“I wanted the children to get something fun for Christmas but more of an experience — a memory that they could take forward. I know that oftentimes a tangible present is good but sometimes something like this, just being able to go on ice in the middle of the Caribbean, I believe it is an experience that they will cherish. And so far, we’ve heard that,” De Castro said during an interview with BVI News.
She said that is what led her to book the Winter Wonderland for five hours on December 24.
But that’s not all the young legislator did to make the experience unforgettable for the children.
“We also ensured that we got John Black to come and take some portrait photos. We have some customised frames just for them to remember the moment,” she stated.
De Castro, who is also the Junior Minister for Tourism, said the initiative also ensured children had free access not only to the ice-skating rink but also to the many other activities in the vicinity.
“I just wanted to cover the entire experience — the ice skating is good. But keeping with the winter theme, we thought Snowie would be a good touch so they can get a snowcone and then, like I said, just a portrait to remind them. Santa Claus is here as well. We actually had the Grinch passed through a bit earlier, so they got really excited,” she explained.
The junior minister also said there was an overwhelming response to the initiative, which saw all 175 spots being filled within just two days of the initial announcement.
She said: “So we put out a flier, I believe it was Sunday and I believe in a day and a half it was already completely booked. People saw it and they signed up one time, so the excitement was there and they showed up.”
The opening hours for the ice-skating rink are from 2 pm to 7 pm on weekdays and from 2 pm to 10 pm on weekends.
The rink — which was set up by the Virgin Islands Search And Rescue as a fundraiser — will be operating until Wednesday, January 6.