Halloween Returns to Main Street

The Westhampton Chamber of Commerce says the decision was made in the interest of the children.

A decision to move Westhampton Beach's annual Halloween's festivities to the Westhampton Beach Elementary School and close them to the public has been reversed. On Oct. 31, Main Street will once again be filled with ghosts, goblins, princesses and pirates, carrying bucketfuls of candy.

After hearing numerous complaints from residents and business owners, Dwayne Wagner, president of the Westhampton Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors the annual event with the PTA, said the chamber board voted over the weekend to move the event back to Main Street.

"The board has decided to reverse last year's board's decision to not sponsor the closing of Main Street for the event," said Wagner, noting that the decision was made in the interest of the children.

"This transcends the interests of the business community. It is the right thing to do for the children of this community," he said.

Early Monday morning, Wagner said a new application was filed with the Village of Westhampton Beach to move the parade back to Main Street. The previous application asked that the parade run from the Elementary School to the traffic circle and back to the school for activities that would be closed to the public. 

"The activities planned to be held at the Elementary School after the parade, will now be moved to Main Street," said Wagner.

Lisa Slover, principal of the Westhampton Beach Elementary School, who learned of the news on Monday, said the school and the school's PTA is "happy to collaborate to merge our current plans with these new developments to create an exciting event for the children in our community."

The The Kiwans Club of Westhampton has also stated that it is willing to chip in and help with the event. 

Natalie Boyle, of the organization said, "We are available to help the children."

The news that the event would not take place on Main Street, hit hard among business owners.

Lynne Jones, owner of Lynne's Cards and Gifts told Patch last week that she was saddened by the decision and Simon Jorna, owner of the Beach Bakery, said that moving Hallloween off Main Street was simply "outrageous."

Residents also expressed outrage.

Leslie Kappel commented on Patch, saying, "Absolutely ridiculous! Shame on the chamber!" And Jennifer Bigora wrote, "I'm very disappointed in this decision. They do it in Center Moriches, so we may just change our town this year... getting candy really isn't the point. It was so much fun to be a part of a bigger experience with the little kids who aren't in school yet, and to get to socialize with other families who we wouldn't normally see out and about that night. I hope they rethink the decision because everyone I've talked to about it is really unhappy with this decision."

Patch Wants to Know: What do you think of the new decision? Post a comment below. 

Related Reading:

  • Main Street: Bring Back Trick or Treaters
  • What Our Readers Think: Trick-Or-Treating Moves Off Main

For more headlines from Westhampton Beach, click here

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Annette Merchant October 01, 2012 at 05:50 PM
I love how the Chamber says "this transcends the interests of the business community". This is funny. It was THE CHAMBER and NOT the Main Street merchants...(at least not the one's I've spoken with) that decided to CANCEL it in the first place. Now they are acting like heroes for returning it? Really? We never wanted it gone, some just simply wanted it worked out on a good day for all. The Chamber needs to get their organization ORGANIZED a little better and maybe IF THEY worked a little closer with the Main Street businesses this whole mess wouldn't have even been an issue. And maybe more Main Street business owners would become members. I for one would like to say, Welcome Back Trick or Treaters!...Lucille's Beach Barn will be open and offering candy as I have been for the last 10 years. Please remember us as well, throughout the year and in the long, cold winter months we really appreciate your business. Save yourself that trip to Riverhead ! lol
Ralebird October 01, 2012 at 05:56 PM
Congratulations on making the change. Is this a sign that the Chamber of Commerce may be getting in touch with the community? Too bad it took a frying pan over the head to wake some of them up.
Annette Merchant October 01, 2012 at 05:57 PM
SIDE NOTE- Before everyone gets all up in arms...I am sure Chamber does many other good works, and there are several dedicated volunteers involved, but this issue has me steamed. Sorry!
Elyse Richman October 01, 2012 at 11:52 PM
More important make sure you all come down to The Food Pantry Fundraiser Good Food. - Sydneys, Good Ice Cream - Shock , Great Cause and Great People Enjoying a Great Night !!!!
Virginia Whitelaw October 01, 2012 at 11:55 PM
I've been watching this with interest...it should be up to the merchants whether they want to participate or not. Where I live, the streets get blocked off and then it's a free for all regardless of age. I would rather keep Halloween for the younger ones and let them have fun.
Whb resident October 07, 2012 at 03:52 PM
Hey, how bout the CHAMBER of COMMERCE openly admitting to supporing the local businesses as well as take care of the children's interests. Totally absurd! Time for a change in leadership.


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