Summer is really in high gear now. There have been many great beach days or, if you live in our house, many days perfect for lazing around and watching the Tour de France that ended after three weeks this past Sunday. I don’t know why it is so much fun to watch almost 200 men ride their bikes over punishing terrain in all kinds of weather, but it is. It is always one of the highlights of my summer.

One of the highlights of the Vineyard summer is coming up on August 13: the Chilmark Roadrace. According to their Facebook page over 1,000 people have already registered. If you want to run, stop by the community center and fill out the form.

The library continues their run of great programming this week starting on Saturday when you and your children can come and meet the storybook character Madeline and hear her stories from Paris between 11 am to 12 noon.

Then on Tuesday, August 2, from 5 to 6:15 pm at the old Town Hall, Nancy Caldwell will speak on multi-culturalism in France today. The international press carried the quote from President Sarkozy that “Multi-culturalism in France is a failure.” This talk will reflect a personal journey and look behind the headlines at some of the multi-cultural actions currently taking place in France at the grass-roots level. Nancy Leenson Caldwell has been working in the intercultural field for over 25 years.

Next Thursday, August 4, there will be a free, all ages concert on the deck from 5 to 7 pm called Songs Outside, Gracious Calamity, Nate Sprague, and Kurt Weisman. For folk duo Gracious Calamity (Kit and Kate of Jamaica Plains), this will be their first time on Martha’s Vineyard; Nate Sprague, a fingerstyle guitarist, is a native of the Island; Kurt Weisman of Putney, Vermont, is a guitar virtuoso and exploratory musician. Contact Emma for more information on all of these programs, 508-645-2314, Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 2 to 7 pm and Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm.

On Saturday August 6, Joan LeLacheur, Berta Welch, Donald Widdis, and Kate Taylor will host a wampum show: Wampum Live New Traditions at How Was Wee up at the Cliffs from 5 to 8 pm. At 5 pm there will be a ceremony for Joan and Kate to present a wampum belt to the town of Aquinnah that was started 30 years ago and is now finished; it will be on display at the Town Hall.

At the Aquinnah Cultural Center tomorrow at 1 pm Janette Vanderhoop will speak about traditional gardening and demonstrate how to make a corn husk doll. There is a $10 crafting fee. At 6 pm author and professor David Silverman will give a talk called Thundersticks: Firearms in 17th Century Native America, ($7 donation). On Saturday, July 30, there will be a Mishoon Burning demonstration from 11 am to 4 pm, when you can watch a dugout canoe being made using fire as the main tool. At 6 pm there will be a screening of “As Nutayunean: We Still Live Here,” Anne Makepeace’s film on the Wampanoag Language Reclamation Project. $10 admission.

The Native American Festival that the Cultural Center held this past weekend was the largest one ever, with 18 vendors. The Center has such a dedicated staff and all of their programming is creative and educational. They are tucked away from the main shops at the Cliffs, but they are definitely worth checking out the next time you are up there. Parking is limited so if you are coming from down-Island consider car pooling or taking public transportation. The bus runs every hour to the Cliffs in the summer.

Local artist Marianne Neill is having a show of recent paintings at the Sovereign Bank in Chilmark, from July 29 through August 5, 2011. A reception will be held on Friday, July 29, at the bank from 4 to 6 pm. All are welcome.

There will be no film at the Community Center or Cinema Circus on Wednesday, August 3, when the annual Fireman’s Barbecue will be taking place. So, be sure to stop by for some good eats for a good cause.

The MV Film Festival will be screening local favorite, “Charlotte” on Saturday, August 6 at 8 pm at the Community Center. Cinema Circus will resume on Wednesday, August 10, at 5 pm.

Next Thursday, August 4, the band, Kahoots will be performing at the Aquinnah Shop at 8 pm as part of their “Island Tour.”

Happy belated birthday to Berta Welch whose birthday was last week. And Happy Birthday to Jamie Spears Vanderhoop who celebrates on Saturday.