Things to Do

The Tisbury Fire Fighters Association car show is Sunday. — File photo by Ralph Stewart

The Tisbury Fire Department will hold its 8th Annual Car Show Sunday, August 31, on Main Street in Vineyard Haven, which will be closed from 1 to 5 pm from the Mansion House Inn to the Bunch of Grapes bookstore.

In addition to classic cars and motorcycles on display, there will be food, drink, and music by the Serendipity and Tristan Israel bands. Two “funny cars,” a nitro car and the alcohol-burning “Fireball Monza,” will rev up between 2:30 and 3 pm at a simulated New England Dragway starting line, according to Dick Pratt, one of the show’s organizers. Parking will be available at the Tisbury School parking lot on Spring Street, with shuttle service to and from Main Street by the Vineyard Transit Authority (VTA).

Showgoers will vote for their favorite vehicles, and the winners will be featured on an annual calendar. A special trophy for Best in Show will be awarded this year in memory of Erick “Ricky” Vanderhoop, and the Kids’ Choice Award is sponsored by Summit Racing.

“This is an all-Island car show,” Tisbury firefighter and show organizer Ken Maciel told The Times. “We had 87 cars last year, and hopefully we’ll have more this year. It’s the owners’ chance to show them off.”

The rain date is Sept. 1. Proceeds benefit the Tisbury Fallen Firefighters Fund.

The cost to exhibit a vehicle is $10 if pre-registered and $12 if registering on show day. Pre-registration is available at DYFY Games at 365 State Street.

“We’ve had tremendous support from local merchants, and also the Steamship Authority,” Mr. Pratt said. For more information, visit the Tisbury Firefighters Association Car Show page on Facebook or call 774-836-5631.

— Photo by Michael Cummo

Following up on the success of last year’s walk/run in support of the new Edgartown Library, the Friends of the Edgartown Library will sponsor the second annual event on Labor Day, Sept. 1.

The event is a 5K (kilometer) run or walk — depending on each participant’s mood and fitness level — that begins on Pennywise path and winds through the woods until it connects with the bike path for the final mile to the destination at the Edgartown School, where the new town library is being constructed. For the more serious runners, this is a USATF-sanctioned event.

Advance registration forms are available on the library website Day-of-race registration and number pick-up begins at 9 am on September 1 with runners shuttled by bus to the starting line for the 10 am start.

Registration fees are $20 for adults and $10 for kids in advance, plus an extra $5 per person on race day. The first 200 registrants will receive a commemorative tee-shirt bearing the winning design created by a child at the Boys’ and Girls’ Club. Sizes are distributed on a first come, first served basis.

Visitors lined up on opening day of the 2013 Ag Fair. — Photo by Ralph Stewart

First Day: Thursday, August 21

10:00 am Judging of Exhibits in Hall  (Hall opens in the afternoon after all judging has been completed)

10:00 am Judging of Goats – In front of Barn

10:30 am Ox Obstacle Course – Pulling Ring

10:30 am Judging of Cattle, Swine, Miniature Horses,  Miniature Donkeys – Barn

11:00 am Oxin Hand – Pulling Ring

11:00-5:00 pm The Blue Hills Brass Quartet – Strolling

12:00-3:00 pm Vegetable Car Races – Back of Hall

1:00 pm Ox Pull – Pulling Ring

1:00 pm. Pet Show – Stage

2:30-4:00 pm Kelly Peters Dance Show – Stage

4:00 pm Sack Races – Show Ring

4:30 pm Blue Ribbons – Stage

6:30 pm Barbara Hoy and the Boomerangs – Stage

7:00 pm “Acoustic Corner” Fiddlers with  Nancy Jephcote & The Flying Elbows

8:45 pm Jon Zeeman & Friends

10:00 pm Hall Closes

Second Day: Friday, August 22

10:00 am Judging of Poultry & Rabbits – Barn

11:00-5:00 pm The Blue Hills Brass Quartet – Strolling

11:00 am Draft Horse Halter Class – Pulling Ring

11:00 am Sack Races – Show Ring

11:30 am Judging of Sheep, Llamas & Alpacas

1:00 pm Draft Horse Pulling Contest – Pulling Ring

1:30 pm Goat Milking Demonstration – Outside Barn

1:30 pm Goat Milk Soap Making Demonstration – Outside Barn

2:00 pm Corn Husking Contest – Back of Hall

2:30-4:00 pm Kelly Peters Dance Show – Stage

5:00 pm Stragglers – Stage

5:30 pm Island Gymnastics Training Demonstration – Lawn

6:00-8:00 pm Vegetable Car Races –  Back of Hall

6:30 pm Serendipity – Stage

8:00 pm Island Country-RickO’Gorman, Anthony Benton Gude and Friends – Stage

10:00 pm Hall Closes

Third Day: Saturday, August 23

10:00 am Antique Tractor Pull – Behind Pulling Ring

10:45 am Puppetoke – Stage

Fred-Kitka_Matthew-Taylor.JPG11:00 am 38th Annual Woodsmens Contest

11:00-3:00 pm The Blue Hills Brass Quartet – Strolling

11:00 am Buddy the Clown – Strolling

2:00-3:00 pm M.V. Horse Council Pony Rides – Show Ring

12:00-3:00 pm Vegetable Car Races – Back of Hall

12:00 pm Toe Jam – Stage

1:30 pm Toe Jam – Stage

3:00 pm Toe Jam – Stage

4:00 pm Clam & Oyster Shucking Contest / Smoked Fish Contest – Back of Hall

5:00 pm Board of Health – Stage

7:00 pm  “Acoustic Corner”with Tristan Israel, Paul Thurlow, & Friends

7:30 pm Island Country-RickO’Gorman, Anthony Benton Gude and Friends – Stage

10:00 pm Hall Closes

Fourth Day: Sunday, August 24

10:00 am Dog Show – Pulling Ring

10:00 am Dog Agility & Dog Training Demonstration

10:00 am Rising Tide Therapeutic Equestrian Center – Show Ring

10:30 am Tug-O-War – Show Ring

11:00 am Puppetoke – Stage

11:30 am Island Draft Horse Show – Show Ring

11:00-4:00 pm Buddy the Clown – Strolling

12:00 pm Puppetoke – Stage

1:00 pm Puppetoke – Stage

3:00 pm Women’s Skillet Throw – Pulling Ring

3:00 pm The Roundabouts – Stage

5:00 pm Ben Higgins Band – Stage

6:00 pm Hall Closes

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George Hartman, a dedicated engine buff, enjoys showing off the museum's intriguing collection. — Michael Cummo

With the noise and glitter of the carnival, the color and chaos of the Hall, exciting competitions, demos, delectable food and upbeat music, Fairgoers may not realize there is a fascinating feature at the far end of the grounds.

Occupying half of the second animal barn, the Martha’s Vineyard Antique Power Museum is packed with rarely seen engines, tools, vehicles, and equipment that give a glimpse into an earlier and different way of life.

Here visitors can dip into history, see a vintage steam or gasoline engine at work, and learn little-known lore about power and agriculture.

“We’ll have the engines running during the Fair,” promises George Hartman of West Tisbury, who oversees the collection along with other antique engine enthusiasts.

Mr. Hartman is at home around old farm equipment.
Mr. Hartman is at home around old farm equipment.

The museum evolved from the Annual Martha’s Vineyard Antique Power Show, begun here more than 25 years ago by the late Bill Honey, Tom Thomas, Mr. Hartman, and others. At first a weekend event, it is now held during the Saturday Living Local Festival in early fall. The organizers had long wished for permanent quarters to store and display the vintage machines. With the raising of a second animal barn in 2008, the Agricultural Society made the space available.

The museum was officially established here about four years ago. It is opened to the public only twice a year, at the Fair and the Living Local Festival. Serious antique engine buffs may visit by appointment.

A dedicated engine enthusiast since receiving his first miniature steam engine when he was a young boy, Mr. Hartman keeps a careful eye on the collection year-round. Mr. Thomas is on hand for special events as is often Phil St. Jean, a Rhode Island engine specialist.

Mr. Hartman proudly pointed out features of the collection, arranged neatly in the dim wooden barn with high windows.

Mr. Honey’s presence is still strong, thanks to a display of several of his small and medium-sized engines. Mr. Hartman even salvaged Mr. Honey’s crane, still used here for hoisting heavy engines.

Mr. Hartman contributed a steam engine that he sometimes demonstrates, to the delight of onlookers. His intriguing collection of miniature airplane and boat engines fills a small glass display case.

Dale McClure has three tractors on display. Spanning the years, they show how the machines developed over time. Two early automobiles, one from the 1890s and another from the early 1900s, illustrate the shift from steam to gasoline in those early days of horseless transportation.

Well-used old farm tools, most from Island farms, hang on the walls — scythes, ice tongs, saws, oxen yokes. There is forge complete with tools that Mr. Hartman hopes an Island blacksmith will one day demonstrate.  A dilapidated horse treadmill was once used to power a saw rig.

And who knew that sewing machines and washers were once powered by gasoline, and that a clothes iron might be heated by building a charcoal fire inside? There’s a drill press, children’s mechanical toys from the United States and abroad, and a corner filled by works in progress that keep Mr. Hartman happily tinkering.

Follow the whirring, clanking, purring, and sputtering, along with the tantalizing aromas of oil and gasoline, to discover these and many other fascinating contraptions. The museum is open throughout the Fair.

For more information, call George Hartman, 508-693-6039, or find Martha’s Vineyard Antique Power Museum on Facebook.

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The popular Gravitron ride will be back this year. — Ralph Stewart

“Very little has changed,” longtime Fair manager Eleanor Neubert said about this year’s highlights. “We’re keeping it the old-fashioned traditional country fair.”

But although much is pleasantly familiar, this 153rd Ag Fair offers some appealing new features too.

Racing pigs are popular at the fair, but how about racing lemurs?

Lemurs top the list for new and unusual attractions. Although the ever-popular Robinson’s Racing Pigs have sprinted away, these furry, long-tailed, big-eyed creatures are sure to win the hearts of Fairgoers.

Along with viewing six races daily, visitors may learn about the exotic Madagascar natives through Winners Circle Lemur Encounter educational exhibits. When not on tour, the lemurs live safely in Iowa at a private animal sanctuary.

Fair organizers believe that this is the first time lemurs have ever set foot on Martha’s Vineyard.

"Mr. Smoothie" and his wife Paula, shown outside the Grange during their early years at the Fair.
“Mr. Smoothie” Michael Youngman with his daughters, Candice and Castle, shown outside the Grange during his booth’s early years at the Fair.

Thousands of Vineyard Fair patrons have enjoyed refreshing and delicious fruit drinks blended by Michael Youngman at his Dancing Smoothies booth, served with a smile and classic rock ‘n’ roll tunes. After more than 30 years Mr. Youngman has decided to take a well-deserved rest from the fair circuit. But thanks to Mac Cook of Chilmark, “Mr. Smoothie” will go on!

This winter Mr. Youngman and his wife, Paula, contacted Mr. Cook, asking if he would be interested in taking over the popular booth. They became friends after decades at the Fair together, Mr. Cook at Bill Smith’s Martha’s Vineyard Clambakes booth, where he’s worked since 1977.

Mr. Cook and his brother, Roger, visited the Youngmans in Vermont to learn recipes and routines. Mr. Cook built a new booth, but the style is identical to the old one, with Beatles music, tie dye, and stuffed animals. He pledges the product will be exactly the same. Smoothie lovers can be assured that their favorite icy pineapple, banana, peach, strawberry treat awaits them.

“We’ll do it the same way we do the booth with Bill Smith gone,” Mr. Cook said. “We do it to honor him and in the spirit he did it for many years. We want it to be similar with Michael’s booth.”

Daredevil fans of scary rides will be thrilled to see that LMC Amusements has brought back the popular Gravitron after a several years’ absence. If that isn’t spine-tingling enough, the Zipper, new last year, will be back for more heart-stopping chills.

Chocoholics rejoice! Newest on the local midway is Enchanted Chocolates of Oak Bluffs, offering fudge, almond butter crunch, and even chocolate-covered frozen bananas. April Knight of Aunt Simone’s Caramel Apple Cake has added devilish chocolate cake to her menu.

The Tisbury School eighth grade is raising funds with the sale of watermelon, penny candy, and raffle tickets for tempting prizes.

New in 2013 and reviving an old-fashioned Fair tradition, the Tug-o-War will be held Sunday, Aug. 24, at 10:30 am. Last year, courageous Fair staff faced off against a hefty Morning Glory Farm team. Organizers are looking for more teams to join in, adding to the good times.

Melinda DeFeo has assumed responsibility for the Fiber Tent, organized for many years by Glenn Jackson. Though Mr. Jackson will be missed, Ms. DeFeo is sure to keep the tent lively and educational.

There are some new looks. The Livestock Barn boasts a reshingled roof thanks to Roy Riley. A new wooden fence surrounds the Show Ring, completed by Watercourse Construction. Barn Manager Bob Hungerford oversaw the project. Ms. Neubert noted that the original fence, generously donated by the late Anne and Tony Fisher, had to be replaced after 20 years.

— Michael Cummo

Blood donation stations will open to the public at the Portuguese-American Club in Oak Bluffs on Tuesday, August 19, from 11:30 am to 4:30 pm. The Martha’s Vineyard Community Blood Drive, which is sponsored by The Red Cross, is part of the “100 days of summer, 100 days of hope” campaign to relieve blood and platelet shortages. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, please call 1-800-RED-CROSS (733-2767) or visit

The West Tisbury Library's annual book sale is coming up this weekend at the West Tisbury School gym. — Michelle Williams

The annual West Tisbury Library book sale runs from this Friday, August 1, to Monday, August 4. Thousands of new and used books, audiobooks, CDs, DVDs, and more at bargain prices will fill the West Tisbury School auditorium from 9 am to 3 pm each day. Books will be sold at half price on Sunday, and all remaining items are free on Monday. Proceeds benefit the West Tisbury Library. Visit for more information.

The annual breakfast with the Rotary Club is Sunday, August 3. — File photo by Ralph Stewart

Dine with the Rotary Club of Martha’s Vineyard this Sunday, August 3, at the annual all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast. From 7 am to 1 pm, the Rotary Club will serve pancakes, bacon, sausages, juice, milk, and coffee for $9 ($5 for children 12 and under) at The Anchors next to Edgartown’s Memorial Wharf. Proceeds benefit local services and organizations such as the Della Hardman Essay Contest, M.V. Boys and Girls Club, Windemere, and more.

Seated front row left to right: Grant Meacham, Mikayla Tinus, Sam Permar, Sarah Ortlip-Sommers. Standing next row left to right: Barbara Binder, Joe Mendick, Sophia Nelson, Darby Patterson, Garrett James, Bob Dutton. Standing last row left to right: Rykerr Maynard, Kenon Veno, Sydney Johnson. — Photo by Lily Lubin

Young Island actors bring the Tony Award winning musical “Spring Awakening” to the stage of the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School Performing Arts Center this Thursday and Friday, July 31 and August 1, at 8 pm. The musical, a dynamic coming of age story set in late 19th century Germany, is rated PG. Proceeds from the show benefit the Island Wide Youth Collaborative. Tickets are $20 and can be found at, Alley’s General Store in West Tisbury, or at the door.

— Meg Higgins

The theater group The Fabulists has returned for the season to the Tisbury Amphitheater at the Tashmoo Overlook, presented by the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse. Every Saturday morning at 10 am through July and August, families can visit the amphitheater for a witty outdoor improvisational theater show aimed at children and join in the fun through audience participation. This Saturday’s show will be “Ashpet: an Appalachian Cinderella Story.” Tickets to the show are $10; $5 for children ages 2 and up. Visit for more information.