Unlike the inaugural Jos Carnival, this year’s Carnival was made even more breathtaking and fulfilled by the participation of neighbouring States’ cultural troupes, including dancers from Jukun, Adamawa, Edo, Cross Rivers and Nassarawa Eggon. Others included Jarawa, Anaguta, Afizere, Igbo and Yoruba among others.
In all there were 1, 300 dances and 30 cultural troupes from different parts of Nigeria that participated during the ‘Street Parade’ segment, all dressed in colourful traditional African attires. Even the State Governor, Simon Lalong and his amiable his wife, Regina Lalong, were dressed in traditional hunting attires.
Aside from the State Governor, the row call of dignitaries that participated in Jos Carnival 2019 include the Deputy Governor, Professor Sonni G. Tyoden, and his lively wife, Mrs. Abigail Tyoden, the Plateau State Commissioner for Tourism, Culture and Hospitality, Mrs. Tamwakat Weli, the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr. John Likita Best, the S.S.A. to the Governor on Tourism, members of Plateau State House of Assembly and other government officials.
Expectedly, some of Nigeria’s top celebrities proudly endorsed the Carnival with their presence namely, Nollywood actress, Patience Ozokwor and ex-Nigeria international footballer, Samson Siasia also attended the carnival.
Jos Carnival 2019 was unveiled with a beauty pageant on Saturday April 20th and climaxed on Monday with a street parade, tagged, ‘Biggest Street Pageant in Northern Nigeria’. The street parade took off from the Old Airport Junction in Jos to the historic Polo Field about 10 kilometres away. Participants adorning different cultural attires, headgears and insignias walked the distance dancing and trotting to traditional music. The State Governor, his wife and the Commissioner of Tourism led thousands of people on the street parade.
It was at the culmination of the street parade, at the Polo Filed, that Governor Lalong officially declared the Jos Carnival 2019 opened. During the parade there was a stop at Jos Unity bridge, located at Secretariat Round-About, where the Governor launched a beautification project. The bridge at the round-about was painted with colourful graffiti and rechristened the “The Bridge of Unity in Home of Peace of Tourism.”
After the street parade different cultural troupes entertained the crowd at Polo Field. About 100 bikers thrilled the crowd before musicians like Ice Prince, Classiq and Plateau State born musicians took the centre stage to add glamour and glitz to the carnival.
Responding to questions by this reporter on the future of Jos Carnival, the Chairman Local Organizing Committee of Jos Carnival, Rotn. Elija Solomon, remarked that his vision is "for Jos Carnival is to eventually become the largest gathering of revellers in Africa. And the biggest tourism destination point on the continent."
The Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN) was invited as special guest by the Honourable Commissioner of Tourism. And Alhaji Saleh Rabo, the President of FTAN, represented the Federation. He was accompanied by the Public Relations Officer of the Federation, Mr. Joesef Karim.
Some federal government agencies, like the NTDC, were on ground led by Nanna D. Yakubu, the Zonal Coordinator NTDC North Central Jos. She remarked that Jos Carnival would over time grow the tourist traffic across Nigeria to Jos and other tourists destinations in Plateau State.
Other novel activities included in this Jos Carnival 2019 include Hiking by over 300 enthusiasts, polo tournament and sundry competition.