Carnival event generates complaints from Avondale Estates residents

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt May 26, 2015
A promotional flyer for the carnival event that generated complaints from Avondale Estates residents

A promotional flyer for the carnival event that generated complaints from Avondale Estates residents

An event billed as a celebration of Caribbean culture clashed with the sensibilities of some Avondale Estates’ residents who complained that it created noise, litter and traffic problems.

The city of Avondale Estates on May 26 put out a statement clarifying the May 23 event didn’t occur inside the city limits. As a result, the city had little say-so, the statement says.

“The City is aware of some of the concerns expressed by our residents regarding the Atlanta Caribbean Carnival and Parade held outside of the city limits on Saturday, May 23,” the statement from the city says.

The city’s press release also apparently misidentified the organization responsible for the Carnival event.

The city’s email says the Carnival parade, which began in the Kensington MARTA Station parking lot, was organized by Atlanta Caribbean Carnival. But the organization’s president, Patricia Henry, said it was actually organized by a group of people who parted ways with her organization a couple of years ago. It now operates as the Atlanta Carnival Bandleaders Council.

Henry said her organization had nothing to do with the event held near Avondale, which was billed as a Decatur event by A CBC. For the record, the city’s statement noted, DeKalb County Police provided road blocks and traffic control, and the event was approved by the Georgia Department of Transportation and MARTA.

Further adding to the confusion, Henry’s group held its Carnival event on May 23 at Historic Fourth Ward Park in Atlanta.

“We were one Carnival and they decided they wanted to do their own things,” Henry said after Decaturish read her the city’s email. “… They’re no longer part of us.”

Henry did not elaborate about why the two groups split.

Charles Baker, President of Atlanta CBC, said he wasn’t aware about the complaints regarding the event until Decaturish spoke to him about it.

“I think that wherever there are concerns, we are all stakeholders in the community,” Baker said. “We all contribute to the well being of the community. We work here. We live here. Our kids go to school here…. We are first responders, healthcare givers. In every aspect, we are fully integrated in the community. Any concern for any stakeholder in the community has to be taken into consideration, and if there are any concerns I think this will be a consideration.”

Avondale Estates said in its statement that the city, “supplemented its regular May 23 staffing schedule with three additional officers to help prevent any parking, traffic or other issues in the areas of the City located closest to the parade route and Carnival.”

“Moving forward, the City will request DeKalb County officials advise the City well in advance of any events that will border the Avondale Estates city limits,” the city’s statement says. “Early notification will enable the City to work closely with event planners and other entities to ensure events of this magnitude will have minimal impact on our residents and the City.”

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Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of

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  • John

    The event was certainly loud. We were three streets away from the stage, but a couple bands rattled the windows facing that direction.

    Our biggest disappointment was the trash. While there were no trash receptacles
    on any of the adjacent streets, participants just threw their garbage on the
    ground. Bottles, cans, bags, food containers – trash was scattered everywhere.
    Lastly was the filth. Soiled diapers and half eaten food was just discarded on
    the ground. Like most city dwellers, we have rodent issues and the amount
    of food waste from this event isn’t going to help matters.

    Having attended Candler Park and Autumn Fest, I have never seen an event leave
    behind so much garbage in the adjacent streets and yards with nobody obligated
    to clean it up. It is unfortunate that Dekalb didn’t hold Atlanta
    Carnival Bandleaders Council accountable for the mess.

    • Pobp

      Fix’s those couple of issues and it’s a good carnival. You can deal with the music for a time, that’s come with the event. Avondale residents come join the event you all will enjoy it. Pobp inc..

  • EmoryGirl

    As a participant, I think since this is the first year DeKalb County has hosted this event, they were truly not prepared for the amount of people that it would attract. I don’t think it was a right fit for Covington Highway and Avondale Estates. These areas definitely do not have the ambiance of dancing down the streets of downtown Atlanta. (I really hope it was more cost effective because it definitely wasn’t as fun)

    It is a much better fit for a downtown area and not close to residential area because loud music is part of the fun.

    There were definitely not enough receptacles provided nor public works staff. Since, DeKalb County was the host, shouldn’t they be responsible for that end of the deal?

    Yes it caused traffic but that is a necessary evil in every successful event. Look at the traffic at any major sports event or festival.

    And…..”Caribbean culture clashed with the sensibilities of some Avondale Estates’ residents” I am sure we all see the racial undertones of this issue. But I wont get that deep.

  • ReallyDOH

    It was awesome… and who didn’t know residents would complain.. it’s a parade.. get over yourselves.. just get a better plan for clean up after and move the hell on.. can’t do anything about the sound…. IT IS A PARADE…

  • David

    “I am sure we all see the racial undertones of this issue” So because the music was loud, annoying, and there was trash everywhere residents of Avondale get pinned as racist because there were complaints? Fascinating.

    • EmoryGirl

      I actually was referring to the writer’s statement “Caribbean CULTURE clashed with the sensibilities of some Avondale Estates’ residents.” So Caribbean culture embraces trash on the street? I was actually referring to the writers choice of words.

      But let’s be serious for a second, if this was the the Decatur Arts Festival or the Decatur Beach Party with the same level of noise in the exact same spot I am sure there would be a lot less complaints.

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