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The 6th annual D.C. Caribbean Carnival is not a fair with dunk tanks and fried dough—it’s a loud, flamboyant parade and weekend of events created as an homage to the original, pre-Lent fetes of the islands. Today’s version of a tradition descended from African Shango rituals and European masquerade balls will include 26 troupes with members and their floats outfitted in intricately designed handiwork. While D.C. Councilmembers Charlene Drew Jarvis and Frank Smith are the grand marshals, expect Trinidad’s Road March champion band Xtatik to command the most respect. Other highlights include stilt-walkers, steel pan drummers, and numerous DJs booming the hyperactive beats of soca. Related events include concerts tonight at Howard University and UDC, the Caribbean Comedy Festival at Howard on Sunday (see CityList for details), and a free concert Sunday at noon at Banneker Field, Georgia Avenue & Barry Place NW. The parade starts at noon at Georgia and Missouri Avenues and runs down Georgia to Barry Place NW. Free. (202) 726-2204. (Steve Kiviat)