Despite a petition signed by some 20 Main Street businesses, Christmas on de Castro Street will be taking place as a relocation of the traditional Christmas on Main Street activities. The activities are scheduled for 5 and 6 December.
Fifth District Representative, and Chairperson of the Christmas on Main Street Committee in a television appearance following a radio program on the matter, announced that the decision was taken in response to space constraints because the event has grown during the last decade.
“I say to the businesses on Main Street that we didn’t set out to do ill-will, but I see this as an opportunity that they can take hold to advertise their business, to light up the street and maybe try out something because it doesn’t have to be bringing the tents because they wouldn’t want other people to occupy their space, but the whole street can come together, and I know of an association that was started also.”
She announced that one of the reasons for the move was the decision to feature an art showcase as part of Christmas on de Castro Street: “We have had our challenges, we have had more than enough, and we just feel that we can try something else; a decision was not made to never go back to Main Street, but we really would like to see how this year turns out in a bigger space.”
The concern that Christmas on Main Street will not be held on Main Street this year was expressed during the 18 November edition of the ZBVI Speak Out BVI Talk show.
During the program which is hosted by Doug Wheatley, Main Street Business owner and Talk Show host Donald de Castro was a guest. He said that he was informed of a plan to host the 15-year-old Christmas on Main Street activities at an alternative location this year. In fact, Mr. de Castro stated that he was informed of the proposal by another Main Street Business owner, who was circulating a petition.
De Castro announced that this issue concerns many businesses in the Road Town area. He said that the Christmas activity has been a feature on Main Street for the last 15 years, and was started with the purpose of boosting the businesses in that area on lower Main Street. “During the week I heard that they are moving it from Main Street and taking it over to Wickhams Cay on De Castro Street; that is between Bobby’s and Scotiabank and none of the business owners on Main Street were consulted about this matter.”
“I met a member of the Committee at the Sir Olva Georges Plaza and she confirmed the fact to me that the Committee voted to move it from Main Street to Wickhams Cay. All they said is that they wanted to do something different; I don’t see a sense in that. Now I don’t know if it is a majority vote or a unanimous vote, but in any event it was decided that it was going to be moved onto de Castro Street. One of the business owners decided to draw up a petition and bring it out for other merchants on Main Street to sign it,” Mr. de Castro said.
“When he brought it for me to sign it …I called a couple news sites to have them look into it because many of these businesses are prepared for this. This is something they are accustomed to, they invest money preparing for this. So this is moved from Main Street to Wickhams Cay and all the extra money and merchandise they have invested in preparation for this will be a loss to them. And a complete disrespect to the community, and the merchants on Main Street because I don’t think they consulted anybody,” headded.