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De Castro peeved @ change to Xmas promo venue

Businessman and commentator Donald E. De Castro is lashing out at the decision to shift the annual Christmas on Main Street event to De Castro Street between Scotiabank and Bobby’s Supermarket, saying that there was no advance warning of such a decision. Photo: VINO/File
A scene from the opening night of Christmas on Main Street on December 6, 2013. Photo: VINO/File
A scene from the opening night of Christmas on Main Street on December 6, 2013. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Businessman and commentator Donald E. De Castro is lashing out at the decision to shift the annual Christmas on Main Street event to De Castro Street between Scotiabank and Bobby’s Supermarket, saying that there was no advance warning of such a decision.

Speaking last night November 18, 2014 as a guest of the radio show 'Speak Out BVI' hosted by Doug Wheatley on ZBVI 780 AM, De Castro lamented the decision saying that dozens of persons will be financially affected as they have made significant investment in preparation for the annual event.

“This issue concerns many businesses in the Road Town area. There is this feature on Main Street for the last 15 years – Christmas on Main Street. It was started with the purpose of boosting the businesses in that area along Main Street as parking became a problem,” he said, adding that as a result of parking, many businesses had closed.

“The people in their good sense came up with the idea to have Christmas on Main Street to help those businesses and this has been going on for the last 15 year,” he said.

“During the week I heard that they are moving it from Main Street and moving it so Wickham’s Cay, on De Castro between Bobby’s and Scotiabank. These businesses on Main Street were not consulted on this matter,” said De Castro.

According to De Castro, it was his information that the Committee responsible for the event voted to move it from Main Street to Wickham’s Cay.

“I don’t see the sense in that…I don’t know whether it was a majority vote or a unanimous decision. One of the business owners decided to launch a petition,” he said.

“The extra merchandise and money that they have invested in their businesses for this event and it will be a loss to them and this is a complete disrespect to those merchants,” he said. “I don’t think they consulted anybody…at least they didn’t consult me,” he said.

“You can’t wait until the last moment to tell people this. These people have already invested thousands upon thousands in merchandise and other things to prepare for this event,” he said. “It has happened for 15 years and all of a sudden you just bring notice for people to move?” he asked.

Efforts today November 19, 2014 to reach City Manager Janice Brathwaite-Edwards for a comment on the concerns raised by De Castro were futile.

19 Responses to “De Castro peeved @ change to Xmas promo venue”

  • one eye (19/11/2014, 16:21) Like (26) Dislike (4) Reply
    Everything is a ptoblem for this man!!!!
    • British Virgin Islands (21/11/2014, 11:31) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
      The British Virgin Islands (Tortola) need to hold their Christmas celebration in Festival Ground. This way all the other streets are not jammed up and there is plenty of space to walk around. Since we have the yard why not use it? Having it between Scotia and Bobbys will be another mess of traffic jams.
  • whatever (19/11/2014, 16:25) Like (29) Dislike (3) Reply
    Blah blah frigging blah! What does de Castro sell that anybody wants? Man if he meet a cow trying to cross the road he will be here on the radio complaining about it. Schups. I attended xmas on Main Street last year and I said never me again! You couldn't see anything on the stage, the plaza was PACKED. The roadway itself was cramped with all the vendors and little kids playing around, there was no space to walk. If we are going to do things we need to do it well. I would agree with him that maybe adequate notice was not given. But I think moving it is a damn good idea. Xmas on Road Town makes much more sense to me. Let's face it, main street cannot handle the crowds. All the same vendors can have stalls at the new venue. The main street stores themselves should also get spots at the new venue. You would swear those main street stores have things in their store for sale. For crying out loud man. The only thing people going Main Street for is for work or to get a cup of coffee or breakfast or fix an earring.
  • Hmph (19/11/2014, 16:28) Like (16) Dislike (0) Reply
    Does this man have a conflict of interest in this matter, and is there any matter on which he does not have a controversial opinion.
  • Thankless task (19/11/2014, 16:42) Like (18) Dislike (0) Reply
    Main Street shop owners in years past have done nothing to help put on this event. If they had a stall it had to be directly outside their shop doors and all they wanted to do was pay their fee and that was that. Help with decorating, giving prizes or financial assistance to do anything, even help on the committee was almost non existent from them. There has probably been in all the years of Christmas on Main Street ONE shop owner who worked with the committee to put it on. Even most of the vendors who came all they wanted was to pay the money, set up and that was it. They all treat the committee members like they are making money off the event when in fact ALL committee members are volunteers. If a committee member paid for a stall and participated there was always a big cry out about that. One year the Plaza smelled like rotting food from food vendors pouring the cooking oil in the flower beds. They have done little to contribute to this event, except now they've lost it to complain about what they are losing and how much it means to them. Pay the fee and put a tent in the new location then. It is a fact that the event was started to bring traffic to Main Street, so moving it to a street where the traffic already exists does seem silly. But the committee, who does ALL the work to put this event on went ahead apparently and made the decision for whatever reason. On the one hand their is talk about the streets being dug up for sewerage work that week end. On the other you hear the street is too congested so they are trying something new and it's coming back to Main Street. That's probably nonsense. There's been talk of moving that event for years. If the people who benefit the most from this event had EVER seen fit to participate, help, do anything at all they might have had more say in this decision. This is the sad result of their own decisions to take what they could get without thought of giving back. It used to be a lovely event. I wish the committee all the best with this thankless task.
    • Typical (19/11/2014, 19:43) Like (22) Dislike (0) Reply

      That's the typical BVI for you. Suck suck suck and give back nothing. Blame blame blame Government but never contribute even a pencil or eraser to the schools. Let them cart their a.s. If they have anything worth buying then people would buy anyway, I don't see the point of their argument because mainstreet stores dont sell s..t.

  • ??? (19/11/2014, 18:18) Like (7) Dislike (5) Reply
    So tell me why is the adjacent Ad saying Christmas on Main Street on DeCastro Street??
  • ann (19/11/2014, 20:55) Like (0) Dislike (11) Reply
    Most folks will rightly be pleased that Donald is run through the ringer as a result of the talk show and this article.
  • always (19/11/2014, 21:00) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
    he always peeved
  • one eye roaster (19/11/2014, 21:29) Like (14) Dislike (0) Reply
    just looking at his face gives me a terrible back ache
  • People (20/11/2014, 06:20) Like (10) Dislike (12) Reply
    In this case the man is not wrong, it has been a traditional event in the BVI for many years. Why does politics have to be a part of every event here in the BVI? All the traditions of this little place, they are fading out, the culture of this country has been placed on the back burning and reduced to the territorial song. Come on, it is not a block party it is called Christmas on Main Street for a reason.
  • Online Now (20/11/2014, 11:18) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    That's still the wrong place to have it. The better place would be the main road in front of Digicel, from the roundabout to the lights. Traffic could be re-routed down past Bobby's and Scotia and the parking lot would still be available.

    Main Street was always too difficult to walk down so I'm not surprised they changed the detination. What they need to do now is make sure there are decent things on sale and not just crap Chinese toys that last 2 minutes before breaking.
  • Festival grounds (20/11/2014, 17:54) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Why not hold the event on the festival grounds. But don't charge an entry fee.
  • Truth (21/11/2014, 10:24) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    With change there is always problems, lets give the comittee the opportunity and see what happens, lets be positive about. Honestly I said I was not going this year, main street is too congested and by the time I fight my way through the crowd I ready to go home. Now I think that I will re-consider, if its any thing like the block party in terms of the road being blocked off and so forth I welcome the idea, i can better keep track of the kids. And gives other vendors an opportunity too. Mr. Decastro, all you have to do is set up a stall and bring some of your stuff, although I dont think people are interested in buying any books but all is not lost. Good luck to the committee, I know you have your reasons for making such a choice.
  • Viewpoint (24/11/2014, 15:56) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Change is not always bad, but what is vitally important about change is its management - Change Management. The effective management of change involves obtaining buy-in ie. the involvement, the education, the motivation of the key persons to be affected by the change. In this case they are: 1) the businesses that have been represented consistently at the current venue (Main Street); 2) the patrons/members of the general public; and 3) business owners in the vicinity of the proposed venue. The involvement of these persons could have been achieved by inviting them to a meeting, at which the proposed temporary relocation would be the main topic of discussion; a proposed Agenda, to include: statement of reasons for the relocation, the projected benefits, and most importantly, the input/views of the stakeholders (those named and possible others)....
  • D-expat (24/11/2014, 18:19) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Why is everything a problem to this Man. He needs a wife if you ask me.
    He sickly looking self
  • BetteGH (26/11/2014, 09:20) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Wait a minute!
    Mr De Castro is right! It's not about the change in venue; it's about the Main Street businesses not being notified at all then finding out about the change with only three weeks notice!
    Think about it- vendors who have participated from other locations have their tents and tables and shelving- they are set up. Where are the Main Street vendors who now have to set up at the new venue going to get equipment at such short notice?
    When was the decision made? If it was made only recently, the change should be made next year. If the decision was made months ago, why was there no notification so the Main street vendors had time to prepare? This is an imperious, inconsiderate action.

    On top of that, it's not a particularly well considered decision....if the problem is parking- and the parking lots along De Castro Street (that have, in past 'Christmas on Main Street' events been chock-a-block filled with cars) are now going to be filled with vendors, where are people going to park- Main Street?
    My family hasn't gone in years because several years ago, my husband drove around for over an hour and never found a place to park. Without those lots, it's only going to get worse.



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