Westhampton and Westhampton Beach community notes

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Driving home from the train station Friday night I observed many eye-catching holiday lighting displays on lawns and roofs. On one barn there was a simple wreath covered in a spotlight of white. And there was one special tree, set apart from the others, covered in tiny white lights, and sitting in a field in Westhampton. It was all very lovely and cheery.

I pulled up in front of my house to see that my neighbors had been busy as well. The next night I met friends for dinner in town and Main Street had been magically transformed for the holidays. I had my own “mini” Christmas on Main Street event this past weekend as I attended a book signing at The Open Book, had dinner at The Patio, and stopped in for coffee at The Beach Bakery.

The Greater Westhampton Chamber of Commerce will sponsor its annual Christmastime on Main Street festival this Saturday, December 13, from noon until 5 p.m. The festival begins with the seventh annual “Santa and a Movie” that will be screened at 11 a.m. at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts center. Attendees will enjoy a screening of “My Friends Tigger and Pooh: Super Sleuth Christmas Movie.”

Following the movie, children can visit Santa Claus in his Winter Wonderland. Children are encouraged to bring their Christmas wish lists, and parents feel free to bring your cameras. For free movie tickets or additional information, please call the PAC box office at 288-1500.

The rest of us can join the merchants on Main Street that day and enjoy an old-fashioned Christmas experience. Main Street is already decorated and the stores will be open later than usual. There will be horse-and-buggy rides, Bidawee photos with Santa Claus and Storytime with Mrs. Clause at The Open Book, crafts, raffles, and refreshments and goodies available at many stores.

Chamber officials will offer free gift-wrapping, and Holey Moses Cheesecake will be served at the chamber office. There will also be a T-shirt design contest sponsored by Westhampton T-Shirt (the winner gets his or her design made into a T-shirt), and holiday cookie decorating classes, from noon until 3 p.m., at Sydney’s Taylor-Made Cuisine.

Be sure to take time out from shopping and stroll to the end of town to the Village Green, by the gazebo, just prior to 5 p.m., to watch the village’s annual Christmas Tree and Menorah Lighting. It is going to be a busy and fun-filled day!

Additionally, all Westhampton Beach residents and businesses are invited to participate in the village’s seventh annual Holiday Lighting Contest. There is only one category this year—Best Holiday Lighting—and village homeowners and businesses are invited to participate. The judging will take place on Friday, December 19. Participants are asked to keep their exterior holiday lights on from 5 to 10 p.m. that night for the final viewing by judges.

The winners will be announced in a future edition of The Press. First-, second- and third- place prizes will be awarded on Thursday, January 8, at 7 p.m. during the first Village Board meeting of the year at Village Hall, 165 Mill Road, Westhampton Beach. For more information, please call 702-1558.

Time is running out if you want to buy a holiday wreath from Westhampton Beach Knights of Columbus members. Their wreaths, which are $20 each, are being offered for sale this weekend following 5 p.m. mass on Saturday, December 13, and after the 8, 9:30 and 11 a.m. masses on Sunday, December 14, at the Church of the Immaculate Conception on Main Road in Quiogue. Proceeds from the wreath sale will benefit the church’s food pantry and finance many youth activities.

Bidawee officials are hosting their sixth annual holiday drive, benefitting less fortunate animals, at their Manhattan, Wantagh and Westhampton shelters. Donations of the following items are needed for the drive: unopened dog/cat food and treats, new dog and cat toys, beds, brushes and cat litter. The local drop-off bin is now set up at Bidawee’s Westhampton Adoption Center, located at 118 Old Country Road, and donations can be dropped off between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., seven days a week, through January 1, 2009. For more information, visit bideawee.org.

Charles Schmidt of Westhampton Beach and other artists will be displaying their photographs at the South Street Gallery in Greenport on Saturday, December 13, from 6 until 8 p.m. The exhibit will benefit the North Fork Environmental Council. Charles has photographed many iconic scenes in the Hamptons. For more information about the artist, visit soleiart.com.

Art lovers can also meet Westhampton Beach’s very own Pamela Gates Capozzola during an artist’s reception that will be held this Friday, December 12, from 5 to 7 p.m., at the Old Vine Golf Club and Estates, 695 Reeves Avenue in Riverhead. Refreshments will be served. Call 369-7151 for more information.

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