Main Street
Nutmeg and Co. staffers arrange Christmas merchandise last Thursday during the Main Street Stroll shopping event. Photo: CLAIRE SHEFCHIK

Christmas shopping metamorphosed into an informal barbecue and dance party last Thursday night in hopes of coaxing night-time shoppers to a small but thriving area across from the Road Town ferry terminal that organiser Annie MacPhail calls “a little microeconomy.”

The Nutmeg and Co. owner, who has been in the location on Waterfront Drive since 2016, said the “Main Street Stroll” has taken place before, but this year it was a more coordinated effort between businesses and the government, which agreed to block off a stretch of the street so shoppers could wander freely from shop to shop — all while sipping wine and munching on free treats like grilled octopus.

“This year, I kind of took a little bit of initiative and I got in contact with government and I left the flyers of businesses,” Ms. MacPhail said. “And so I think next year, it’ll really take off because this was like a little test run. Government was really great.”

She added that she hopes the event will bring a bit more attention to an area of Road Town that is starting to buzz with activity again after a long post-Hurricane Irma rebuilding process.

In the past year, she pointed out, her neighbours Steakation Butchers and NOOK both opened and are now attracting residents and tourists alike.

“We moved in here before Irma, and then Irma came, right. It took us a while to come back. We were closed for 20 months while they rebuilt the building,” said Ms. MacPhail. “Then we weren’t even open a year and we had to close again for Covid. Some new businesses have come into the area, and so we have this nice little neighborhood now, like a new business area.”

She added that she is proud to offer selections from other VI businesses on her shelves.

“We represent a lot of small companies here,” she said. “So people have their little areas [of the shop], like Bella Spark’s, EC Soap Co., Sunny Caribee. So this [is] like the best of the BVI.”