Tivoli Day sounds good at age 31
It began as one of those ideas just whacky enough to work: a bicycle race through the Oak Bluffs business district. It changed into a funky and fun end of season sidewalk sale where merchants got rid of summer inventory, and shoppers got big-time bargains.
Now in its 31st year, Tivoli Day has evolved into a full-scale street fare. Scheduled this year for Saturday, September 13, from 12 to 5 pm, the day will include top musical acts, food from local restaurants, crafts from local artisans, and a promise from the organizers for a family-friendly event.
"It's just a nice day to stroll the street," said Dennis daRosa, president of the Oak Bluffs Association, which organizes Tivoli Day. "It's not so crowded. Most of the stuff is free."
The musical line-up was expanded this year to include three well-known acts. The StingRays bill themselves as the Vineyard's premier rock and roll dance band. Singer-songwriter Phil daRosa (son of Dennis) will perform his unique style of alternative, progressive, and roots music. Island favorite Johnny Hoy will wrap up the day with his popular high energy mix of blues and rock.
"The music is great," said Dennis daRosa. "You have three bands, a mix of tastes. This year we're bringing three really well-known groups."
Another popular Tivoli Day tradition is the children's parade, with a contingent of decorated bicycles, wagons, and probably, a few pets.
Pomodoro's, Coop de Ville, Seasons Pub, and Smoke 'N Bones are among the restaurants that will offer street food on Saturday, and Mr. daRosa expects a few more eateries will contribute to the local flavors. As always, many of the Circuit Avenue merchants will be offering bargains left over from their summer stock.
Tivoli Day represents the Oak Bluffs Association's attempts to generate business for the town and expand the season outside the busy months of July and August.
Mr. daRosa said the combined Harbor Festival and Summer Solstice celebration in June received rave reviews from local business owners, especially with the addition of a fireworks show. "It gets people in town," he said. "We think of it as the fun center of the Vineyard. Due to terrific luck and geography, you can get into Oak Bluffs and out of town pretty easily."