Memorial Day 2019: What You Need to Know About Celebrating Caribbean Carnival In Atlanta

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The Atlanta Caribbean Carnival is set to kick off its 32nd year on Memorial Day weekend while the Atlanta Dekalb Caribbean Carnival will be celebrating its 31st year this Saturday. The first Atlanta Caribbean Carnival was held in 1987. For years, the carnival went on as one celebration that occurred on Memorial Day weekend and marked the beginning of the West Indian-style carnival season in the U.S.

Carib Media Network reports the Atlanta Caribbean Band Leaders Association took over the festival, in 2007. A split in 2014 created the Atlanta Carnival Bandleaders Council. That group now heads the separate Atlanta Dekalb Caribbean Carnival. As for the Atlanta Caribbean Carnival, it is headed by Atlanta Caribbean Carnival Bandleaders Association, which was formed in 2003, according to the event’s official website. They’ve headed the carnival since 2005.

Atlanta Caribbean Carnival
Woman attends Atlanta Caribbean Carnival in 2016. (Photo: @_niquie/Instagram)

Things to Know

Tickets:

Atlanta Dekalb Carnival: There are two ticket options currently available for the Atlanta Dekalb Carnival. General admission is $24.68 with fees and VIP is $47.58 with fees. They can be purchased here.

Atlanta Caribbean Carnival: Multiple events mean there are many different ticket tiers for the Atlanta Caribbean Carnival. They can be bought here.

Friday, May 24’s J’ouvert concert at 800 Woodrow St. has tickets going for $23.16, fees included.

For the Saturday, May 25 Carnival Parade & Festival Village at 400 Merritts Ave NE, a general admission ticket is $28.45 with fees and a VIP one goes for $107.62, fees included.

The Carnival Festival Village on Sunday, May 26 is also at 400 Merritts Ave NE and tickets start at $23.16 for general admission and go up to $107.62 for VIP.

On the final day, Breakfast Fete at Murphy Park Fairground, tickets are $28.45.

If you want to see all events for the four days, a ticket bundle is available for $81.24 with fees.

Both the Atlanta Caribbean Carnival and the Atlanta Dekalb festivities are rain or shine events. All sales are final.

Where to stay: The Atlanta Dekalb Carnival is a one-day event while the Atlanta Caribbean Carnival takes place over the course of four days. Those hoping to attend the Dekalb County celebrations will stick to the metro Atlanta area and can easily access the May 25 parade that kicks off at Atlanta Sports City at the Mall at Stonecrest in Lithonia, Ga. if they book a stay at host hotel Quality Inn & Suites in Decatur. The hotel is located just 4.8 miles from the mall.

Meanwhile, folks readying for the strictly Atlanta carnival can rest their heads at Courtyard by Marriott in Hapeville, Ga., which is just minutes from Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

Parade Route: The Dekalb hour and a half parade begins promptly at noon after masqueraders line up at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 25. It starts at Atlanta Sports City at Stonecrest Mall and ends at Stonecrest Square.

In Atlanta, the parade will assemble at 9:30 a.m. at 98 William Holmes Borders Senior Dr. but will start at 11:30 a.m. on Gartell St. It concludes at Central Park.

Event Details: Following the Dekalb parade is a concert in Festival Village from 1:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Performers for the Saturday show include Shenseea and Hollice “Mr. Killa” Mapp.

Kicking off the four-day Atlanta carnival is the 7th annual Jovert on Friday, May 24. Headlined by Asa Banton at Murphy Park Fairground, doors open at 9 p.m. and the show continues through 3 a.m. Saturday morning.

Later that day just hours later, attendees can take in performances at Central Park from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. featuring Banton along with others including Burning Flames, Fimba and Ge’Eve.

Sunday’s concert event, which is 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., is reggae vs. soca, also in Central Park, and will see Ge’Eve take the stage again as well as Tanto Metro, Devonte and a host of others.

The weekend concludes on Monday, May 27 with Breakfast Fete, a festival starting at 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. located at Murphy Park and features music by DJ Corey and Tony B.

Other pointers — what not to bring:

Atlanta Dekalb Carnival bans coolers and outside food as well as weapons, laser pointers and mace. Items like stools, carts and tents are also barred. Tents are not allowed along the parade route and bags must meet the required measurements.

There are no explicitly outlined items for what not to bring to the Atlanta Caribbean Carnival.

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