Atlanta Caribbean Carnival organizers point to DeKalb festival cancellation for large crowds, safety hazards

Atlanta’s Caribbean Carnival left quite a mess inside Central Park and the surrounding area overnight according to Old Fourth Ward residents. They told FOX 5 Atlanta that traffic in the area was also a mess and they were disgusted to find festival goers urinating on their property.

"We had tons of trash, we had no way to get in and out of our property, we had people peeing and doing other things on our property," resident Jennifer Spivey said.

Festival organizer Patricia Henry admitted the 35th annual carnival got out of hand. She claimed the last minute cancellation of DeKalb’s Caribbean Festival brought extra guests and extra problems to their event, which was permitted to have 2,000 attendees.

"It was just so chaotic … We had a bigger rush than expected and so we only had the capacity to take on what we normally take on," Henry told FOX 5. "If we knew the other recent was cancelled say two months before, we would’ve expected more persons…but this happened the day of."

Spivey, president of the Sienna at Renaissance Homeowner’s Association, said they weren’t notified the annual festival was happening this weekend and it created major concerns for safety. She said the HOA usually hires its own security as a precaution when festivals are hosted nearby.

"We were yelling at them at one point, ’This is our home, this is our home! You need to go to the bathroom somewhere else,'" she said.

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Central Park and the surrounding areas of the Old Fourth Ward following Atlanta’s Caribbean Carnival on May 29, 2022. (FOX 5)

Henry said the event did have portable toilets available but they can’t control what other people do.

As for the clean-up efforts, she told FOX 5 they started that night but didn’t have time to finish and planned to return Sunday.

"We love the neighborhood. They have been great to us…and they know nothing like this has ever happened where there’s trash all over like this," Henry explained.

Spivey said while they were glad to see organizers and city employees helping with clean-up efforts on Sunday, they don’t want to see the festival come back next year if it’s anything like this year’s.