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Dec 1, 2015 12:10 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Westhampton Beach To Host Dickens Holiday Festival

Lillian Schon, left, Noelle Bass, Philip Grossman, Calla Tymann, Village trustee Bryan Tymann and Lorraine Girard stand at the gazebo in the Village of Westhampton Beach, where Santa will be taking photos with children during the Dickens Holiday Festival on December 12. GREG WEHNER
Dec 1, 2015 2:52 PM

The Greater Westhampton Chamber of Commerce is getting ready to celebrate the holidays with a Victorian era-themed Dickens Holiday Festival.

To be held on Saturday, December 12, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the festival will encompass multiple areas throughout the village. Guests and vendors are invited to dress in Victorian attire for the festival, a revised version of Westhampton Beach’s former Winterfest.

With food vendors set up in the upper lot of Sexton Commons, Santa at the gazebo and various activities taking place on Main Street, the festival should offer something for everyone, according to organizers.

Tea Time with Teddy, which will be held at The Patio on Main Street, is an opportunity for children to have tea with their favorite teddy bear or doll while enjoying a reading of “The Nutcracker.” Tickets cost $5 and sessions will take place at noon, 1 and 2 p.m.

According to Noelle Bass, a Greater Westhampton Chamber of Commerce board member and co-chairperson of the festival, Tea Time with Teddy dates back to Victorian times. In fact, a number of activities make reference to the era, such as decorating sugar cookies, reading Victorian-themed children’s books, coloring Victorian paper dolls and watching the Muppets version of a Charles Dickens classic, “The Muppet Christmas Carol,” at the Westhampton Free Library.

Westhampton Free Library Director Danielle Waskiewicz said the movie will be shown at noon and 2 p.m., and showings will be limited to 20 people at a time. The library will provide wrapped snacks to the children.

“The Westhampton Free Library is excited to be a part of the Westhampton Dickens Holiday Festival,” Ms. Waskiewicz said in a prepared statement. “The library is always looking for new ways to collaborate with community organizations, such as the Greater Westhampton Chamber of Commerce and the Village of Westhampton Beach, to bring new services and ideas to the community. We are a proud partner and look forward to future collaborations as well.”

The movie will give parents some time to shop without their children, Ms. Bass pointed out.

The Dickens Whisker War Beard & Mustache competition will also be held during the festival. The contest will take place at Lillian’s Hair Salon and Spa, also on Main Street, and have three categories: best mustache, best beard and best free style. Those who want to participate can register at the chamber office prior to the festival, or at the chamber’s table on the Village Green on the day of the festival.

But the fun doesn’t stop there. Free candy cane nail art will offered at Lillian’s, children can make gingerbread ornaments at Tweed and a scavenger hunt will be held on Main Street. To top this off, the festival will also have a silent auction, a poinsettia sale, a hot chocolate and cider booth, and photo sessions with Santa.

Roaming carolers may be spotted throughout the village during the festival, and holiday tunes will be cranked out by East End Entertainment.

“We are all looking forward to a day filled with fun activities for our residents and guests,” Westhampton Beach Mayor Maria Moore said.

Philip Grossman from the chamber anticipates a few hundred people at the festival.

“We want to show that our village is a place to come to all year long,” Mr. Grossman said on behalf of the chamber. “Having music, great food and fun for the kids is our focus for this holiday festival.”

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