August on the East End begins with fundraisers and concerts -- or you could just go play in the sand.
Award-winning maestro Eve Queler directs an operatic feast for the ears featuring tenor Anthony Kalil and baritone Steven LaBrie as part of Friday night's Opera Al Fresco gala at LongHouse Reserve, 133 Hands Creek Rd., East Hampton. The event kicks off at 6 p.m., with tickets starting at $75 (631-329-3568, longhouse.org).
On Saturday, you can be king or queen of your castle at Atlantic Avenue Beach in Amagansett (at the end of Atlantic Avenue) during the annual East Hampton Sand Castle Contest. The event takes place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is broken down into five divisions: ages 8 and younger (with an adult), ages 9-15, families, adults only and professional builders. Admission is $10 (per group of up to 6 people) upon arrival. Trophies and prizes will be awarded. For more information, call 631-324-6250; visit clamshellfoundation.org for printable entry forms.
If you've been driving around East Hampton lately, you've probably seen signs for the upcoming Hamptons Poker Championship -- a big deal for poker buffs that happens at the Hampton Racquet Club, 172 Buckskill Rd., East Hampton, 6 p.m. Saturday. The event is a benefit for the nonprofit Center for Wellness and Education organization, and the $300 admission includes a light dinner, open bar and entry into a Texas Hold 'Em poker tournament. If you don't know when to hold 'em or when to fold 'em, there will be special tables hosted by coaching dealers for beginners. Register online at nwsdy.li/hampoker
Montauk is not typically the location for star-studded fundraisers, but on Saturday the Montauk Playhouse Community Center (240 Edgemere St., montaukplayhouse.org, 631-668-1124) will host its yearly Diamond in the Rough Gala from 7 to 11 p.m. Proceeds benefit the center's continuing restoration and redevelopment, and the evening's honorary co-chairs are architect Nancy Mack and husband Chad Smith of Red Hot Chili Peppers, and actress Julianne Moore and her husband, director Bart Freundlich. Tickets start at $250 and include a cocktail party, dinner and dancing.