Aquinnah: Gay Head 10K Race


The Gay Head 10K Race to the Light was this past Sunday, and the gloomy weather made for great running. Cool temperatures with no burning sun and a light breeze; every runner I spoke to said it was perfect. The MVRHS cross-country team helped man the water stations and the finish line. They were provided free registrations for their team in return. The middle school cross-country team also ran free of charge. Many up-Island businesses donated prizes, and Island businesses donated food, water, bananas, and muffins. The Aquinnah Shop and Cliffhangers donated sandwiches and roll-ups for the runners. The Heartbreakers, a running club from the Boston area, sent its travel team. The winner of the 10K, Justin Keefe, is a member of the team. In celebration of the race, the lighthouse was open free of charge for the runners and their friends and families. Runners from Aquinnah included Walter Ricciardi, Alex Taylor, Sophia Welch, Belinda and Spencer Booker, and Mike Sellitti. Congratulations to everyone who ran, and thank you to everyone who donated their time and materials to make for a great day.

In other Lighthouse news, the Martha’s Vineyard Museum is inviting the Island community to help celebrate the 2016 season at the Gay Head Lighthouse as the season winds down. After a summer of nearly 20,000 visitors, the light will close on Columbus Day for the winter, and reopen Memorial Day weekend 2017. The 2016 Celebration at the Gay Head Lighthouse will take place on Sunday, Oct. 9, at 4 pm at the base of the light. Admission is free. The lighthouse will be open to the public until 5:30 pm.

At the celebration, Len Butler, building committee chairman of the Save the Gay Head Light project, will be recognized for his leadership role in the lighthouse relocation. Lighthouse Keeper Richard Skidmore will speak about Len’s contributions to the project. The numerous other individuals and organizations, as well as the Island’s six towns that contributed to the move through Community Preservation Act funding, will also be recognized. The lighthouse visitor guides and volunteers who have opened the light to the public daily all summer long will also be thanked. Come and say thank you to all the wonderful people from our community that help keep our lighthouse going.

On the Cliffs will hold its big sale this Friday at 4 pm. Refreshments will be served, and bargains will be gotten.

Emily Phillips will be teaching another session of her exercise class. The six-week session starts on Oct. 11. The class series costs $99, and meets at the old town hall at 7:45 am on Tuesdays. Class is a mash-up of stretching, strength training (pushups, squats, lunges), balance work, and joint mobility. Focus is on community, having fun, and improving fitness level. Mats provided. Class is done barefoot and set to soul-stirring tunes. You can drop in for $20 if you can’t commit to all six classes.

The Sargent Gallery is open Columbus Day weekend from 11 am to 5 pm, Friday through Monday; appointments are also welcome. Call 508-645-2776 to schedule an appointment. You can see new Vineyard landscapes by Elizabeth Lockhart Taft, photography by new artist Marjorie Wolfe, and jewelry by Jannette Vanderhoop, among other local and nationally renowned artists. Seasonal refreshments will be served. The gallery is located at 32 State Road in Aquinnah.

Joan LeLacheur will be hosting an open studio on Monday, Oct. 10, from 10 am to 5 pm at 42 Old South Road in Aquinnah. She will be selling her beautiful wampum jewelry. Call 508-645-9954 for more information.

The Aquinnah Cultural Center will be closing for the season on Oct. 8, although you can schedule an appointment to view the Homestead through October. This is the last weekend that the museum will be open to the public. On Friday, Oct. 7, there will be a Wampum Making Demonstration with special guest artist Darius Coombs of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe, who will display wampum jewelry and other items, and demonstrate how it was made in traditional times. You can come and make a wampum pendant using an old-style pump drill. There is a $10 crafting fee that includes admission to the museum. On Saturday, Oct. 8, there will be a Traditional Weaving Demonstration. Guest artist Kitty Hendricks-Miller will demonstrate traditional twined weaving used in making bags and sashes. This style of weaving was done in the 17th century and before, and is a continuing art form in the present day. Free with admission. For more information, call 508-645-7900 or email at

The Aquinnah Public Library schedule remains the same this week. Story Time is on Thursday at 3:30 pm and Saturday at 10:30 am, the Kids’ Craft is making paper hens from 11 am to 3 pm, and the After-School Club is on Tuesday at 4 pm.

There will be a Domestic Violence Awareness Walk this Saturday, Oct. 8, at 11 am. The walk is sponsored by Connect to End Violence, the domestic violence and rape crisis program of Martha’s Vineyard Community Services. All proceeds benefit the Connect to End Violence program. Tickets are $5 in advance, $10 day of. Registration starts at 10:45 am. It begins at 11 am at Edgartown Park and Ride Lot, and the course is two miles through downtown Edgartown. Water and snacks will be provided. For more information, please call 774-549-9667, ext. 106, or email

Cranberry Day is Tuesday. Happy gathering to all Wampanoag children and their parents. I hope the sun is shining and the harvest is plentiful.

On Thursday, Oct. 13, at 5:30, come to the Town Hall to discuss the possibilities of what the town should do with the Manning property at the Lighthouse. This is a continuation of the discussion that started two weeks ago.

Get ready for the big shutdown after this weekend. The last day of service for the Outermost Inn, Chilmark Tavern, and the Chilmark Store is this Sunday. Plan accordingly.