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This year’s Westhampton Fall Festival features a Jeep Show on North Road

Town native Seth Clark grew up driving a Jeep around his family’s dairy farm. He has owned several Jeeps of his own since then and even purchased a 1976 Jeep CJ-5 model from a cousin as a present for his dad, John Clark, when he turned 50 in 2003.

Now, Seth Clark, 27, is taking his love of the rugged four-wheel-drive vehicle to a new level. He is the official organizer of the inaugural Jeep Show at the Westhampton Fall Festival Sunday at the town center on North Road.

The annual festival usually features a classic car show, and this year is no exception. Clark said his suggestion to add a Jeep element met with enthusiasm from event organizers.

“The biggest thing about Jeeps is that they are so easy to modify,” he said. “So we’re looking around for people who wouldn’t mind putting their Jeeps on display. We want to show all the ways they’ve made them unique.”

Festival organizers were less enthusiastic about Clark’s initial plans for a Jeep obstacle course behind the Westhampton Public Library, where the daylong celebration takes place.

“The trustees turned me down because they wanted to be sure I wouldn’t tear up the lawn,” said Clark, a Hampshire Regional High School graduate who holds a degree in music education from Westfield State University.

Instead, he worked with local wood craftsman Steve Holt on a log frame that will display a Jeep and direct festivalgoers to the show.

Among Clark’s favorite local Jeeps is a World War II-era model owned by the Westhampton Blacksmith Shop Museum. Jeeps were first produced for the U.S. Army by Willys-Overland in 1941, with the first civilian model hitting the streets in 1945, according to an online history at www.jeep.com.

The show at the Westhampton Fall Festival has room for about 15 Jeeps and so far 10 owners have signed up, Clark said. Others interested in participating can email him at sclark4995@yahoo.com.

The Fall Festival begins at 10:15 a.m. with an interfaith worship service at the Westhampton Congregational Church, followed by a Race for the Hills 5K at 12:30 p.m. In the afternoon, options include Cow Pie Bingo, scarecrow-making, music and demonstrations of lumberjacking, blacksmithing and wool spinning. The Great Pumpkin Roll on Stage Road is set for 4:15 p.m., followed by a community supper and bonfire sing-along. The annual festival benefits the Friends of the Westhampton Library.

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The skinny on dictionaries

Peter Sokolowski, editor at large for Merriam-Webster, will give a talk on the history of the English dictionary Oct. 17 at 8 p.m. at the Westhampton Public Library on North Road. “From Table to Tablet” will explore the evolution of the dictionary from its earliest form. The free event will include refreshments and a question-and-answer session with Sokolowski.

Also at the library, Julia Coffey of Mycoterra Farm will share her knowledge of growing and cooking with mushrooms Oct. 30 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

For information about either event, call the library at 527-5386.

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And more...

DINNER: The Westhampton Congregational Church will hold its annual Harvest Supper Oct. 27 with two seatings, at 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. The traditional home-cooked menu includes chicken pie with biscuits, mashed potatoes, squash, rolls and dessert pies. Dinner costs $12 for adults and $6 for children age 10 or younger. Participants who donate food will receive a discount. Reservations are required by Oct. 23. For details, call Ann Tracy at 527-9132.

CPA: The second informational meeting on a proposed Community Preservation Act option for Westhampton is slated for Oct. 29 at 7:30 p.m. in the Town Hall. Members of the Open Space Committee will answer questions on the CPA issue, which voters will decide on Nov. 6.

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