings and Queens for each band, the Christmas Party Cultural Carnival, the children’s carnival, the Mary Slessor Golf Charity Dinner, and the Annual Ekpe masquerade festival.
Other events include:
Live Musical Performances
There will be several musical concerts throughout the carnival that features local and international artists, including Luke Dube, Fat Joe, Young Jeezy, Nelly, Kirk Franklin, Two-Face Idibia, P Square, and many other musical artists.
African Food Expo
The African Food Expo is an amazing part of the carnival. There you will be able to try some amazing meals that you have never eaten before. The environment will be filled with so many salivating aromas.
Carnival Sports Week
The Calabar Carnival Sports Week is always a bang. During the carnival, you can watch the popular soccer tournament the Carni-Cal Cup, a golf tournament, a boat regatta, and many other sporting games.
Calabar Carnival Parade
The Calabar Carnival Parade features about 50,000 costumed revellers who perform in five major carnival bands, although this year’s band has been increased to seven and 10 non-competing bands. In the parade, there will be group competitions and each of these groups wants to win the title of the Best Band.
The parade takes place over a 12km parade route and it is very interesting. It is filled with colours, sparkles, DJs, live music, steel bands, incredible floats, and costumes.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Purpose of the Calabar Carnival?
The carnival is held every December and was declared by the governor Mr Donald Duke in 2004 as an activity to mark the Christmas celebration yearly. He also said that his vision for creating the festival was to make Cross River a home of tourism and hospitality in Nigeria and Africa.
What Month is Calabar Carnival 2022?
The carnival will be held in December 2022.
After a two-year suspension of the carnival that was caused by the coronavirus pandemic (covid19), the Calabar Carnival has been announced to take place this year by December.
What is the Theme of this Year’s Carnival?
The theme for this year’s carnival is “Agro-Industrialization”; indeed, agro-industrialization is the way to go, as Prof. Ben Ayade. According to him, “the greatest insecurity is hunger and there is no insecurity more threatening to man than the insecurity of hunger.”
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