The Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center (WHBPAC) is bringing back their Holiday Stroll on Friday, December 2. The shopping and eating event marks its second year after last season’s successful debut, and it returns with even more to celebrate!
Open from 5–8 p.m. on Friday, the stroll encourages visitors and Westhampton Beach residents alike to walk Main Street and shop local at the many stores in town while also enjoying some delectable bites from area restaurants.
“Last year coming out of COVID, the theater was really involved in trying to create an event that would be an economic driver for the town,” explains WHBPAC Marketing Director Heather Draskin. “A lot of the businesses had been closed for quite some time, the theater included, during COVID, so the idea was that we would create this event that would garner goodwill throughout the town, would get people who might not normally be in the town. On that night, get them out, get people shopping at the local stores.”
And boy did it attract shoppers. Draskin says some 250 people flooded the Westhampton Beach sidewalks and visited dozens of shops, all while raising money for the WHBPAC Arts Academy — and this year she hopes even more will attend. Now that the community has moved past lockdowns and pandemic restrictions, they realized the event was still something good for making people happy and supporting local commerce during the holiday season, while also giving 10% of proceeds to WHBPAC’s Nancy and Frederick DeMatteis Arts Academy.
A Holiday Stroll in Westhampton Beach
Participants include: TOLA, Messina Jewelry, Saunders & Associates, Six Corners Fine Wines & Spirits, Island Surf, Justin’s Chop Shop, Shoe-Inn, Hampton + Dunes, GOOD, Saltwater Long Island, Ivy on Main, Sydney’s Taylor Made Cuisine, Lynn’s Cards & Gifts, Brunetti Pizza, Code Blue, Mixology, Garden of Silver, Mill Road Cheese Shop, Bambinos Pizzeria, Flora, Red Jacket Books, Pawcasso, Whipped, Sugar Daddy’s Toys, Fiore di Luna Salon, Tweed & Tweed Toys, Chic, Katherine & Company, Daniel Gale Sotheby’s, Moon Breeze Mercantile, Compass, and Impulse for Men.
Like last year, shoppers will pick up punch-cards and maps from WHBPAC before embarking on their holiday stroll. Upon returning their punch-card to the theater, they will be entered in raffles to win exciting holiday prizes.
Additionally, stores will be paired with local restaurants to offer tasty eats to visiting shoppers. “Let’s say you’re shopping at Garden of Silver — maybe Sydney’s Taylor Made Cuisine will be doing the food there, so while you’re shopping, maybe you have a little nibble, go over to Island Surf and they might have Bambinos,” Draskin says, setting the scene for this year’s marriage of restaurants and retail.
“It’s going to be fun, we’re going to pair up the restaurants so they get exposure as well to the shopper,” she continues, adding, “We want to make it a kickoff to the holiday season.”
Student carolers from the theater’s Arts Academy will keep things festive, spreading cheer up and down Main Street, and a number of local home-based or online businesses will have tables set up in the WHBPAC lobby. “Those are businesses that might not actually have a storefront,” Draskin says, noting that they wanted to give non-Main Street sellers an opportunity to join the fun.
Shoppers may also deliver unwrapped gifts to the WHBPAC lobby for the theater’s annual Toys for Tots drive any time before the deadline this Sunday, December 4.
“Last years’ stroll was a resounding success. Supporting our local economy and driving opportunities to create goodwill among our community is paramount to our mission,” WHBPAC Executive Director Julienne Penza-Boone says, while Draskin adds that Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman, Suffolk County Legislator Bridget Fleming and Westhampton Beach Mayor Maria Moore all attended the Holiday Stroll in 2021.
“Westhampton Beach has a vibrant downtown, including this year the restaurants, the stores, they have really amazing, unique offerings,” Draskin says, describing an evening where everyone wins. “It’s really a place where you can feel good about supporting your local stores, supporting the local theater and you’re going to get some beautiful gifts that you might not be able to get anywhere else.”
Kick off your Holiday Stroll on Friday, December 2 (happening from 5–8 p.m., rain or shine) at Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center, 76 Main Street in the Village of Westhampton Beach. Call 631-288-1500 or visit whbpac.org.