Atlanta DeKalb Carnival cancels Saturday parade just hours before event

Although this year's Atlanta DeKalb Carnival Parade has been canceled, the Atlanta Caribbean Carnival's parade is still scheduled for Saturday, May 28, 2022. (AJC file photo)

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Although this year's Atlanta DeKalb Carnival Parade has been canceled, the Atlanta Caribbean Carnival's parade is still scheduled for Saturday, May 28, 2022. (AJC file photo)

A different Carnival parade is still planned for Saturday in downtown Atlanta

The Atlanta DeKalb Carnival Parade has canceled its event “due to unforeseen circumstances,” according to a post on the parade’s Instagram account.

In the announcement made early Saturday morning, the organizers still welcome all masqueraders with their wristbands to enter the Festival Village, which is set to open at 4 p.m. at 4380 Memorial Drive in Decatur.

In a recorded Instagram Live, members of the Atlanta DeKalb Carnival Parade’s council announced that they were unable to acquire the proper permits due to issues with the DeKalb County Police Department.

“Unfortunately, the DeKalb County Police Department has not signed off on our permits. They cite the reason that they couldn’t find enough officers to work the parade,” said a member of the parade’s council.

However, La’Keitha D. Carlos, chief of staff for DeKalb County, reached out to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution to clarify some information.

According to Carlos, the parade council was notified of its denied permits with a letter on May 19. Because the parade is a private event, organizers are responsible for hiring at least 90 security officers in order to carry the parade out safely.

“They were unable to hire the 90 officers and therefore, they could never get the permit,” Carlos said. “That security does not have to be DeKalb police. It just has to be any law enforcement officer who has arrest powers and jurisdiction within DeKalb County.”

As private event organizers, they are able to set their own prices to hire security but failed to do so in the days leading up to the parade, she said.

A couple of weeks ago about half a dozen of the biggest bands pulled out of the parade and announced they would participate instead in a downtown Atlanta parade.

The Atlanta DeKalb Caribbean Carnival in Stonecrest was canceled the past two years because of the pandemic. The festival and parade held on Memorial Day weekend celebrated Caribbean culture.

Meanwhile, the Atlanta Caribbean Carnival 2022 is scheduled for this weekend at Central Park. In addition to live music, this Carnival event also features a parade, scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m. in downtown Atlanta, going from Gartrell Street to the park.