Hopes to Bring Back the DC Caribbean Carnival to Georgia Ave in 2015?

by Prince Of Petworth June 10, 2014 at 10:55 am 61 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user rjs1322

First talk I’ve heard about hoping to bring back the Caribbean Carnival in a while. The last carnival to take place on Georgia Ave was in 2011.

From the Ledroit Park listserv:

“All who are interested and willing, please set a scheduled time so we can discuss bringing back our District of Columbia Caribbean Carnival to Georgia Avenue. There are too many outside and local commercial and retail sponsors promoting and funding events in other sections of the city not to have these same sponsors fund our Carnival. NoMo Beer fest, Capitol Hill’s H Street fest, Gay Pride Day are some of the sponsored events this city also supports.

We must keep the Caribbean Heritage and cultural alive and ongoing in the District of Columbia. Let’s plan a revival in 2015. Please put me in contact with the past organizers. Lets do this…immediately. Calvin H. Gurley”


SUN, June 1, Caribbean Heritage Month (CHM) Jump-Off, Discussions re CHM & DC Caribbean Carnival history, Refreshments, Door prizes, 2PM-5PM // Sweet Mango Café, 3701 NH Ave., NW, DC

WED, June 4, 11, 18, 25 (& successive Wed), Jazz & Jerk, Live Jazz band, 8PM // Sandovan Restaurant, 4809 GA Ave NW, DC, 202-248-2161, 10AM-2AM, Jerk specials

SAT, June 7, 14 & 21 (& successive Sat), Cuban Salsa Dancing Class with DanceInTime Starting 1pm, $2.00 off of $10.00 class (must mention CHM 2014), // ECAC; 733 Euclid St. NW, DC, Info: http://www.danceintime.com/ or call Barb at 301-980-6043

SUN, June 15, Fathers’ Day Traditional Jamaican-American Breakfast & Foodways Discussion, 9:30AM-2PM //Peaches Kitchen, 6214 3rd St. NW, DC, 202-722-5250

MON June 16, Georgia Avenue Business Alliance Monthly Meeting /Networking ,9:30AM-11:30AM, Place TBA

THURS, June 19, Juneteenth Celebration Talk with C.R. Gibbs. 5:30PM-7:30PM, Barbecue + Fish Fry, Entertainment…Place TBA.

SUN, June 22, Traditional Trinidadian Breakfast & Foodways Discussion , 11AM-4PM, (Performance 1-2 PM) // Crown Bakery, 5409 GA. Ave NW, DC, 202-291-3009. (All you can eat – $19.95)

MON, June 23, Workshop: Starting and Growing Your Local Food Business, , 2-5:00 PM // Petworth Library, 4200 Kansas Ave NW, DC. Covers regulations, grants, crowdsourcing, new marketing strategies (pop-ups, incubators, food trucks, farmers markets), SCORE, etc. (FREE)

FRI, June 27, Rotis, Rum Punch, Caribbean Karaoke & More, , 4PM-2AM //Islander Restaurant, 1201 U Street NW, 202-234-4955, featured specials

SAT-SUN, June 28-29, “ALL Tings Caribbean”- Georgia Avenue Marketplace, Think Georgia Avenue, Buy Georgia Avenue, Sidewalk sales, Restaurant + Store Crawl, (From Rhode Island Ave NW, to Eastern Ave NW

For more information contact: Georgia Avenue Business Alliance (GABA): www.gabadc.org or E-Mail: [email protected] or (202) 505 –3583.

  • anonymous

    I am not necessarily averse to bringing back the Caribbean Carnival. But it’s a bit disingenuous to suggest that the reason it ended was lack of sponsorship; or to suggest that because X sponsor was willing to align itself with another festival, that same sponsor has an obligation to get behind the Carnival.

    • Anonymous

      Absolutely agree. The tone of this rubbed me the wrong way.

  • Just off Georgia

    I thought the festival ended because the organizers owed the city loads of money. Did they pay that back?

    • That Man A

      yea that was my understanding… sheesh didnt seem like it had been that long until i really thought about it
      and although there was violence at some of the events can the festival be placed at blame? (simply a question)

      i mean its not like the neighborhood goes without its fair share any other week of the year

      • Anonymous

        Well, if there’s some violence at a nightclub, can the club owners be blamed? It’s not like the neighborhood where the clubs are located goes without its fair share at times when the club is closed.
        But see… this city DOES hold the clubs responsible, and imposes (often crippling) closures when violence happens on their premises. Why should the festival be held to a lesser standard?

        • That Man A

          oh i completley get that
          just asking questions…
          its one of those difficult things to define imo, yes it was happening the day of the festival in the area but its hard for me to blame the festival for the actions of those few

          just sucks how few can ruin for many generally speaking

  • Anonymous

    And none of those city sponsored events mentioned fail to pay their debts to the city or have shootings associated. Let it die, there are other ways to celebrate Caribbean culture, in fact there is a whole month of Caribbean heritage events scheduled by the Georgia Avenue Task Force which seem to be more thoughtfully planned out.

    • Anonymous

      I agree.

    • Mikey4

      Just to be clear, no festival would endorse stabbings and shootings… It would be bad for their business if they promoted killing attendees. To infer that a festival is responsible for incidents that are created by residents out of coincidence is pretty daft.

      Despite that, I’m not a big fan of parades in my neighborhood because during Carribean Fest in 2005 a lady thought it would be a great idea to do an outdoor photo shoot on the hood of my car and she sat on it leaving a huge dent… A much better and less biased reason to protest it.

      • anon

        No one is saying that the festival caused the shootings, just they they were correlated with it – lots of people, outdoors, in the summer, and yes, in an area where these clashes occur. But the fact that they correlate SO strongly with the festival is reason enough to oppose it.

        • Georgia Ave Neighbor


  • GA ave resident

    4 people were shot (one fatally) and 1 other person was stabbed in broad daylight the last time the festival was held on Georgia ave. Let’s please not bring it back.

  • Thor

    Another year, another “let’s bring the festival back” campaign.

  • Anonymous

    Well if his contributions to the Petworth neighborhood listservs are any indication, Calvin H. Gurley leading this campaign will provide a fair amount of crazy talk and no actual results.

    • Anonymous

      Is he on every single neighborhood list serve?

      • Anon 11:23

        Wouldn’t surprise me, but I’m only on the ones for Petworth so that’s all I have to go by.

      • saf

        Yes. And he copies every single list serve every time he writes anything.

    • David

      Perhaps Calvin could spraypaint his thoughts on the little white pickup he left in the gas station lot at Georga and Upshur like he did during the campaign.

      • Anonymous

        Was that him? I thought it was some other guy, someone that I had never heard of before.

        • textdoc

          I vaguely remember that handpainted pickup truck… wasn’t the guy’s name something like Anderson Cooper (not to be confused with the TV personality)? Or Cooper Anderson?

  • kook47797

    I interpreted the tone as “the timing is right to seek sponsorship given the number of other festival-like events” . I wish though the event could grow and re-invent itself organically, sans the corporate involvement and sponsorship. The Heritage month events seem like a good start.

  • Anonymous

    Hey Calvin, quick question: How many people have been stabbed, shot, or beaten at NoMo Beer fest, Capitol Hill’s H Street fest, and at a Pride parade? You can answer with the number per event, or with a total for the three events combined. (I have a feeling it’s the same number either way.) Thanks.

    • That Man A

      people have been beat down at H st festival
      may have not gotten much attention… and yes it is not as severe as a stabbing or shooting
      but what about adams morgan day??
      they seem to have that event with no major problems while summer nights on a weekend used to be quite stabby at times

      • Anonymous

        i haven’t heard of h street festival beat downs. link?

        • That Man A

          Exactly! lol

        • That Man A

          last post continued… (premature post of comment)

          but thats going off of what i personaly saw at the festival
          which is why i made the comment about how much attention it recieved. chanches are it was not reported

          • Anonymous

            you saw it and didn’t report it?

          • That Man A

            kids fighting.
            I was in no shape to try to intervene nor locate cop to be reporting anything

            this was also two years ago. with the presence that was at last years festival I doubt a fight would go unnoticed

          • anon

            Couldn’t you have called 911? Or texted 50411? (Although I think the latter isn’t intended for things that need a quick response.)

          • Jay

            Um, what? Look, you really need to report assaults to the police. If you see people being beaten in public you really have a duty as a citizen and as a decent human being to do something about that. You had no ability to locate a police officer or to locate a phone or to locate an individual that had a phone? C’mon.

          • That Man A

            lets be clear…
            this wasnt an innocent bystander getting beat up by a group of kids
            there was banter back and forth and a fight was a result

            nobody was getting “beat on” so much as it was a fight happening

            if it were someone being targeted for whatever reason that is a completley different story

          • anon

            So if you think someone deserves to get beaten up, you don’t report it??

      • Anonymous

        People in Adam’s Morgan even get beat down and stabbed when it’s not Adam’s Morgan day. Pretty much every weekend night.

        • That Man A

          thats why i asked that, adams morgan has its share of violence on any given summer weekend night
          how do they curb that during the festival?

          also i noticed a HUUUUUGE police presence at last years H st festival. that may be the answer but it would be so much real estate to be covered during the carribean fest (also i think a lot of the money they owed was to MPD to begin with)

          • Anonymous

            the festival is during the day. not much violence in the day in adams morgan.

  • Anonymous

    Fair warning: wear your Kevlar. And if you’re white expect to be screamed at and cursed for “ruining the neighborhood” like I was. Never mind I’ve lived there my whole damn life.

    • Anonymous

      Sorry you got yelled at for ruining the neighborhood. If I was there I would not have let it go down. I am Jamaican, please don’t insult me in the process of explaining your experience though, the majority of us are peaceful and successful people who don’t yell at people because they are white.

      • Anonymous

        for real. its way too large an event and too diverse a crowd to stereotype the people that are enjoying it.

        • Anonymous

          I am not stereotyping the crowd, the crowd stereotyped ME. I am far from a bro or hipster. Just normal ass white moderate income from DC. Apparently that’s enough to be a villain to some people.

          • Jen Jen

            “Apparently that’s enough to be a villain to some people.” SOME people. Some people are idiots. End of story.

    • jcm

      I’m white, I went every year, and nothing like that ever happened to me. My wife and I always enjoyed ourselves there. Sorry you had such a bad time.

    • Anonymous

      OP, are you really any better than the people who cursed at you when you make a comment like that? You’re stereotyping an entire event and the people who attend it based on the actions of some idiots. There’s ignorant idiots at every event, including Pride festival.
      It’s sounds like you’re actively seeking martyrdom to justify your prejudices.

  • anonymous

    Uh, right. It’s all about the sponsorship. Way to willfully ignore what really killed the Caribbean Carnival.

  • Anonymous

    No Thanks

  • Anonnier

    Oh. This was put out by Calvin Gurley. He’s a nut and this can be disregarded.

    • textdoc

      Heh. That’s the tl;dr version of what I just posted below. ;)

    • I. Rex

      lol. yep. could have saved everyone time by putting his name first.

  • textdoc

    I’m not clear… is the posted schedule from the 2011 Caribbean Festival, or is it a proposed schedule for a 2015 festival?
    I wouldn’t take this posting seriously because it comes from Calvin Gurley, a perennial nonwinning D.C. political candidate who seems to have joined all of D.C.’s neighborhood listserves and is always posting grievances, many/most of them rather petty-sounding. (The latest: He’s asking for a recount (I think) of votes from the April primary.)
    If he were serious about bringing back the Caribbean Festival, he wouldn’t be saying “Put me in touch with the organizers” on a neighborhood listserve — he’d be contacting them himself.
    I suspect this is just political posturing on his part.

    • saf

      The events were announced by the Georgia Ave task force. He grabbed their plans and grafted his posturing on.

      • textdoc

        Ahh, OK. Thanks for clarifying.

  • Anonymous

    Two of the three guys from the shooting at the last festival (see – I didn’t say “parade” because it was after that) were convicted and sentenced to 60+ years. The third is still in process…

    • Anonymous

      As they should be. Unfortunately that doesn’t take away the suffering or death of the victims. Thanks for the update.

  • Anonymous

    Shouldn’t a parade like that be called Carnivale and held in February? Get a good Ska bands to play the park. use the farmer market area for food. I’d do that. What was done in the past was used to hurt people and crap on the sidewalk. That’s messed up and those that try to justify it are blind.

  • Anonymous

    From the sounds of this there is not a movement to reinstate the festival but rather a dillusional rogue Calvin Gurley seeking to stir the pot…at least I hope that is the case.

  • ThatGuy

    Bringing the Caribbean Carnival back is a horrible idea

  • Kelly

    Bring it back – please!!! It made for an excellent day of people-watching.

    • Anonymous

      Right – like that time I watched people get shot!
      No thanks.

  • Please no.

    I would much rather see our efforts go to a more historic appropriate festival at the Old Soldier’s Home with Lincoln Cottage. They seem to have welcomed the neighborhood.

    An annual large gather with local color performing with mixed with a few smaller events: bike race, fish off, clean up, fence paint, etc…

    Communities must come together , grow, and embraces pieces of their pasts and future sometimes sacrificing one for the other only to move ahead just bit.

  • Anonymous

    NO THANK YOU. This festival not only destroyed the neighborhood, but also was dangerous. No way. It was taken away for a reason.

  • Anonymous

    Why on god’s green earth would anyone living in the neighborhood want this thing to come back? Oh dear lord.

  • Anonymous

    As a DC native/resident and someone of Caribbean descent I would love for the parade to come back. Most of you all opposing the suggestion to bring it back, do no understand the history nor the importance of the event. The parade is something of pride and culture and has been know to have the longest route in North America (oh yeah btw EVERY U.S major city has a parade http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caribbean_Carnival#United_States). Knowledge is power. As for the crimes that that many of you pointed out, during the last carnival the people that were involved were not a part of the festivities. They were residents of the neighborhood, so please explain to me now this was connected to the event?


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