BVI News

Christmas on DeCastro Street may have to relocate again — City Manager

Scenes from this year’s staging of Christmas on DeCastro Street.

If all goes as planned with government’s proposed traffic reform initiative in Road Town, the annual yuletide event – Christmas on DeCastro Street – may have a new venue come next year.

“We won’t be able to do this [on DeCastro Street] because all the traffic on this street will be going in one direction,” City Manager Janice Brathwaite Edwards told members of the media on Saturday at the close of the two-day event on Saturday.

She continued: “We won’t be able to block the street as easily and so, therefore, we are contemplating as to where we can move, where we can still maintain the family atmosphere, the close-knitted circumstances that we have here and include the business community.”

The City Manager said there are several venue options where the event can move to within the city limits.

She said two such relocation options include Administration Drive and the Queen Elizabeth II Park; both of which are still located in Road Town.

“The problem with that is we do not want to disturb the hospital and the Governor. We have festival grounds that we can use. We have Lower Estate Sugar Works that we can also transform, and we have the Althea Scatliffe Grounds that we can also look at. So there is a number of options on the table, but we have to sit down and decide.”

Event name change

She said the name would be changed for the third time since its inception more than 21 years ago.

“Well, it will be Christmas on whatever, whether it is a park or a parking lot. That will be the only part that will change. But we need to make sure that when we are moving, the business community can have an impact because the business community around says this [event] also helps them with their business.”

In the meantime, Brathwaite-Edwards said this year the event was “positive” and once again lured a crowd to kickstarted the Christmas season in the British Virgin Islands.

The traffic reform programme

In September, Transportation & Works Minister Kye Rymer said plans are underway to reform traffic routes on Tortola to create one-way roadways in and around Road Town in an effort to ease the current congestion in the capital city.

“When you are coming from the West End area, and you are heading east at the Admin Complex, we will erect (traffic) lights, and we intend to turn Waterfront Drive into a one way (lane) heading east. Upon approaching the roundabout, you would be able to turn left or go straight on to the dual carriageway,” Rymer said while making his contribution in the House of Assembly.

He said the one-way traffic lane would also continue in other areas. The Transportation Minister said this new system would create what he described as a ‘loop’ around Road Town.

With this loop, he said the traffic would be heading west into DeCastro Street, and motorists will have the option to access Waterfront Drive by making a right turn onto the street where the Cutlass Tower located. 

The other option is to drive along the road that leads to Banco Popular.

Meanwhile, the traffic transformation will also move to Main Street, Rymer added.

While he did not indicate when the proposed traffic reform would come into effect, Rymer said residents would be part of the transformation.

He said this would be done through public meetings, among other avenues.

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34 Comments

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  1. Forward ever Backward never says:

    Why not back on main street? There is no reason to make this a complicated issue. Take Christmas on Main street, back on Main street.

    Like 59
    Dislike 6
    • Smh says:

      This event have out grown main street….can’t u see, back in the day with only 20 vendors main street was ideal. Now u up to so many vendors u still talking about main street? Because of the narrowness at main street vendors would be stretched out while on Decastro street it have the adjacent parking lot which helps prevent vendors from been stretched out and everyone had a chance to see what was on offer…

      Like 12
      Dislike 14
      • Forward ever Backward never says:

        @Smh

        Let the people park at the same adjacent parking lots near Decastro Street and walk to Main Street. That is not rocket science. Main Street should be turned into a walk through mall anyway. Absolutely no parking on Main Street. My 2 cents.

        Like 15
  2. town one way system... says:

    will be a big plus if done properly and with real thought and planning. Dont like to hear about more traffic light though…small roundabouts might be better suited.

    Like 1
    Dislike 2
  3. free advice says:

    TAKE IT TO THE PIER PARK

    Like 12
    Dislike 20
    • good choice says:

      For sure it wont disrupt traffic and there is sufficient parking over there and all the vendors will benefit

      Like 8
      Dislike 4
      • Huh says:

        So what happen when there is a cruise ship? Have u ever gone to the pier park on a day it have cruise ship and literally see the operation? Where would the vendors set up in such case? The only thing is possible for such is if they reserved the days from now which will put the country to lose money from the ships schedule to come on that day or days…

  4. ok says:

    So them dont want to disturb the governor but them want to disturb we at john’s hole

    Like 3
    Dislike 3
    • NB says:

      I was going to ask the same thing. Only the Governer is human and needs his sleep.People already have to deal with the noise from festival time at the festival ground. Yall must think about other people ……

  5. Faith says:

    What happen to the Festival Village Site? Isn’t that in Road Town too? This is not Rocket Science, Jan.

    Like 12
    Dislike 1
    • @Faith says:

      I watched the messed up traffic Friday afternoon and got home to look down at the empty Festival Grounds that could have been used for this event. Just make sure you turn the speakers away to not have to much noise in our homes.

  6. Main Street says:

    Take it back to it’s original location. Revitalise Main Street. You may need to stretch it all the way up to the intersection by Josh Bakery. Having it on Main Street was such a cozy feeling.

    It’s better to block off Main Street and stretch the vendors as far up the road as possible so that even Midtown and other stores are included.

    There may be a need to have a DJ further up the road to keep that crowd entertained but I think it’s workable.

    Just my two cents.

    Like 21
    Dislike 2
  7. Smh says:

    This event have out grown main street….can’t u see, back in the day with only 20 vendors main street was ideal. Now u up to so many vendors u still talking about main street? Because of the narrowness at main street vendors would be stretched out while on Decastro street it have the adjacent parking lot which helps prevent vendors from been stretched out and everyone had a chance to see what was on offer…

    Like 3
    Dislike 10
  8. Ok says:

    The street where la dolce, one-stop mall is can be used.. that road is a good idea.. from Nagico come up to Oneal building and the parking lot can be for entertainment

    Like 23
    Dislike 1
  9. Suggestion says:

    Christmas in Road Town.

  10. my 2 cents says:

    I am of the opinion that it should be taken back to Main Street. it would bring some life to Main Street – which has been stagnant for quite a few years. place the stage at the Sir Georges Olva Plaza, and run the booths from O’Neal Sporting up to Mid Town Restaurant. if that can’t be done, then another suggestion would be to do along Boobie Street (parallel to Waterfront Drive). You can start from the parking lot across from Sunny Caribbee, and run it all the way to Royal Shop. Set your stage at the parking lot next to Patsy Lake Building.

    Like 10
    Dislike 1
  11. Concerned says:

    Gee, look at all the garbage on the street! No garbage cans provided! Citizens that don’t care about our environment!

    Like 11
    Dislike 1
  12. Peace says:

    Please do not use the parks for for commerce. Protect the few green spaces we have for the purpose they were created for. Not everyone loves loud amplified music, or amplified messages in these ‘zoned’ spaces.

  13. sense says:

    Pier Park

    Like 2
    Dislike 7
    • Wrong audience says:

      This event is for local residents and to boost commerce for local businesses. The pier park is for cruise ship people. Those are two different markets.

  14. Anonymous says:

    The event can be held in the parking lot close to craft alive when you come off the Road Town dock. . that will be great its in the tourist attraction area.

  15. just a thought says:

    Why not use the parking area down by the old hospital

  16. Smiley says:

    I agree with the Christmas village idea. It will be a great choice for this kind of event. Over the years you can see how big this event has grown. More people, more vendors, more entertainment. The festival ground has so much space for many individuals, vendors, music etc. It also create a safe zone for children. We also do not have to be worried about a street being closed off during the day. Especially a busy day like Fridays.

  17. Girlfriend says:

    Why not on the stretch on the opposite side over by Josh Bakery the big parking lot up to patsy Lake the ice cream shop etc.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Festival grounds is the perfect salutation I was thinking this for a long time.

  19. Jc says:

    The festival grounds is the perfect spot.

  20. hmm says:

    The Village site or New Recreation Ground would be perfect.

  21. John says:

    Take it back to Main Street the area need some good support

  22. Ideal says:

    The road and adjourning area behind the administration building is the ideal place for this.

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