by Kaitlin Bavaro
Attention Westfield residents: a new attraction is coming to town. A selfie station, courtesy of James Ward, will be opening in the vacant storefront that formerly housed Ann Taylor. This exhibition will have 24 different themed selfie booths, perfect for taking pictures with friends and loved ones. In addition to these booths, there will be a lounging area in the front, two party rooms and changing rooms.
Each booth will have a ring light, used to optimize photo quality, and visitors will be allowed to spend as much time as they want in each booth. Ward plans to keep this exhibition open as long as there is a demand, and will switch out the rooms periodically to keep up with seasonal decorations. Ward is currently in the process of building the booths and plans to open around Valentine’s Day.
Each booth will consist of a different theme and props. Some booths include an Indie theme, an emotions theme, a disco theme and more. There is also a seasonal booth that will display the theme of an upcoming holiday or season. Groups can tour each booth throughout their visit and take photos.
To accommodate for the safety of all visitors, the exhibition will give out free masks and install sanitization stations. In addition to this, each booth is eight by eight feet, providing room to social distance. Once you enter the booth, you will be allowed to take your mask off and take pictures.
Ward believes that everyone needs a place to go and get out of the house during this pandemic and since many residents like to walk around town, his exhibition will serve as a fun and COVID-safe way to do so.
In addition to the selfie booths, there is also a TikTok booth, where groups can film TikToks. Ward thinks that kids will especially enjoy the TikTok booth, and he also believes that this exhibition as a whole can be a hangout for people of all ages. To take part in all of these booths, that also allow parties and regular visits, there will be an hourly fee which has not yet been determined.
Having a son and niece living in Westfield, he knows that there isn’t much to do around downtown at this time of year because of how many stores have shut down and how cold it is. “My hopes are that it’ll be a lot of fun for the residents of Westfield,” said Ward.