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Xmas spirit ‘dead’ in DeCastro Street – Vendors

- said business not doing; some call for event to be returned to Main Street
One of the booths selling toys at Christmas on DeCastro Street 2016. Photo: VINO
A vendor patiently awaits customers at Christmas on DeCastro Street 2016. Photo: VINO
A vendor patiently awaits customers at Christmas on DeCastro Street 2016. Photo: VINO
Steel pan players try to keep the Christmas spirit alive at Christmas on DeCastro Street. Photo: VINO
Steel pan players try to keep the Christmas spirit alive at Christmas on DeCastro Street. Photo: VINO
City Manager Janice Brathwaite-Edwards has already said Christmas on DeCastro Street will remain at that location. Photo: VINO
City Manager Janice Brathwaite-Edwards has already said Christmas on DeCastro Street will remain at that location. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – “We ushered in Christmas with Christmas on Main Street. Back then you felt the Christmas spirit, Christmas in DeCastro Street killed that vibe and making it like the rest of the world; for commercial purposes,” said a vendor at Christmas in DeCastro Street on Saturday December 3, 2016.

The annual Christmas event was designed to attracted vendors of all sorts as expressed by vendors themselves but Maryann Chalwall, a vendor herself, said the event was one that brought families together for a true celebration of inviting the Christmas season.

“I am a vendor but it’s all Christmas things, I sell some stuff and most I give out to kids because I believe that’s what Christmas is all about but it’s sad to see and know that our leaders have turned this celebration into one that focus more on the commercial aspects,” said the woman.

Another woman said, “I came out with my kids for a nice show, yes we had the bands, the dance groups but where are the schools involvement, if you want a crowd and support for business just bring out the schools to do something on stage and DeCastro Street wouldn’t be able to hold the people, the Christmas spirit is dead in DeCastro Street and we need to have a revival of it. Take it back to Main Street.”

Xmas on Main Street was about family

Several expressed that the celebrations give a more feeling of togetherness and family at the original DeCastro Street location.

“The City manager may mean well but she needs to look at the real reason for the season, BVI is a Christian community and Christmas means a lot to us. Stop thinking of the business side and let’s have it the real old fashion way. Let’s crowd Main Street and see everyone hugging and sharing the Christmas cheers I am not seeing that here on DeCastro Street.”

On the other hand, several vendors expressed that this was the worst year ever for them businesswise at the third year of the event being on DeCastro Street. “Yes, some bit of food selling for the popular ones, but about the cultural things we have out here no one is interested. It is sad but true. It cost be a great deal to come out with my things and after two nights to go home with less than five hundred dollars is really not business,” expressed one businessman.

“Ask my neighbor over there how much money she made she would tell you how much food she had to giveaway and she didn’t even break even to say the least. They need to find a way to revisit this event and that’s it.”

Move back to Main Street?

Meanwhile, taxi drivers had called for the event to be taken back to Main Street or another location since the blocking off of DeCastro Street was causing a traffic nightmare for them during this busy tourist season.

In her response, City Manager Janice Brathwaite-Edwards said apart from the lack of space to move about, which had patrons bumping into each other; another major concern was the lack of support from the business owners, whereas, on DeCastro Street, the event is now better supported by the surrounding business places.

“So it’s worth it,” she had told Virgin Islands News Online.

22 Responses to “Xmas spirit ‘dead’ in DeCastro Street – Vendors”

  • Street Reporter. My view. (05/12/2016, 08:28) Like (12) Dislike (1) Reply
    Too many food vendors. Need more Christmas decorating booth. Too many vendors period.. Not enough Christmas music.. Need to have a really good band starting at 5pm on Friday and one at 3 pm on Saturday..Get people out early..
  • Observer (05/12/2016, 08:53) Like (5) Dislike (23) Reply
    PUT IT BACK ON MAIN STREET!!! I crates a nightmare for both the traffic and the businesses in the area!!!
    • Ajic (05/12/2016, 11:17) Like (9) Dislike (2) Reply
      City Manager you made the right decision to move it. Main street was a mess! It is much better off where it is now. At least you can move and actually see the booths. The only thing I would say is to improve the entertainment.
  • Eye Spy (05/12/2016, 09:01) Like (4) Dislike (8) Reply
    that needed to go back in main street,serious thing.its best off there.
  • voter (05/12/2016, 09:03) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Just one big mess as usual
    • Exactly (05/12/2016, 09:36) Like (14) Dislike (1) Reply
      They expect to have 20 vendors selling the same things and think each of them will make $5,000 after two nights? What math are they using to come up with these things?
  • What? (05/12/2016, 09:07) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    Another woman said, “I came out with my kids for a nice show, yes we had the bands, the dance groups but where are the schools involvement, if you want a crowd and support for business just bring out the schools to do something on stage and DeCastro Street wouldn’t be able to hold the people, the Christmas spirit is dead in DeCastro Street and we need to have a revival of it. Take it back to Main Street.”

    Was she at another event???? The schools were present and performing!!!! St. Georges, Althea Scatliffe....
  • das (05/12/2016, 09:21) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    I was there on Friday and most of the stuff on sale was cheap crap
  • Lb (05/12/2016, 09:22) Like (41) Dislike (1) Reply
    They talking out one side of their mouths saying that it isn't about business and the city manager should focus on the real reason for the season. But yet out the next side of their mouth, they saying to ask each other how much money they made. LOL Hypocrites. Main street is too small and very uncomfortable for attendees. You can barely squeeze through the sides of the tents. Space is the most important thing. Then the vendors need to be more creative and stop offering cheap costume jewelry and cheap toys they all bought at the same place. I really appreciate the food vendors and also the persons that have homemade soaps and beverages. They need to dress up and be more interactive instead of just sitting on their chairs with grumpy faces. They coming just like the Craft Alive people. Only thing it is missing is some interactive attractions. Dunk tank. Basketball hoops or miniature golf. Live cassava bread making. Homemade ice cream making. etc.
  • SMH (05/12/2016, 09:33) Like (6) Dislike (2) Reply
    This event was so poorly advertised it's not even funny. Most people only realized something was happening when the traffic backed up with the road block. This event should have been hyped up since the beginning of November at the latest, to get people excited about it. People should have been notified of the vendors taking part, items they would have etc. Why not have a special on JTV and the online sites highlighting the products, deals, artists etc. that would be on display? I watch local tv daily and check the news sites regularly and saw nothing about this event.
    • Yes (05/12/2016, 15:44) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
      What about the huge bill board on the roundabout advertising it that was there for weeks, am sure we just complain for complaining sake
  • Stopit!! (05/12/2016, 09:57) Like (7) Dislike (3) Reply
    Only people without vision cannot see that DeCastro Street is the better venue. On Main Street, vendors were too far apart. It was more jammed up on Main Street. All it takes is for the Traffic Department to organize how the traffic will flow for those two days. They can come up with a plan and make it work for all. The taxi men complaining out them poo-poo about everything instead of working on making our tourists safe when they come here. There is Main Street and Waterfront Drive and a side street by Mr. Ali for them to regulate a smooth-flowing traffic. It is only for one day really. There is no heavy traffic on Saturdays. Stop making discord when people are trying to do something positive. Yes, there should be more school involvement and a great line up of talents. Let the people come and sell their wares. Who want to buy, buy, but let the spirit of Christmas continue in a positive light. So see you on DeCastro street next year. My children had a ball riding on the choo-choo train and just being amazed with all the festivities. So let Christmas on DeCastro Street continue. Get used to it!!
    • agreed (05/12/2016, 11:01) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      I agree! The main issue with traffic is mostly to do with poor parking practices! That outlet road along One Stop Mall is a prime suspect for that. Instead of being utilized as a proper side road, people avoid it because it's utter confusion with persons parking right on the road. The Police Traffic Dept needs to take this seriously not only for major events, but on a daily basis. With xmas on decastro street, all they need to do is market the event more and be more proactive in terms of putting information out. If people are aware in advance, they can plan better in terms of vehicular traffic. It all takes a little bit of planning and foresight, it's not rocket science. Main Street is NOT suitable for the event at all. Decastro street can work if things are put in place from early.
  • Saw Da (05/12/2016, 10:58) Like (4) Dislike (2) Reply
    Since the NDP Government every poor vendor catching hell ,we must drain the swamp early ,the ministers eating steak and the vendors even can't buy a can of sausage..
    • please (05/12/2016, 12:36) Like (5) Dislike (3) Reply
      Nothing to do with the government. I went there and walked with money but could find nothing I wanted to buy apart from a good bowl of peas soup. Too much imported crap being sold
  • Oh My (05/12/2016, 12:30) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    There was a Christmas on Main Street? You see? I'm sure majority of folks never knew about it, poor poor advertising...they need to spice this thing up at least a month or 2 before the event, get people ready to go..
  • Experiment (05/12/2016, 12:48) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    Experiment tried and failed! Take it back to Main Street. Organize the set up properly with the tents and let it return to the charming event it once was. Decastro Street is definitely not the place for it.
  • belonger (05/12/2016, 13:23) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Christmas is a time to sing and cheer for what u have accomplish all year. What have the ppl accomplish for the year under this reckless, careless and neglectful Govt. So what do u expect for this year Christmas cheer, we all broke and nothing to cheer about, we cant patronize and celebrate this year. Christmas on that street is really dead indeed. No surplus, only waste and scandering of the ppl's money. That's why we no reason to cheer this Christmas season.
  • v (05/12/2016, 16:32) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    We know this, Christmas on DeCastro street comes basically the same time every year. So you have an entire year to plan, fund raise, etc. but yet it always looks like it was thrown together at the last minute by children. Same old tents with minimal decorations year after year. The spacing was excellent, allowed people to freely move around without the cluster.
    As for the vendors:
    What do some of you expect? People aren't stupid. You run over to St. Thomas in preparation for this event, buy out all the $1, $5, and $10 then come and sell them for $25, $30, and $50???? Why would someone in their right mind sit there and buy overpriced toys, when they can easily just run over to St. Thomas and capatilize on the same toys/gifts that you did. Learn how to make a buck without being greedy and trying to kill people.

    We all know that this isn't about the lack of Christmas spirit or family togetherness as they say. This was simply about cold, hard cash. If we all went out there over the weekend and bought till they had nothing to sell there would be no problem.
    • Xmas Spirit (06/12/2016, 21:41) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      @V, I saw venders selling stuff I knew they bought from St. Thomas, but the mark-up was not bad, they may have gotten them on black Friday sale. I bought a few toys from them. We need to stop complaining so much. The whole world revolve around money.
  • Bandit (05/12/2016, 17:00) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    This thing got to be a failure if ayo just saving up ayo money to run St Thomas to spend for Christmas and nothing supporting the local vendors.... strupes man
  • ausar (05/12/2016, 18:18) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    "SMH", I agree!

    How about an advertising app for cellular owners?


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