BVI News

Cancellation of festival is ‘depressing’ – Youth

The cancellation of the festival is supported by the owner of Mellow Moods Cafe, Art Christopher, who is among the hardest hit

Residents have been expressing mixed reactions to Government’s decision to cut this year’s Emancipation Festival by almost a week.

The Virgin Islands Festival and Fairs Committee announced the cancellation several hours after heavy rainfall drenched Tortola – causing flooding and landslides on the island where the emancipation festival is celebrated annually.

Unlike most business people who spoke with BVI News Online, two youngsters said they do not agree with the abrupt end to the festivities.

“I don’t like that because I like to jump up an ting. I want to see it (festival) continue,” one of the young men said, adding that he is especially disappointed that the Rise and Shine Tramp in East End was called off.

“It is depressing,” the other youngster chimed in.

Persons in the business community who spoke with BVI News Online, in the meantime, were in full support of the move to cancel the festivities.

Art Christopher, a businessman who runs Mellow Moods Cafe in Road Town, said: “I think you basically don’t have any choice, because you want people to be safe. You don’t want to call people out and they can’t pass on the roads and so forth.”

“We were here in town when the flooding came [on Monday]. A tonne-load of people were trying to get out of town with the flooding. It was just a mess, so it makes sense to just put it off. You know people – when they come out [for festival] they’re not thinking. They are just in the way and making more problems for you,” Christopher further said.

His business appears to be one of the worst affected in Road Town.

A trust company employee, who did not wish to state her name, also supports the cancellation. “That’s not any problem of mine. We are in a catastrophe right now, and we need to clean up. I don’t really care for the festival. It’s finished. It’s done. Let’s just do the cleanup efforts now, but I really don’t care for it (festival).”

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