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Cross River govt says 2021 Calabar Carnival will hold

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Leshi Adebayo

Amid skepticism about the possibility of the famous Calabar Carnival holding this year due to COVID-19 pandemic, the Cross River State Government has confirmed that nothing has changed in that regard.

In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday, the Commissioner for Tourism in the state, Eric Anderson said the 2021 edition of the carnival would only be restricted to the UJ Esuene Sports Stadium due to COVID-19.

Anderson, however, disclosed that there was no plan for the participants to dance through the 12-km routes along major streets in Calabar, as it was normally done in previous editions.

The commissioner added that Governor Ben Ayade would unveil the theme of the carnival on November 29.

He said, “I can tell you authoritatively that the carnival will hold this year. The Governor will unveil the theme on November 29.

“I have made contact with the band leaders to be part of the meeting on November 29.

“We have decided to host the festival inside the stadium because we are serious about the enforcement of COVID-19 protocols.

“The stadium will help us to control the crowd and space the seating arrangement for people to watch the live show.”

Anderson assured, “It’s going to be a fun-filled moment as usual. Calabar Carnival will hold this year.”

Arguably the biggest tourism event in West Africa, the Calabar Carnival also known as the “Pride of Nigeria” is celebrated annually in Cross River State, attracting over two million revellers and features participants from over 25 different countries.

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