Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society parades to the Fair

Arnie Fischer conducts the Flat Point Farm band at the start of the parade next to the Grange, A.K.A. Old Ag Hall. — Photo by Ralph Stewart

Today is the first day of the second 150 years of the Fair. To honor the first 150 years, the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society dreamed up several special treats for this year’s event. Chief among them was a parade held on Tuesday evening. The route was from the Grange, a.k.a. Old Ag Hall, to the current fairgrounds at the new Ag Hall on Panhandle Road. Downtown West Tisbury was paralyzed by a couple of dozen cars in gridlock, and delays ran up to three or four minutes.

The procession included several floats that represented various farms around town, antique autos, tractors, a huge pig on a flatbed trailer, and a couple of alpacas leaning out of a mini-van. And, of course, a marching band, which didn’t actually march, after all, but settled into comfortable chairs on a flatbed semi trailer.

Any parade triggers excitement among the young and young at heart, but when it’s a teaser for the summer’s biggest, most anticipated Island-wide event, glee and high spirits are off the charts. And that’s the way it was on Tuesday, among both participants and observers.