Faced with mounting debt, organizers of D.C.’s Caribbean Carnival parade say the event may cease for good this year.
The Washington City Paper’s Lydia DePillis reported Monday that the event’s president, Roland Barnes, told the Georgia Avenue Community Development Task Force that lack of funds and city support could indefinitely stall the carnival. He said the parade is roughly $200,000 in debt to the city.
“The reality of the last few years was that donations and sponsorships were in one direction, and costs were in another direction,” Barnes said.
But by Tuesday afternoon, a posting appeared on the parade’s Facebook page with a different message.
“This morning the DC City Paper wrote an article that states DC Carnival is Cancel. This is not true ... We never mentioned canceling the Carnival but I guess this makes for bigger and better news. This confirm to us that we are facing an uphill battle to sustain our culture in this ever changing DC community.”
In 2011, one man was fatally shot and three other people were wounded near the parade route, where thousands had gathered to take part in the fun.
“It is unbelievable that this could happen,” D.C. Council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1), a longtime participant and supporter of the parade, said at the time. “There were police everywhere.”
This year’s parade — the 20th — was originally slated to take place June 23.