With Covid-19 again putting off the East Hampton Masonic Lodge’s community pot roast dinner, which raises money for scholarships, sports teams, and other activities for kids here, Brian Lester recently wondered to himself what could possibly be done to replace it, for now at least.
Then a proverbial light went off in his brain, inspired by the holiday light shows he took his family to see in Riverhead and at Smith Point County Park in Shirley last year. Why not do something similar in East Hampton?
“We thought it would be an interesting idea,” Mr. Lester, an attorney who is the Masons’ treasurer, said by phone this week. “We don’t have anywhere to do a drive-through one here, so I said, ‘Let’s do a walk-through one.’ . . . I’m glad to say we’ve had an outstanding response.”
Businesses have sponsored nearly $30,000 worth of displays that will light up East Hampton High School tomorrow, Saturday, and next Friday and Saturday from 5:30 to 8:30 each night. Admission is $5 per person, with all proceeds at the door going to scholarships for high school seniors at the end of this school year.
In addition to lots of lights, East Hampton’s various student clubs and classes will be selling s’mores, hot chocolate, popcorn, Christmas ornaments, sand art, and gift wrapping. Artisans and other small-business owners will take part in a holiday bazaar.
Mr. Lester hopes it will become an annual tradition — much like the pot roast dinner itself. “That’s my goal — grow it each year,” he said. “The more people we have, the more scholarships we can give out.”