by -
(Left to right) Sarah Hines, Vineyard Haven young adult librarian, Lexi Hughes, age11, Debby MacInnis, Edgartown children’s librarian, Teika Lampart, age 11 and Ali Dyke, age 6, and Sondra Murphy, Oak Bluffs librarian. — Photo by Lynn Christoffers

Last Friday, fans of the “Twilight” series gathered at the Oak Bluffs Library for a “Twilight” prom event to celebrate the release of the fourth of five films, “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1.”

The festivities included a life-sized Edward Cullen cutout, trivia, food, and prizes.

by -
Marsha Winsryg's holiday sale for the African Artists Community Development Project runs Saturdays, Nov. 26 through Dec. 17 — File photo by Susan Safford

The following is a list of holiday bazaars, craft sales, and fairs you can visit to socialize and shop for holiday gifts.

Featherstone’s annual Holiday Gift Show began November 18 with a preview party, but is open daily through December 18, from 12 noon to 4 pm. The holiday show has expanded every season since its inception nine years ago. Last year, 63 artists participated, and this year a similar number are expected. Gifts range from $5 to $250.

If fiber and animals are your thing, visit Island Alpaca’s Thanksgiving Day and weekend open house, where you can meet and greet (and even buy!) the alpaca, take a walking tour of the farm, and shop in the gift store. The farm is open November 24–27, Dec. 3–4, 10–11, and 17–18, from 9 am to 5 pm. For more information, visit or call 508-693-5554.

On Black Friday, Nov. 25, and Nov. 26 is the Antique Show and Sale at the Grange Hall in West Tisbury. The same group that holds weekly sales in the summer offer a multi-dealer show of treasures from historical cottages and abroad. Admission and parking are free, and the shows are from 9 am to 3 pm. For more information, call 508-560-0136 or 508-696-7979.

PeaceCraft, the annual sale of gifts from around the world, starts Friday, Nov. 25 and runs through Christmas Eve, Saturday, Dec. 24. Its new location this year is at 13 Beach Rd. Extenstion in Vineyard Haven, across from the Black Dog Tavern. Open daily from 12 noon to 5 pm, proceeds from the handmade crafts from international self-help projects help Haiti and other disadvantaged areas worldwide. For more information, visit To volunteer, call 508-687-9709.

Every Saturday starting November 26 through December 17, the African Artists Community Development Project hosts Holiday Craft Sales. Located off New Lane in West Tisbury, find Tuareg silver, Zambia baskets, Zanzibar kikoy cloth, Mukuni wood carving, Ghanian patchwork, and Zambezi Dolls. For more information, call 508-693-4059.

The VFW Ladies’ Auxiliary are having their Holiday Bazaar and Flea Market from 9 am to 1 pm at the VFW in Oak Bluffs on November 26.

Grace Church’s annual Holly Day Fair, where shoppers peruse tables full of Island handmade crafts, ornaments, knitwear, an Attic Treasures table, children’s toys, and baked goods, also includes a Holly Day Luncheon. The fair Saturday, Dec. 3, at the church in Vineyard Haven, from 10 am to 2 pm. The luncheon is from 11 am to 1 pm. All proceeds benefit the Episcopal Relief and Development Fund, whose programs work to relieve poverty.

The M.V. NAACP’s annual Holiday Bazaar is also Saturday, Dec. 3, at the M.V. Regional High School in Oak Bluffs. From 10 am to 4 pm, shop a silent auction, White Elephant items, baked goods, and more. Vendors: tables are $25. To sign-up, call 508-696-5785.

Also December 3, and December 17, 10 am to 1 pm, is the West Tisbury Winter Farmers’ Market, and in addition to local produce and meat, find locally-produced items perfect for gifts and stocking stuffers. You’ll find soap from Flat Point Farm, chocolate from New Moon Magick, and much more.

A sale of donated jewelry on Saturday, Dec. 10, will benefit the M.V. Museum. The annual Jewelry Jingle is from 9 am to 3 pm at the museum’s library. Donations can either be dropped off or mailed to the museum. For more information, call 508-627-4441 or visit

If you’re looking for a little bit of everything having to do with the holidays, plan on going to Christmas in Edgartown, December 9–11. In addition to most all stores open for business all weekend, there are tours, open houses, a wine tasting, cookie contest, Christmas tree lighting, trunk shows, and Breakfast with Santa. A full schedule of events can be found at

Wreaths for sale

Balsam fir wreaths are for sale at Cronig’s Market in Vineyard Haven, Jim’s in Oak Bluffs, and Alley’s in West Tisbury, and proceeds benefit Coco the Clown’s MVTV show “Coco and the Kids,” which is designed to help children and families living with autism through education and the arts.

The annual Festival of Wreaths, a benefit for the 1820 Sara Mayhew Parsonage in Edgartown, is Thursday, Dec. 1, from 6 to 9 pm, at the Federated Church in Edgartown. Bids start at $45 for the silent wreath auction. Admission is $15 that includes beverages and hors d’oeuvres. For more information, call 508-627-4421.

by -
Author Tony Horwitz — Photo courtesy of Tony Horwitz

Best-selling author Tony Horwitz of West Tisbury will discuss his new book, “Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid That Sparked the Civil War,” on Tuesday, November 29, at State Road Restaurant.

Starting at 5:30 pm, the event is a fundraiser for the expansion of the West Tisbury Library. The price per ticket is $125 per person. Space is limited and early booking is advised.

The evening will include a short talk by the author, followed by a chance to meet him and discuss his book further. Hors d’oeuvres will be passed and other refreshments will be available. Mr. Horwitz is second presenter in the library’s Speakeasy Series. Late last month, the series was inaugurated by his wife, Geraldine Brooks, who discussed her latest book, “Caleb’s Crossing,” a novel based on Gay Head (Aquinnah) Native-American Caleb Cheeshahteaumauk’s life here and at Harvard College where he became the first Native-American graduate in 1665.

The library was recently awarded a state grant of nearly $3 million for the expansion project. The West Tisbury Library Foundation seeks to raise another $1.5 million, which, with a similar amount from the town, will match the grant to fully underwrite the expansion work. For the past several years, the library has been judged a top ten library of its size in the nation by a Library Journal rating index.

“We are West Tisbury residents,” Mr. Horwitz said last Sunday, rejoicing at home after attending The Game, a harrowing 10-7 Vineyard win over Nantucket. Mr. Horwitz made the pilgrimage to Nantucket on Saturday with sons Nathaniel, 15, a Vineyarder stalwart, and Bizu, age 8. “We love our library and I’m happy to do what I can to help the [expansion] effort.”

On Tuesday, Mr. Horwitz will speak about his latest work, which chronicles the life and very trying times of John Brown, an abolitionist zealot who led a disastrous raid in 1859 on a U.S. arsenal in Harper’s Ferry, Virginia. The raid was seen by Mr. Brown as a way to arm the army of slaves he was convinced would rise up against their slave masters. (see In Print 10/25, MVTimes). While the raid has largely been an historical footnote to The Civil War, it has also been regarded as a proximate cause of this country’s deadliest conflict.

In researching a prior book, “Confederates in the Attic,” Mr. Horwitz became interested in the Harper’s Ferry raid. “I was familiar with John Brown and his raid,” he said. “Beyond that, it was pretty much a blank. I began poking around and saw how rich it was.

“I don’t particularly look for heroes and anti-heroes. I think, as Americans, we tend to do that too much. We love our myths, the black hats and the white hats. I’m interested in why we cling to myths. Though having said that, it’s impossible to write about the past and not hear echoes of the past in the present.”

Mr. Horwitz notes that literary history books have gained in popularity in recent years. “I think you could say it’s a good era for literary history. I think people crave good stories about the past and [the popularity] also reflects on what’s happened in scholarly circles — moving away from characters, what’s termed ‘great man’ history and toward micro-histories of movements.”

Mr. Horwitz said that the publishing shift to micro-history work in academia aligns with current scholarly publishing trends. “The (academics’) move away is corrective. Academics need tenure and so they tend to write for each other and that has created an opening for writers like me,” he said. “I don’t demean that work: their research is important. I did my own research, but like other authors, I also combed the scholarly footnotes. But I’m trying to do something different, to tell a story.”

Mr. Horwitz spent three years researching and breathing real life into the John Brown story. The tale has led its author on a promotional tour from Manhattan to Menlo Park. He’s not done yet. Mr. Horwitz will speak at four other Island venues over the next three weeks. His schedule:

Saturday, Dec. 10, 12 noon at Edgartown Books.

Sunday, Dec. 11, at 4 pm at the Hebrew Center in Vineyard Haven. This event was originally scheduled for Dec. 17 at the Bunch of Grapes bookstore in Vineyard Haven. Admission is $10.

Tuesday, Dec. 13 at 5:30 pm at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum in conjunction with its year-long Civil War sesquicentennial exhibit. Admission is $8 for members and $12 for non-members. Books will be available for purchase and signing;

Wednesday, Dec. 14, at 4 pm at the Vineyard Haven library.

by -


Breaking Dawn Release Party: 3:30–5:45 pm, Oak Bluffs Library, Oak Bluffs. Celebrate release of “Twilight” film with trivia, Scene It, games, photo shoot with life-like Edward Cullen, food, prizes. Ages 12+. Free. 508-693-9433.

Benefit Pasta Night: 4:45–6:30 pm, Tisbury School, Vineyard Haven. Lasagna & pasta dinner for Washington DC school trip. Preceeds school play. $10; $5 children; $25 families. To-go options call/text 617-510-3391.

“Chess” The Musical: 7 pm, Performing Arts Center, M.V. Regional High School, Oak Bluffs. Play about romantic triangle between world’s top two chess players. $10; $7 seniors/students.

School Play “Cinderella”: 7 pm, Tisbury School, Vineyard Haven. Featuring 23 7th & 8th graders. $7; $20 families of 4+.

School Play “Beauty and the Beast”: 7 pm, Oak Bluffs School, Oak Bluffs. 1.5 hour musical with student actors. $5. 508-693-0951.

Casino Night: 7:30 pm–12 am, Edgartown Yacht Club, Edgartown. Blackjack, craps, roulette, money wheel; live music; raffle; light supper with Matt Millman’s chili; cash bar. 18+. $10.; 508-627-3303.


Island Cup: 7 am, Nantucket High School, Nantucket. 7 am: Steamship leaves from Vineyard Haven. Returning boat leaves Nantucket at 4:15 pm. $30; $20 seniors/students in advance; $30 day of; $100 car and driver must be purchased in advance. 508-693-1033.

The Lion King: 1:30 pm, Capawock Theatre, Vineyard Haven. Benefit for the Island Food Pantry. Bring canned foods or cash donations.

Daybreak Jammers Musicale: 5–6:30 pm, Grace Church, Vineyard Haven. Featuring musicians from Martha’s Vineyard Community Services Daybreak Clubhouse. Free.


Benefit Breakfast: 8:30–10:30 am, Portuguese-American Club, Oak Bluffs. All-you-can-eat. $10; $5. 508-693-9875.

Thanksgiving Community Lunch: 11 am, Vineyard Assembly of God, Vineyard Haven. 508-696-7576.

Kites and Sundaes: 12:30–3:30 pm, Featherstone , Oak Bluffs. Bring your own kites. Ice cream sundaes served. 508-693-1850.


Silent Film Series: 7 pm, West Tisbury Library, West Tisbury.

by -
Gage Rancich, left, and Taylor McNeely rehearse "Chess" at MVRHS. — Photo by Charlotte Hall

School theater times three

The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High, Oak Bluffs, and Tisbury Schools all present plays this weekend at each respective school.

Performing “Chess,” a play about a romantic triangle involving the world’s two top chess players, an American and Russian, during the Cold War, MVRHS students grace the stage November 17 and 18 at 7 pm, and 20 at 4 pm. Admission is $10; $7 for seniors and students. For more information, contact

Oak Bluffs students are trying their skills with “Beauty and the Beast,” 7 pm on November 18 and 19, and 2 pm on November 20. Admission is $5; for more information call 508-693-0951.

See seventh and eighth graders perform “Cinderella” at the Tisbury School on November 18 and 19 at 7 pm. Admission is $7; $20 for families of four or more. Call 508-696-6500 for more information.

Cookies for Kids Cancer

LeRoux at Home in Vineyard Haven is hosting a bake sale this Saturday, Nov. 19, with all proceeds benefiting a charity called Cookies for Kids Cancer. LeRoux is partnering with OXO brand, which will provide a raffle prize, and they will also match the day’s bake sale proceeds for the charity. Stop by the store from 9 am to 5:30 pm and support the nonprofit that raises money for pediatric cancer research. For more information, visit

Open studio

Artist Wendy Weldon is hosting an Open Studio Sale next Friday and Saturday, Nov. 25 and 26, at her studio in Chilmark. From 11 am to 4 pm, peruse her paintings, monotypes, and drawings, in addition to her cousin Monica Fernandes’s one-of-a-kind Fall/Winter 2011 collection of Lisbon Style Jewelry. For more information, contact or 508-645-3199.

Twi-hards take notice

Turkey Burner Day

On Friday, Nov. 25, the YMCA of M.V. invites you to burn off that Thanksgiving turkey with your family through a variety of health and wellness activities. The facility will be open to the public at no charge.

Drop in one of our many group exercise classes, try out our state-of-the-art workout equipment, take a lap in our pool or bring the kids for rec swim with our great water slide! Wellness and pool schedules will be available on our website, The Y will be open from 7 am to 5 pm and Child Watch will be open from 8 am to 4 pm.

by -
Ceramic bells by Nancy Blank are just one of the many crafts available at Featherstone's Holiday Gift Show. — Photo by Ralph Stewart

In most places in America, the approach to the holiday season signals a race to the big box stores to grab the latest electronics, toys, and other mass produced items. Here, for many, the kick off to gift shopping begins with the opening of the Featherstone Center for the Arts Holiday Gift Show, where shoppers can find a selection of Island-made gifts as varied as the range of artists and artisans that the Vineyard can boast.

This weekend the gift show, in its ninth year, opens with a preview party on Friday evening, Nov. 18. Starting on Saturday the show will be open every day from 12 noon to 4 pm until December 18. The holiday show has expanded every season since its inception. Last year 63 artists participated, and this year a similar number are expected.

Prices of items run from $5 to $250. Those involved range from well-known Island artists to a few part time artisans who are offering the fruits of their labors for the first time. Among the established artists participating are Wendy Weldon, Marston Clough, and Fae Kontje Gibbs. Washington Ledesma will feature his fantastical ceramics, along with a handful of other ceramicists. The glass bead jewelry from Stephanie Wolf will be among a variety of selections ranging from enamel pieces to pearl and silver creations. There will be hand-knit scarves and sweaters, hand-sewn bags, wreaths, ornaments, and lots of handmade cards.

The gift show is a great place to discover new artists. Among some of the unique offerings are those by part time artists and hobbyists who only show their work occasionally or sell from their homes or online.

Small paintings by bird-lover Genevieve Jacobs were the hot seller last year. “They literally tend to fly off the walls,” she said. Ms. Jacobs executes realistic paintings of a variety of birds on bright colored backgrounds. The little 4×4 prints are done on freestanding canvas blocks and can be propped up on a shelf for a little splash of color.

Deirdre DeCarion notes that her canes, walking sticks, and staffs were very popular with men last year. She is always on the lookout for interesting branches and saplings, which she treats, sands, and polishes to create natural wooden gifts. She also makes unusual coat hanger hooks and something called “talking sticks.” Aboriginal tribes introduced the idea of using a stick to indicate the speaker who had the floor at the moment and many Native American tribes have used the sticks in tribal meetings. Ms. DeCarion notes that the talking sticks are popular among therapists and teachers.

First time participant Fred Hancock also makes good use of the natural beauty and diversity of wood. Using a lathe, he hand-turns beautiful wooden bowls, vases, candy dishes, and candlestick holders. Utilizing a variety of interesting woods and incorporating worm holes and other inconsistencies into his designs, he creates unique pieces, some rustic, some more polished looking, all striking works of art.

There are two artists who use vintage fabrics for their work. Jo Maxwell has created a line of pillows crafted from old chenille bedspreads and bark cloth, a sturdy cotton fabric characterized by retro designs. Her most popular line is made from illustrated grain, seed, feed, and flour sacks. The decorative pillows are finished in French cotton ticking material and are lined and stuffed with organic cotton. Ms. Maxwell, who owns Chesca’s in Edgartown, has been collecting the fabrics for years and she makes three trips to different parts of the country in the off-season to purchase more materials. She was inspired to start the project by her own search for pillows. She says, “I’m so disillusioned with all the things from China and all the toxic materials.” She finds that quality of the old fabrics is superior to new ones and she is also happy to be repurposing and updating her finds.

Designer Minor Knight has found another way to recycle beautiful old fabrics. She will be offering her sensuous scarves made from silk kimonos backed with velvet. Ms. Knight will also feature other items from her line, including striking Mongolian lamb vests and retro coat dresses made from vintage look fabrics, some with fur collars and cuffs.

The show attracts a lot of loyal shoppers, some of whom manage to take care of the bulk of their shopping in one day. Anne Grandin of Vineyard Haven has attended every year. She notes that last year she bought a painting, jewelry, a print, a little book of prayers, and a talking stick as gifts. However, the temptation to gift oneself can be irresistible. Ms. Grandin confesses that she indulged herself with one purchase last year. “I bought a little painting by John Holladay which I was going to give to somebody else but I fell in love with it.”

9th Annual Holiday Gift Show Preview Party, Friday, Nov. 18, 7 to 9 pm, Featherstone, Oak Bluffs. Champagne and chocolate will be served.

Gift Show continues daily through Dec. 18, 12 noon to 4 pm. 508-693-1850;

by -
Capoeira demonstrations were just part of the festivities at last year's event. — File photo by Ralph Stewart

Imagine the ethnic street fairs of a number of cities combined into one event (on a small scale of course) and you get an idea of what ACE MV’s (Adult and Community Education Martha’s Vineyard) second annual Cultural Festival has to offer.

This Saturday, Nov. 19, the cafeteria and adjoining hallways and lobby of the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School will be abuzz with food stalls, vendors, musicians, and other performers introducing a variety of world cultures to guests. The event will also feature children’s films from around the world and a program of performances representing both global and local music.

The festival is ACE MV’s only fundraiser and also an awareness raiser. Lynn Ditchfield, the organization’s director, conceived the idea to help further an initiative put forth by ACE MV to introduce Islanders to a variety of cultures through their programming that includes, among many other things, language instruction, history classes, ethnic cooking, martial arts, and salsa dancing. According to their mission statement, ACE MV provides “life-long learning that bridges generations and cultures to improve the quality of life for all members of our community.”

Last year approximately 250 people attended the inaugural festival, which was spread out from the Performing Arts Center to the cafeteria. This year, Ms. Ditchfield has decided to condense the event to the area around the school’s front entrance, but the festival will actually feature more of everything, including food, which ran out early last year.

In the lobby will be dozens of silent auction items, including a two-day trip to Hyannis with accommodations and dinner for two. In the cafeteria, guests will be able to purchase food from a variety of vendors while enjoying mini performances.

Among those selling food will be local restaurants Deon’s (Jamaican and Caribbean), Sai Mai (Thai), and Tropical (Brazilian). There will also be offerings by caterers and other individuals from Cape Verde, the Dominican Republic, India, and Uruguay, as well as french pastries and Chilmark Chocolates. Diners will be treated to demonstrations of salsa dancing, Brazilian capoeira, belly dancing, and folk dancing as well as Irish tunes and a fashion show of artist Janice Frame’s fascinator hats.

During the event, vendors will be set up along the front hallways, offering handcrafted gifts from around the globe. Among the goods offered for sale will be Native American jewelry, Haitian art, Irish pottery, African and Peruvian crafts.

From 5 to 6 pm, kids can enjoy an international program of short films, provided by Cinema Circus and the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival. At 7 pm, the culinary arts dining room will be the site of a multi-cultural concert. The Black Brook Singers of the Wampanoag tribe will start off the show with a blessing song. As a special treat a 15-member Afro-Uruguayan rhythm group will come from Boston to perform. The group’s trip has been funded in part by Nacho Vignolo of Island Copper. Also appearing will be popular local musicians Sabrina and Don Groover, singer/songwriter Elizabeth Straton who will perform in Spanish, and Irish musicians Gregg Harcourt and Mary Wolverton who will be joined by Billy Meleady.

Ms. Ditchfield notes that there are many ethnicities represented on the Island and she is pleased with the number of cultures she has been able to incorporate into the festival.

“When you keep your eyes open, it’s amazing,” Ms. Ditchfield said. “We do have a lot of different cultures right here.” She points to the variety of Asian nations and South American countries represented on the Island. “We want people to get to know our cultures and our history. The whole idea is that we really mix and match people.”

ACE MV’s Cultural Festival, Saturday, Nov. 19, 5–9 pm, M.V. Regional High School, Oak Bluffs. $15; free for children under 12.

by -
Edgartown Fire Department won the title of Best Wings for the third year in a row. They are now inducted into the Wingfest Hall of Fame and will not be eligible to win next year. — Photo by Yoojin Cho

On Saturday, the third annual Wingfest at Sharky’s in Edgartown served more than 4,500 wings and raised about $8,500 for the Martha’s Vineyard Boys and Girls Club, a record-breaking number for both organizations.

The Edgartown Fire Department won the title of Best Wings by three votes, and since they’ve won this competition for the third time in a row, they are retired to Wingfest Hall of Fame. Next year, Edgartown Firemen’s Association can still compete, but they are only eligible for the best booth prize.

In this stiff contest for best wings, the Edgartown Police Department was the first runner-up.

Oak Bluffs EMS won the best booth competition by a small margin as well. The first runner-up was the Up-Island Police Department, whose booth was made out of a paddy wagon with a wanted sign with a picture of Edgartown Police Chief Tony Bettencourt.

The Committee’s Choice award went to Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of Cape Cod and the Islands. Drew Day, chef at Park Corner Bistro in Oak Bluffs, prepared the sauce for the BBBS booth.

Steven Jordan showed off his spicy wings for the MV Rod and Gun Club booth. He mixed peppers grown in his garden with Habanero peppers, making the sauce just as spicy as his chili.

Diana Lozano beat all three of her male competitors and won the wing-eating challenge by finishing one pound of sauceless, boneless wings first.

Sharky’s owner JB Blau said, “Boys and Girls Club won. The people won. Sharky’s won. But the chickens really lost.”

MVRHS principal Dr. Stephen Nixon crowns Delmont Araujo. — Photo by Ralph Stewart

This past Saturday, Nov. 12, Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School students celebrated their Homecoming Dance at the Dreamland building in Oak Bluffs. They had reason to celebrate, as both the varsity and junior varsity football teams won their games the night before versus Medford, 21-0 varsity, 28-0 junior varsity.

by -


Free Flu Clinic: 8 am–12 pm, sign in at Waban Park, Oak Bluffs or Ag Hall, West Tisbury. 508-693-6184;

Veterans Day Parade: 10:45 am, Our Market, Oak Bluffs. Annual parade.

Veterans Memorial Rededication: 12:30 pm, West Tisbury Town Hall, West Tisbury. New location at flagpole.

Veterans Day Ceremony: 1:30 pm, Oak Bluffs School, Oak Bluffs. 508-693-0951.

Veterans Day Shabbat: 5:30 pm, M.V. Hebrew Center, Vineyard Haven. Honoring veterans, merchant mariners, others involved in past & present service. With Jo Ann Murphy and Lieutenant Colonel David Berube. 508-627-7456.


Annual Holiday Fair: 9 am–2 pm, Trinity Parish House, Oak Bluffs. Gifts, ornaments, baked-goods, lunch.

Winter Walk: 10 am, Polly Hill Arboretum, West Tisbury. Approx. 1 hr. Free. 508-693-9426.

National Gaming Day: 10:30 am–1 pm, Oak Bluffs Library, Oak Bluffs. Super Smash Bros. & Just Dance competitions, board games, and bring your own. Ages 8+. Free. 508-693-9433.

1–3 pm, Edgartown Library, Edgartown. From Wii competitions to classic board games, children of all ages are welcome. 508-627-4221.

Wingfest 2011: 12–3 pm, Sharky’s Cantina, Edgartown. Chicken wing contest and party benefits M.V. Boys and Girls Club. All-you-can-eat chicken wings, live music, giveaways, wing eating contest, more. $25.