What a joy to watch the annual Portuguese parade on Sunday. Both sides of Vineyard Avenue, where I was watching, were lined with families observing this long-standing Island tradition. Some residents there still bear the old familiar names of BenDavid, Rose, Maseda, and Alley and greetings and hugs were in abundance as old friends became re-acquainted. As the faint sounds of a band and sirens reached the ears of those anticipating the parade, both children and adults peered down the streets and suddenly began to shout "Here they come!"
Proudly marching up the street were the band, Police Department, P.A. Club members and the children carrying the traditional crown, the First Communion Children followed by many floats, and the fleet of Oak Bluffs Fire Department and EMS Vehicles. The Pirates of the Caribbean float created and manned by the Richard Mello family was a special delight. As the parade passed by, children scrambled to pick up the candies that had been tossed to them and then watched as the marchers disappeared up the street. It was great to be witness to at least one tradition that is not only ongoing but whose number of participants and observers seem to increase each year, not erode away like so many others.
As a part of the Della Hardman Day events at the Oak Bluffs Library, Gus BenDavid, the renowned Island naturalist and former Felix Neck director, will bring live frogs, toads, and other creatures to a program called "Gus BenDavid Live Animal Interviews: Frogs, Turtles and other." The program takes place tonight from 7 to 8 pm. Also to remember Della and her love of frogs, there will be Frog books on display in the children's room as well as a poster and some of Della's frogs.
Thomas and Sarah Wood are pleased to announce the arrival of their son, Ryan Thomas Wood, who was born on July 14. Ryan's parents are formerly of Tisbury but now reside in Foxboro. Grandparents are Marsha and Craig Prescott and the late Rev. Alan R. Wood of Oak Bluffs, and Cathy and Ronald Dryer of Grey, Maine.
Pat and Kerry Alley had as visitors this week daughter Rachel and her spouse, Greer, and their children Jonas and Drew, from South Hadley, and daughter Sarah and Jack Lavolette and their children Alley, Logan, and Jake, who reside in Glastonbury, Conn.
We send birthday smiles to Paul Robinson on July 26, Travis Bernard and Rachel Barrett on July 29, and Bernie Crossland and Heather White on July 30. Extra special wishes to Joe Nunes who celebrates 97 years on August 1.
Here is a Summer Reading Program event happening all over the Island. Denya LeVine, a fiddler, singer and percussion bandleader is helping all Island libraries "Catch the Beat at your Library' this summer. Join in a multicultural sing-along with a rhythm band and movement. Enjoy lively fiddling, spirited energetic fun! The Oak Bluffs Library program will take place on Thursday, August 2 at 10:30 am in the Children's Programs Room.
Enjoy your week and please remember that if you wish news published, the deadline is late Sunday night or, at the latest, by Monday noon.