… One State, One Stage, Countless Possibilities!
The Calabar Festival Christmas Village is home to a 32-day event of non-stop fun and entertainment every year, starting from December through to January at the Calabar Municipal Local Government ground located on Marian road, Calabar. Hundreds of stalls for vendors form a barricade on the playing field, leaving the center for the audience who prefer to focus on the gigantic and well lit stage.
The Calabar Festival Christmas Village offers a one-stop shop for all recreational activities. There is definitely something for everyone, children and adults. Moreover, with the MADE IN NAIJA EXHIBITION ongoing by the sidewalks, one doesn’t necessarily have to go to the market to shop for some basic household or gift items this yuletide.
Nelson NseAbasi writes;
Every day, fun seekers troop out in numbers to throng the hitherto council office turn fun center, for a daily dose of fun and entertainment. A Disc Jockey, MC and averages of ten (10) entertainers storm the stage daily with creative renditions of music, comedy, drama and dance.
The Governor of Cross River State, Senator Professor Ben Ayade had tasked the organizing committee to ensure that the 2018 Calabar Festival waxes bigger and stronger than last years’ event which experienced influx of tourists to the tune of 1.6m and television viewership of 50million people. Speaking to journalists during one of his visits to the Christmas Village, the Commissioner for Culture & Tourism, Mr. Eric Anderson reaffirmed the Governor’s intent to spice up the carnival and festival every year, as the annual event enters its 15th edition, he said the introduction of the beach carnival, the biker’s carnival, Formula K and other features are novel.
The Crowd- The Market
The massive crowd pours out from the nooks and crannies of the city in their thousands to savour the delicacies and entertainment served in the village, adding up to visitors from other states and countries visiting the state for their annual holiday with family and friends. They form a crowd of patronage for the exhibitors and vendors, they also make up audience for the stage activities and performances.
Business & Brand Promotion Oppurtunities
The Calabar Festival Christmas Village and its activities bring about a boom for different sectors of the economy, those who offer services ranging from transportation, to Bed and Breakfast, Hospitality as a whole.
It also creates an abode for small and medium scale enterprises, vendors of drinks and other fast moving consumer goods to catch in on the money making opportunity from the crowd.
DSTV, Cocacola, Nigerian Brewies, Guiness Nigeria, Dangote, Indomie Noodles and MTN are outstanding among popular brands /companies who have partnered with Cross River state government to enjoy the mileage the Calabar Festival events offer their brands.
The stage offers the platform for many talents to hone their stage performing skills, for those with good materials, the stage catapults them to higher level in their career. It is indeed a true test of wits and guts. If one is not confident enough, he or she could be blown away by the shouts of the agile crowd.
King & Queen of Calabar Festival Xmas Village
Registration has begun for King & Queen of Calabar Festival Xmas Village 2018. This is another interesting introduction is the King & Queen of Calabar Festival Xmas Village. Rising from a keenly contested pageant, Mr. Ishamali Kingsley Ishamali from Obudu Local Government Area and Miss Bassey Mary-Kate Andor from Abi Local Government Area emerged the King and Queen of 2017 Calabar Festival Christmas Village, walking home with N100, 000 (One Hundred Thousand Naira) each. The same amount is at stake this year, with other juicy additional benefits.
In the words of the Special Assistant to Governor Ben Ayade on Administration, Mr. Noel Ugbong, ‘asides entertaining the populace, the Calabar Festival Xmas Village stage was set for the promotion of talents and virtues amongst the youths, the pageant is born out of the desire to find a face that will represent the Christmas Village and also promote initiatives to make the Xmas Village bigger and better every year’.
The curtains fall on the Carnival Calabar & Festival events after the Street Party, but the people still find their groove in the tourist sites and recreational centers spread across the city. This is owing to the fact that Cross River as a state creates an ambience of fun and relaxation which tourists find alluring.
The Calabar Festival Christmas Village having been declared open on Saturday, December 1, 2018 to run till January 1, 2019 is open to achieve all of the above and more for the government, residents and visitors. One can make bold to say that the it offers countless possibilities for all and sundry, being the true reflection of Cross River as ample place for business and pleasure.