Illumination Night and fireworks light up Martha’s Vineyard

Brightly colored lanterns gave the Campgrounds a festive summer atmosphere for the annual Grand Illumination. — Photo by Gail Daman

Postponed due to threat of rain last Wednesday, the annual Grand Illumination on Thursday, August 16, at the Martha’s Vineyard Campmeeting Association featured songs in the Tabernacle and the cheery array of elegant, brightly colored Chinese and Japanese lanterns strung along the balconies of the association’s gingerbread cottages.

Former civil rights activist, Dorothy Burnham, 97, had the honor of lighting the first lantern. The rest of the cottages followed, creating a wave of light that rippled through the Camp Ground.

Following the evening of light on land, the annual fireworks, sponsored by Black Entertainment Television Network and the Oak Bluffs Firemen’s Civic Association, lit the night sky on Friday, August 17. Crowds filled Ocean Park at 8 pm to hear the Vineyard Haven Band, playing in the park’s centerpiece gazebo. At dark, fireworks exploded over Nantucket Sound, Ooos and aahs rose from the delighted crowd.