After losing the District's long-running Caribbean festival to Baltimore this year, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray says he is re-establishing an advisory commission on Caribbean community affairs.
Gray say the commission will recommend ways to celebrate Caribbean culture in D.C., including festivals. For years, D.C. held a Caribbean Carnival and Festival along Georgia Ave. NW, but this year, the city refused to sign off on the festival unless organizers of the parade paid back the more than $200,000 that was owed to the city for police and other services from the 2010 and 2011 parades.
The organizers couldn't make the payment, and instead held this year's festival in Baltimore. According to one study from Howard University, D.C.'s Caribbean festival has been a financial boon for local businesses along the parade route. It found that parade goers at the 2011 festival spent more than $21 million and added $1.2 million in sales tax revenue for the city.
Gray says 10 people have been appointed to the advisory board.