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."
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.
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