The D.C. Caribbean Carnival kicked off Saturday with an hours-long parade, and politicians were right up front.
Council member Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4) warmed up the crowd with Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) following behind her. Fenty had a major contingency and a traditional Caribbean Carnival float, complete with attractive women and loud music.
The crowd in the Park View and Petworth neighborhoods screamed and cheered for the beads, but the reception for Fenty the candidate was a mix of claps and boos.
Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D), Fenty's chief rival in the September Democratic primary, chose a firetruck as his float. Gray's group of volunteers were severely dwarfed by Fenty's entourage. But people in the crowd wanted to shake hands, hug and take pictures with Gray. And with temperatures soaring and people tired of walking, some in the crowd screamed for the Segway that son Carlos Gray was riding down Georgia Avenue.
The avenue promises to be a center of primary politics this year. Fenty had already moved his headquarters into the old Curtis Chevrolet building.
Gray, whose headquarters is downtown, is holding a grand opening Saturday of his field office just more than a mile away from Fenty's camp.