In a dazzling display of cultural prowess and vibrant festivities, the 20th edition of the Calabar Carnival cast its spell on a global audience, captivating over 15 million viewers across the world.
The main event, broadcasted live on DSTV, turned the streets of Calabar into a spectacle that transcended borders, as it rekindled its status as Africa’s biggest street carnival.
According to nairametrics.com, Cross River’s Commissioner for Information, Erasmus Ekpang, shared insights into the success of the carnival, noting that hotels have been fully booked since Tuesday, testifying to the heightened anticipation surrounding the cultural event.
Ekpang in an interview, conveyed the state’s enthusiasm, asserting only those who had the foresight to secure hotel bookings in advance are currently spared from the accommodation squeeze.
“We are truly excited with what we have seen so far and we know that it will only get better.
“As I speak with you, hotels in Calabar are fully booked such that visitors have to be sleeping in propel houses.
“We had three visitors from Mali that are presently staying with a friend of mine because there is no hotel space. Only those visitors that booked their hotels in advance are smiling now,” he stated.
Ekpang acknowledged the crucial role of sponsors in ensuring the success of the carnival, stating, “Some banks and DSTV are working in partnership with the state government.” The collaborative efforts have contributed to the event’s prominence and scale, making it a significant cultural milestone.
What you should know
This year’s edition of the Calabar Carnival introduces new dimensions, including its expansion into the Northern and Central senatorial districts of the state.
The initiative aims to foster a sense of inclusivity and belonging among residents in these areas. The Commissioner revealed that the carnival has already traversed Ogoja in the North and Ikom in the Central, with additional highlights such as the reintroduction of the children’s segment on Wednesday.
Calabar itself has transformed in preparation for the carnival, with major roundabouts and roads receiving rehabilitation.
As the month-long carnival, which commenced on December 1, unfolds, reports indicate widespread participation, with 15 states and two African countries taking part in Tuesday’s cultural events.
The convergence of diverse cultures and the grandeur of the carnival highlight its significance as a celebrated annual event, drawing attention not only nationally but also globally.