The 19th staging of the two-day Christmas on DeCastro Street event, which came to an end just before 11 o’clock last night, has been described as an “awesome success” by City Manager Janice Braithwaite-Edwards.
“This year was resounding, and the turnout tonight (December 2) was awesome. And one of the things that we realized was once we invite the children to participate, then you get the support from the parents, the aunties, the uncles, the godparents… So the crowd tonight was very good,” she told BVI News.
“Based on all the things that have happened throughout the year, it made some people down, depressed, some people lost everything. We felt that in order to bring the Christmas spirit on, we needed to do something in the art of giving,” the City Manager added.
She said a total of 250 gift baskets containing rice and sugar were given to adults on Friday night. On Saturday night, they gave away goodies to children. Some 400 towels were alslo donated by a cruise ship.
The City Manager reported that there were “not any major hiccups” this year.
“We had fewer vendors and when you have fewer vendors, you have fewer challenges and we had a variety of new vendors coming on.”
BVI News also sought the views of two vendors – owner of Man Jack Creamery, Hezekiah Maddox, and businessman Alister Percival of ADP Electric and Lighting Supplies.
They both were pleased by the business that came their way during the event.
“We only came out one day and we did pretty well. We finished our snow cones and we did really good,” Hezekiah Maddox said.
Percival, who also only came out on day-two, said: “We were actually surprised by the business we had. It was a lot more than expected.”
Vendors had up until midnight to shut down properly, however, the event ended just before 11pm.
Calls for venue change
In the meantime, the venue for the event – DeCastro Street – is located in the central business hub of Road Town. But in order to host the event, traffic had to relocate to Waterfront Drive from Thursday night up to 7am this morning.
Many, therefore, felt that the venue of the event should be relocated to one of the many parking lots in Road Town or even to the Tortola Pier Park.
Braithwaite-Edwards said the event continues to be successful when staged on DeCastro Street, so her office has not considered calls from motorists to relocate it.
“Most people are going to say that they don’t want to be inconvenienced. But during this year when we lost so much, [so] inconvenience should be nothing.”
“And we need to be in the business district because when we are in a business district, we assist the businesses so they also make money. We haven’t considered any other location based on the fact that this has been very, very successful. And we can house up to 62 vendors at this location,” said Braithwaite-Edwards.
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