Possible thunderstorms are not stopping Atlanta DeKalb Carnival organizers from going ahead with their planned 10-hour program of festivities in Stonecrest on Saturday.
The annual street carnival is due to kickoff at noon on May 26 with a spectacular Caribbean-themed parade on Mall Parkway involving thousands of musicians and performers.
A festival village full of music, food, arts and crafts, clothing, and competitions will also run through 10 p.m. in the parking lot of the former Kohl’s building, now owned by Atlanta Sports City.
The Stonecrest weather forecast for Saturday is rain and possible thunderstorms with 80 percent humidity and a high of 81 degrees – not exactly perfect for feather-clad masqueraders.
But organizers say that won’t stop the party, expected to attract more than 20,000 people.
“As of right now everything is still a go,” organizer and sponsorship coordinator Cilia McTush said May 23. “Everything’s going to happen anyway, regardless of whether it rains. It will still go on.”
Organizers will keep watch on the weather and change or cancel plans if revelers are at risk from lightning or other unsafe storm conditions, she said.
The annual carnival involves thousands of musicians, dancers, vendors and spectators from all over the world.
This year performers are traveling from Haiti, Panama, Costa Rica, Jamaica, The Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago, Saint Lucia, Guyana, Brazil, England and Canada, as well as from throughout the United States.
Vendors are coming from the Caribbean islands as well as Florida, New York and Philadelphia to join those based locally.
Despite the carnival’s huge crowd, police have never had any issues with the event, organized by the Atlanta Carnival Band Leaders Parade Council in association with Atlanta Carnival Production.
It was held along Covington Highway in Decatur the last three years.
The parade is free to watch but entry to the festival village is $20 for adults. Children aged 12 and under can get in for free.