Fourth of July festivities

From left, Aimee Mandel, Nico Tereza, and Bodhi Mandel react to a fistful of candy thrown in their direction at the 2015 Fourth of July parade. —Michael Cummo

It’s already Fourth of July weekend, and the Island is preparing for an especially busy Monday packed with celebration. The schedule of events begins at 10 am with a kids’ parade, and continues all over the Island throughout the day and into the night.

Starting at Trinity Circle in Oak Bluffs, the Martha’s Vineyard Camp-Meeting Association will present a kids’ parade at 10 am. The event is open to all Island children and their parents, and begins on West Clinton Avenue. Following the parade, guests can enjoy an ice cream social under the tent. For more information, contact

The Renaissance House will present its 12th annual public reading of Frederick Douglass’ famous speech “What Does Fourth of July Mean to the Negro?” at Inkwell Beach, starting at 1 pm. In the past, hundreds have attended the event, and voices of all ages, races, and backgrounds help deliver Douglass’ powerful words. Law professor Frederick Collins from John Jay College starts the reading each year. A potluck lunch will follow the event, which will be taped by Martha’s Vineyard Community Television. Event coordinator Abigail McGrath, founder of the Renaissance House, is looking for more readers, and encourages any and all to participate. Those interested can contact For more information, call 917-747-0367.

Celebrations will continue in Edgartown with the traditional lineup of events. The annual Fourth of July parade will begin at 5 pm at the intersection of West Tisbury Road and Pinehurst Road. It will make its way down Main Street and stop in front of the Old Whaling Church before continuing onto West Tisbury Road and finishing at the Edgartown School. The parade will accept participants up until July 3 at 2 pm. Those interested should call 508-627-6180.

Last, don’t forget to grab a spot by the harbor for the spectacular fireworks display presented by the town of Edgartown at 9 pm. For more information, visit