Town Column : Edgartown
Tomorrow, May 22, the Edgartown School will hold its annual March to the Sea. Students, staff, and interested members of the community will walk with flowers in hand to Memorial Wharf for a ceremony to honor American service men and women who have died fighting for our country. The ceremony will include music by Eagle band, a song and story by Mark Alan Lovewell, and an address by retired Lt. Col. Ted Morgan. The seventh graders will play an integral part in the ceremony when they collect the flowers and symbolically toss them into the harbor.
The tradition of walking to the sea on the Friday before Memorial Day weekend dates back to the 1940s. Principal John Stevens is doing his part to keep up with the tradition, following in the footsteps of long-time principal Ed Jerome. Principal Stevens remembers participating in the walk when he was a student at the old Edgartown School, and he has vivid memories of tossing lilacs into the water.
In preparation for this year's walk, parents are advised to pay close attention to the weather and help their children dress appropriately. Like last year, there will be a water station set up for the kids down by the wharf.
The Martha's Vineyard Museum, steward for the Edgartown Lighthouse, is opening the lighthouse to the public starting Memorial Day weekend. Major renovations to the interior of the lighthouse, including the staircase to the lantern room, were completed in 2007. The lighthouse will be open 10 am to 5 pm on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through June 14. After that, it will be open seven days a week through Labor Day. A lighthouse keeper will be on hand during visitation hours.
The Chappy ferry begins its summer schedule on May 22. During the high season, it runs from 6:45 am until midnight, weather permitting. If you haven't crossed in a while, you'll encounter the new policy of loading two cars before pedestrians and bikes, instead of one car in the past. There is no change to the order for disembarking, that is, one car off, then pedestrians and bikes. Chappyferry.net provides some useful information about what to do in an emergency that occurs outside of normal hours of operation. Interestingly, the website also reports that Chappaquiddick means "sometimes an island."
Edgartown Harbormaster Charlie Blair said he is looking forward to the "bustle" that the summer season brings, except, that is, for the boating accidents. Charlie looks forward to working with his staff, which increases substantially in the high season to handle the increase in boat traffic. New boaters can enroll in a safe boating course: check out boatsafemarthasvineyard.com.
The Katama General Store opened for the season last weekend, another sure sign that summer is just around the corner. This year, owners Jackie and Doug Korell put in a new stone patio out front, which I am sure will again be a popular spot to gather for coffee and conversation. The garden surrounding the store is spectacular; some of the flowers are already in bloom, with many more to come.