The Evangelist News edition, Tuesday, October 31, 2023. By Essien Ndueso
Preparations are in top gear for this year’s Akwa Ibom Christmas Festival bill to take place from December 1 2023 to January 1, 2024.
Accordingly the 2023 Christmas Park (Christmas village) has come with new innovations that will ensure orderliness, security and fun all through the 32 days that the events will last.
Sir Charles Udoh, Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, who announced this in an event at Ibom Icon and Golf Resorts to unveil programmes for the 2023 Akwa Ibom Christmas ceremonies, commended Governor Umo Eno for his vision and commitments to further boost the tourism and economic potentials in the State.
One of the new innovations include buying of kiosk online at www.discoverakwaibom.com where business owners can pay and choose their kiosk online at only N155,000 each.
Similarly, the yearly Christmas Carol ceremony will hold on December 15 within the Christmas Park and will feature only indigenous artistes.
Some additional features of this year’s Christmas park is that it will be arranged in such a way that there will be village square, VIP area, business district, information centre and health check point.
“This year’s Christmas park will also mark and observe international calendar like the world Aids Day, international day of twins where best dressed twins will win a prize, just as best family portrait will also get commendations”
The Culture and Tourism Commissioner also stated that local government areas through ALGON will be fully involved in this year’s Christmas park as each local government will be allotted a day to showcase their rich cultural heritage to the world.
Sir Charles Udoh who is the chairman of the planning committee of the Christmas park and Christmas Carol Festival also hinted that there will be special days for commissioners, aides to the Governor, legislators, wives of chairmen, wives of commissioners, and wives of lawmakers, lawyers hangout, Doctors, journalists and NLC.
“As part of the new innovation, there will be happy hour every Friday where there will be a lucky dip among kiosk owners and the lucky kiosk will be given a N100,000 ( one hundred thousand naira only) to enable people eat and drink at such kiosks free.
“There will be special days for the Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba and Niger Delta during the month long event while on the 26th of December will also feature football fans zone, where fans are expected to appear with their favorite club’s jersey and the club with the highest number of fans will also win a prize.”
Also speaking Pastor Aity Dennis reiterated the desire of Akwa Ibom state government to present its best talents to the world saying indigenous artistes are good performers who only need an opportunity to be showcased to the world. ” Let’s project what we have, we must be intentional in Projecting Akwa Ibom in good light to the world,” the songstress added.
In their goodwill messages the Commissioners for Transport, Mr. Orman Esin, Commissioner for Power, Dr Camilus Umoh and the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Information, Akparawa James Edet, commended Governor Umo Eno on his vision to make Akwa Ibom the destination of choice, and pledged their resolve to lend their support to give the entire events the desired success.
The unveiling event was also attended by the Commissioner for Internal Security, Gen Koko Essien, Director of Administration in the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Mr Princewill Isonguyo, Honorary Special Adviser to the Governor on Tourism, Mrs Ime Udo, SSA to the Governor on Research and Documentation, Dr. Essien Ndueso, among others.