Summers on Martha’s Vineyard are action packed. Pick any day from Memorial Day to Labor Day and you’ll find dozens of events to satisfy anyone and everyone, from gallery openings to artisan markets and festivals of all kinds. When planning your trip to Martha’s Vineyard this season browse this round-up of this season’s events and plan accordingly!
May 12–27: Art of Flowers, Featherstone Center for the Arts, Oak Bluffs. Featherstone’s annual show celebrates flowers in all forms and blooms in May, in celebration of spring.
May 23–26: MV Environmental Film Festival, MV Film Society, Vineyard Haven. For four days the Martha’s Vineyard Film Society, in collaboration with the Vineyard Conservation Society ,hosts the 5th Annual Environmental Film Festival, with this year’s theme as “Nature as Inspiration.” The festival combines environmental films, and discussions with experts, community members, and special guests.
May 25, 26: Vineyard Artisans Festival, Grange Hall, West Tisbury. Memorial Day weekend kicks off the return of the Vineyard Artisans Festival, a beloved summer event that brings the wares of local artists, designers and craftsmen to visitors each week throughout the summer. The festival returns every Sunday from June 9 through September 29, and on Thursdays beginning July 4.
May 26: Memorial Day Road Race, Summercamp Hotel, Oak Bluffs. Attention runners! The 26th Annual Oak Bluffs Memorial 5K Road Race and one mile Fun Run returns. Enjoy a scenic run on al USA Track & Field certified 5K course around Oak Bluffs harbor and East Chop Lighthouse.
June 1: All Island Hike with the Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank Commission. Celebrate National Trails day by joining the Land Bank for its annual Cross-Island Hike which covers over 16 miles of beautiful terrain. This day-long hike across the Island is intended to expose people to the network of trails that connect the Island’s many conservation lands and public properties.
June 2–6: Martha’s Vineyard Restaurant Week. Attention all foodies, the Martha’s Vineyard Restaurant Week means restaurants all over the Island will be showcasing their best dishes with delicious prix fixe menus for lunch and dinner. Revisit old favorites or be enticed to try something new!
June 13: Taste of the Vineyard, Dr. Daniel Fisher House, Edgartown. A Taste of the Vineyard Gourmet Stroll or simply “The Taste” is the Vineyard Trust’s annual food focused fundraiser, which brings more than 90 participants representing the Island's finest restaurants, caterers and beverage purveyors to over 1,000 attendees. It is one of Martha’s Vineyard’s most highly anticipated events, and tickets are highly coveted. If you’re lucky enough to get one be sure to show up hungry.
June 20-23: Filmusic Festival, MV Film Society, Vineyard Haven. The MV Film Society presents a stimulating, toe-tapping weekend of feature films and musical performances that celebrate the convergence of music, culture, and film. FILMUSIC Festival will bring you closer to the music you love, or introduce you to some you’ve never known, with great films and live music.
June 22: Harbor Festival, Oak Bluffs Harbor. Oak Bluffs hosts its annual Harbor Festival celebrating summer with live music, food, arts, crafts on the harborfront from 10am–8:00pm. Free admission.
July 4: Annual Kid’s Parade, Martha’s Vineyard Camp Meeting Association (MVCMA) at Trinity Park, Oak Bluffs. What started as a group of Campground neighbors banging pots and pans with their children years ago, blossomed to an annual event. Children of all ages decorate bikes, scooters, etc. in patriotic splendor. Parade flows down Clinton Ave. and around Trinity Circle, ending by the MVCMA Cottage Museum.
July 4: Parade and Edgartown Harbor Fireworks, downtown Edgartown. Celebrate Independence Day at the Edgartown 4th of July parade followed by the spectacular Edgartown Harbor fireworks. The parade begins at 5pm on July 4th. The Fireworks start at dusk on the harbor.
July 11-14: Vineyard Cup Regatta, Vineyard Haven. Sail Martha’s Vineyard brings big boat racing to the Vineyard each year with their annual Vineyard Cup Regatta. The weekend kicks off with a lavish seafood dinner on Thursday at Vineyard Haven harbor followed by three days of entertainment and sailing competitions.
July 20: Featherstone Center for the Arts Gala, Oak Bluffs. Join Featherstone for an evening of art and celebration at their annual gala, their largest fundraiser of the year. Enjoy artwork, cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, dinner and silent and live auctions on the grounds outside the new Art Barn.
July 21, 22: Portuguese Holy Ghost Feast & Festival, Portuguese American Club, Oak Bluffs. The annual Portuguese Holy Ghost Feast & Festival celebrates with two days of parade, auction, food, music, dancing, games, and fun for all ages. The celebration is one of the major feasts of the Azorean people and its history goes back centuries.
July 28: Possible Dreams Auction, Tilton Farm, Chilmark. Possible Dreams is Martha’s Vineyard Community Service’s (MVCS) largest annual fundraiser. The event gives people the opportunity to purchase unique on and off-Island experiences, while giving back to MVCS. Since its inception, Possible Dreams has raised over $8 million for Community Services. This year’s event will feature live music, an online Super Dreams auction, the 12 Dreams of Summer live auction, a raffle and more.
August 2–4: Martha’s Vineyard Book Festival, Chilmark Community Center. Set in the charming up-Island town of Chilmark, the eighth annual MV Book Festival, sponsored by the Vineyard Gazette, includes Pulitzer and National Book award-winners plus many New York Times best sellers. The three day event brings authors and book enthusiasts together over discussions on an array of timely issues, including cultural turmoil and creativity, immigration, and equality.
August 5–9: Martha’s Vineyard Documentary Film Week, Martha’s Vineyard Film Center, Oak Bluffs. In recognition of the rising importance of documentaries to public dialogue the Martha’s Vineyard Film Society, in collaboration with HBO Documentary Films, presents Martha’s Vineyard Documentary Film Week. The event highlights the films that have become the conscience of the nation, providing a deeper study of contemporary, and often unnoticed, social issues.
August 8–11: Built on Stilts, Union Chapel, Oak Bluffs. The Built on Stilts Dance Festival is features the work of the Vineyard community as well as professional performing artists from Boston, NYC, Philadelphia, Washington DC, and beyond. For 23 years Built on Stilts has celebrated dance (and other forms) through an inspiring programming including live music, storytelling, theater, poetry readings, comedy, circus acts, fitness demos and more.
August 9–11: Beach Road Weekend, Veterans Memorial Park, Vineyard Haven. The team behind the Martha’s Vineyard Concert Series will bring some big musical acts to Vineyard Haven this summer for the first Beach Road Weekend music festival. The three day outdoor event kicks off with a filming of JAWS along with a live symphony orchestra, and continues with performances from John Fogerty, Dispatch, Phil Lesh & Friends, Grace Potter, Matisyahu, Mason Jennings and more.
August 11, 12: Islanders Write, Featherstone Center for the Arts, Oak Bluffs. For the fifth year in a row the Martha’s Vineyard Times’ facilitates a day of spirited discussions about writing and the writing life. Expect panel discussions focused on the art, craft, and business of writing, along with writing workshops, an open-mic event, and more.
August 14: The Grand Illumination of the Oak Bluffs Campground, the Tabernacle, Oak Bluffs. More simply referred to as “Illumination Night,” this event is one of the most magical nights of the year on Martha’s Vineyard. Hundreds of gingerbread cottages in the Martha’s Vineyard Camp Meeting Association are adorned with paper lanterns and illuminated in grand fashion at sundown, making for a magnificent display. The evening kicks off with a sing-along a live music followed by the Grand Illumination, when the lanterns are all lit in unison. This tradition, dating from the turn of the 19th century, will delight the whole family.
August 15–18: 158th Annual Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Fair, Agricultural Hall, West Tisbury. “The Ag Fair” returns for another action packed weekend of rides, games, contests, competition, live entertainment and more. Part carnival and part old-fashioned agricultural country fair, the Ag Fair continues to delight visitors at the Ag Hall in West Tisbury. Expect shucking contests, skillet toss, horse pull, woodsmen competition, art displays, dog and livestock shows and more.
August 16: Band Concert and Fireworks, Ocean Park, Oak Bluffs. The annual Oak Bluffs firework display lights up the sky each year above the Oak bluffs waterfront. The spectacular evening kicks off with a performance by the Vineyard Haven band in the gazebo at 8pm followed by the fireworks at 9pm. Parking is available at Sunset Park in Oak Bluffs.
For a list of daily events visit the complete Martha’s Vineyard calendar here.
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