Split in Atlanta Carnival caused cancellation of one parade leaving masqueraders stranded

This group of colorfully costume clad masqueraders, were part of bands cancelled due to lack of permits to parade on the roadways.
Photo by Tangerine Clarke

Despite a controversy of who got the right permits to mas on the streets of Atlanta at the Annual Memorial Day Weekend Caribbean Carnival, revelers, for sure got one thing right on Saturday, May 28. They turned up in colorful, creative, and exciting costume befitting the celebration.

This reporter, arrived, at an intersection of Covington Highway, which was supposed to be the starting point, but was told by police officers that the parade had been cancelled, due to the group not being granted proper permits for the parade to take to the streets.

Revelers were left stranded after a section of the Atlanta Carnival Parade was cancelled. Photo by Tangerine Clarke

However, since masqueraders had already gathered in the park behind the building, they created a makeshift road march front line and played mas, as a DJ spun carnival tracks for an exhilarating spectacle.

In the meantime, the original carnival parade route in downtown Atlanta went on as planned.

According to reports, both Atlanta and Atlanta-Dekalb carnivals were scheduled to take place Saturday, May 28 in different locations. In the past, many people had gone to the wrong event they intended to seek. Such was the case on the same day, leaving many who were supposed to mas in the Atlanta DeKalb frustrated and upset.

A beautifully costume-clad masquerader was prevented from playing mas on the road with her band, because of the lack of permits. Photo by Tangerine Clarke

Some of the revelers told this reporter that they were told to join the Atlanta carnival parade, after they had already showed up in DeKalb.

Since a split sometime in 2014/2015, the downtown Atlanta carnival has been scaled down, and locked down for two years due to the pandemic.

Organized by the Atlanta Caribbean Carnival Bandleader’s Association (ACCBA), the “downtown” Atlanta carnival is considered the “original” carnival that takes to the streets in downtown Atlanta.

It started at Covington Parkway near Paul Edwin Drive, leading into the festival village at 4380 Memorial Drive.

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