Beautiful Virgin Islands

Tuesday, Dec 05, 2023

Vendors, Festival Committee At Odds Over Fundraiser

Vendors, Festival Committee At Odds Over Fundraiser

BVI Platinum News understands that there is some tension between booth owners and the Festival and Fairs Committee over a scheduled fundraiser event.
The fundraiser event is planned for July 23, and in previous years, the Committee hosted similar fundraising events to supplement the available funds in the budget for organizing the annual Emancipation Festival. However, these fundraisers were not held in the village.

The event is scheduled to take place at the Festival Village to reduce expenses, as it would have been more costly to host the event at another venue.

Vice Chair of the Festival and Fairs Committee Birchfield Lettsome aka DJ Bertrum told BVI Platinum News that “The agreement that we signed with the booth owners would have encapsulated the time that Festival will be taking place which is between July 27 and August 3. These are the dates for the official Festival activities.”

He further confirmed that any activities that do not occur within the scope of these dates, will be subjected to a further negotiation process, since those events would not have been addressed in the original agreement.

Mr. Lettsome stated that while vendors were not prohibited for plying their trade at the fundraiser, the 22 booth owners would have to acknowledge that the main objective of this event is to raise funds for the Committee.

He also noted that food and drinks vendors will be required for the fundraising event, and the Festival and Fairs Committee would be willing to partner with booth owners.

“I have to meet with the Board to get a final decision on what we are going to do. But we are going to try our best to give them preference. So I think some of the statements that some booth owners were making publicly would have been a bit premature,” Mr. Lettsome expressed in an interview with BVI Platinum News

However, vendors interested in operating on July 23 will be required to pay an additional cost. The registration fee for operating during the official Festival period is $1,000 – which is a subsidized fee, Lettsome explained.

There were also concerns that some of the booths in the Festival will not be fully functional by this weekend, creating a situation where some booth owners will be able to benefit from the event, while others will be excluded.

Currently, there are no booths operating just yet.

Mr. Lettsome also confirmed that further discussions with the booth owners will continue as this week progresses, ahead of the upcoming fundraiser event.

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