The Commissioner for Culture and Tourism Development in Cross River State, Honourable Eric Anderson has described the 2017 Calabar Festival events as a huge success.
He made the statement while fielding answers to questions from journalists during an interview at his office in Calabar on Monday, 22nd January 2018.
Mr. Eric Anderson said that owing to his experience in entertainment and events planning, the success of an event is basically judged among other factors by the turn out of crowd. Thus, describing reports that the state government could not manage the crowd during the Bikers and Main Carnival is actually 'looking at the cup as half empty, instead of half full'.
In reaction to the issue of starting late on Carnival day and poor lighting on the streets, he owed that to the complexity of costumes of the carnival bands and slight change in kick of points, making the carnival run into the night which was unforeseen.
The Commissioner, who was speaking during an interview with correspondents from the state broadcast service (CRBC) said the innovation and introductions of Sen. Prof Ben Ayade into the carnival was the reason for the unprecedented crowd; flocking the streets to see 'Wonder on Wheels '-(The Bikers and Convertible Cars Parade) amongst others.
Mr. Eric also acknowledged the impact of the 1,000 man delegation from Imo State to the carnival, following an MOU signed by Cross River and Imo States Government, that, he described as novel.
Speaking further, he said 'another interesting introduction last year were the stage plays, reviving the theatre culture, we are glad to have had the honour of hosting the Honourable Minister for Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed to watch one of the stage plays 'Nigeriana ' at Cultural Center, Calabar'.
According to the Nollywood actor cum politician, work has already began for the 2018 edition of the annual event and all hands are on deck to ensure a hitch free flow of events.
Mr. Anderson also seized the opportunity to reel out the plans of his ministry for the year 2018, which includes but not limited to promotion of newly discovered tourists sites, attendance at International Carnivals abroad, an All Secondary School Cultural Fiesta in Cross River State, Participation at Imo State Carnival, and a Gospel Music Reality Show.