Wanting to give back to the community while celebrating its 15th anniversary, the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center is planning a large-scale, free outdoor concert to be held on the 4th of July in Westhampton Beach.
On Wednesday, Frank Russell, the theater's director of production, and Joanna Ferraro-Levy, the theater's associate director, were before the village board to request use of village property and the closure of Main Street for the concert.
"Not every community can support a performing arts center and we have been supported for so many years by the community, sponsors, donors, people who have helped us in kind and by the fire department and village board. We thought it would be fun to thank them by having a free concert and invite everyone," said Ferraro-Levy.
The concert, according to Russell, will feature the sounds of West Point's Jazz Nights, who have played with Benny Goodman at Lincoln Center, the Duke Ellington Orchestra, and at the Hatch Shell for Boston's Independence Day celebration.
The concert, said Russell, which will start at 7:45 and run until 9 when the annual fireworks start will require the closure of Main Street at 2 p.m. for the set-up of the stage.
An hour after the fireworks will be needed to disassemble the stage, he added.
Village board members were supportive of the plan with Trustee Ralph Urban stating, "I think this is great idea...excellent idea."
Mayor Conrad Teller said the closure of Main Street may just be what the village needs on the 4th of July anyway.
"People have been saying for years, we should just close Main Street all summer," he said.
The village board is expected to approve the use of its property at its next meeting.
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