Best Fest on Martha’s Vineyard was best yet


Last Saturday’s third annual Best Fest at Veira Park and Dreamland in Oak Bluffs was the best fest ever. After an afternoon of mellow musical entertainment and community activities at the park, festivities moved to Dreamland via a high-spirited parade for a night of upbeat partying.

Musician Rob Myers launched Best Fest in 2010 as a benefit for WVVY, the Vineyard’s community radio station, and organized it again this year with a little help from his friends. He has envisioned the event as a vibrant combination of music, arts, family fun, and a chance for Vineyarders to relax and socialize after a busy summer. This year, the mix came out just right.

The previously nomadic event landed in Veira Park, which proved the perfect venue, accessible yet out-of-the-way enough for music and conversation, safe for children and dogs to cavort on the grass with no worries.

There was plenty of music all afternoon, both live acts and tunes provided by WVVY deejays, winding up with the popular band Good Night Louise.

The park’s entrance was ringed by vendors’ booths set up under the trees, Vineyard artisans showing their jewelry, accessories, ceramics, artwork, and more. Tarot cards were read; hula hoops were twirled. Most everybody was smiling.

The children’s tent was a hideaway with arts and crafts for the youngest crowd. Outside there was face painting and whimsical veggie crafts by The FARM Institute.

A massive community mural and several big canvases enticed Festgoers of all ages to grab a brush and can of paint and get creative. By afternoon’s end the canvases were feasts of color. They will be sold along with posters, tee-shirts, and other memorabilia at a future auction to benefit WVVY.

As dusk fell revelers headed to town where they were entertained by Corinne deLangevant in sequins and rollerskates as they awaited the Extraordinary Rendition Band. The colorful, high-energy marching band from Providence has been a highlight of Best Fest since it began. Boogeying up Circuit Avenue, amazing surprised onlookers and attracting dozens of followers Pied Piper style, the band delighted the crowd with some 45 minutes of exuberant performing before arriving at Dreamland. There they joined forces with several local bands as Best Fest continued with music and dancing through the evening.