Byrd Theatre manager Todd Schall-Vess and Richmond Police Captain Emmett Williams disagree on why the Carytown tradition was shut down.
It’s been a mere two days since Byrd Theatre manager Todd Schall-Vess announced plans to continue the tradition of the Carytown Ball Rise, an event in which crowds gather to witness a lighted ball ring in the new year.
Citing concerns regarding competition with the RVA NYE 2014 event on Brown’s Island and his desire to organize a small neighborhood-level event, Schall-Vess waited to share news of the event until the last minute.
While erecting a pole atop New York Deli onto which the Carytown ball was to rise, city officials arrived and ordered workers to halt construction.
Richmond Police Captain Emmett Williams told the Richmond Times-Dispatch the issue is simply about permits, stating:
“[Schall-Vess] was erecting a structure for the ball on top of the New York Deli and the owners had not obtained permits to have the structure erected. They were in violation.”
Schall-Vess countered Captain Williams, saying somewhat vaguely that the issue is “more layered than that.”
Reaction about the event and its cancelation from Carytown Merchants Association members is mixed–while bars typically fared well over the event’s eight year history, retailers and other businesses saw their foot traffic decline.