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Saturday, April 02, 2011

Save D.C. Carnival

If you have not seen the Save D.C. Carnival website as yet please take a look and have a read as they are calling on anyone willing to donate to save D.C. Carnival 2011 which is in jeopardy of not taking place this year due to financial challenges. Arguably one of the more popular North American Carnivals supporters are very concerned at the prospect of the parade being cancelled,  read more below:

DC Caribbean Carnival, Inc., (DCCC) would like to thank everyone, especially the Bandleaders, Masqueraders, Music Bands, Volunteers, Sponsors, Vendors, Promoters, and all who have participated in DC CARNIVAL for the past 18 years for their continued support and dedication to DC CARNIVAL.

As we have shared before, DC CARNIVAL 2010, although a success in many aspects, has created some major financial challenges for us to move forward with 2011 plans. DCCC has been directly affected by the financial uncertainty in the District of Columbia which resulted in the rescinding of our primary source of funding in December 2009. At that time, too many commitments were already contracted and DCCC, with your support, cautiously moved forward with plans for 2010.

We continued to engage the City, via the prior Fenty Administration and the current Gray Administration for assistance in addressing the outstanding 2010 debts but we have been unsuccessful to date. We have been put on notice by the DC Metropolitan Police (MPD) that we cannot move forward with any plans for DC Carnival 2011 until the outstanding $54,782.45 debt due to MPD and $61,473.28 debt due to the DC Department of Public Works for 2010 is satisfied.

We continued to apply for grants, sought sponsorships and have shared the urgency with the community by asking for support and staging several fundraising ventures which were poorly supported.

At this time, DCCC has had no success in addressing these outstanding obligations to the District of Columbia Government and we must caution everyone on finalization of your plans for DC CARNIVAL 2011. Traditionally, at this time, every year, we would have convened meeting with the Authorities for staging the upcoming event. Currently, the Authorities have refused to meet and sanction our 2011 plans unless these outstanding costs for 2010 are paid and, in some situations, DCCC must provide advance payments for 2011.

As previously discussed with you, we continued to explore alternative plans and venues, to reduce costs, but without compromising the festival environment that we have enjoyed. We discussed staging the parade along Georgia Avenue, without any festival at the Banneker Park. We also met with the management at RFK Stadium as a back-up plan for staging the carnival at that venue. This also looked feasible. Recently, we were notified that the Soccer Schedule for 2011 was released and the June 25th date is no longer available. We also explored the availability for the weekend of June 18. That too was a schedule conflict.

The only plausible option at this point is Georgia Avenue but we cannot move forward without having some major fundraising efforts to cover the costs. We ask for your continued support by asking your members/supporters to assist in this challenging effort. We continue to be receptive to any recommendations/suggestions. I can be reached at 301-346-9635 or lsarg30921@aol.com. In the meantime, DCCC will continue to provide periodic updates. Thanks for supporting DC CARNIVAL!

Sincerely Yours,
Loughton Sargeant
Executive Director
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