Aquinnah: The Aquinnah parade


Fourth of July Aquinnah-style was wonderful. The parade, once again, was such fun. Not only did Arlen Roth kick things off by playing the “Star Spangled Banner,” but he also served as the official grand marshal. Every classic car, police and fire vehicle, and funky car in Aquinnah was in the parade. I was lucky enough to ride in Arlen’s 1968 Buick Skylark, driven by his daughter, Lexie. Aretha Brown and her two kids, Fiona and Zuri, were in the back. I much prefer being in a parade to attending a parade, so thank you, Lexie, for providing me with the opportunity. Lisa Vanderhoop and Sandra Melkonian were dressed to the nines in red, white, and blue. Thank you to all who make this parade happen year after year.

The Aquinnah Cultural Center is open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 am to 4 pm. They have two exhibits up right now, “The Maine Ingredient,” an exhibit featuring hand-carved and -painted root clubs from the Penobscot people, and an exhibit on Wampanoag whaling. The 11th annual Native American Artisans’ Festival will be held in the Aquinnah Circle on July 22 from 11 am to 4 pm. You can stop in any time the ACC is open and get a tour of the homestead. For more information on the ACC’s programs and exhibits, please call 508-645-7900 or email

At the library this week, Story Time is on Thursday, July 13, at 3:30 pm. On Saturday, July 15, from 11 am to 3 pm, the Kids Craft is “Making Mexican Mirrors.” Also on Saturday at 12 pm, a team member from the Sharks will be visiting in uniform to read books at Story Time. At 1 pm there will be a celebration of Thoreau, including a short nature walk, and a reading of some of Thoreau’s writings. Water and snacks will be provided. There will be a Sharks baseball game on Saturday night at 7 pm at the “Shark Tank” at the MVRHS; kids can get in free with their library card. There is a limited supply of tickets at the library. On Tuesday, July 18, at 5 pm, there is Music on the Deck of the library. On Thursday, July 20, Tom Dresser will give a book talk at the Aquinnah Town Hall, starting at 5 pm. The subject is his new book, “Hidden History of Martha’s Vineyard,” which was just released this spring. The book focuses on five primary topics, including place names, historic structures, cemeteries across the Vineyard, significant shipwrecks, and a special section on the role of the Underground Railroad on the Vineyard. The talk is part of the Aquinnah Public Library’s Speaker Series. Everyone is welcome to attend, and refreshments will be served.

On Sunday, July 16, the Sargent Gallery will host a reception from 6 to 8 pm for the exhibit “Force of Place: Oil and Water in North Dakota” by photographer Valery Lyman. This is a multimedia exhibit with projections and 35mm pictures. Ms. Lyman is an awardwinning documentary filmmaker and photographer who grew up spending summers on Martha’s Vineyard.

The Menemsha Market is open 7 am to 9 pm every day.They are carrying Scottish Bakehouse breakfast baked goods, cookies, breads, sandwiches, and salads. And most important, they have iced coffee. Stop in and say hi to the Oliver family.

There is a thank-you party for departing hospital CEO Joe Woodin, on Saturday, July 15, from 4 to 6 pm, at the Grange Hall. It is a potluck, so please bring a dish to share.

The Martha’s Vineyard Book Festival has announced its lineup for this year, and it is really good, including authors Jenny Allen, Madeline Blais, Joan Nathan, Richard Russo, and Dr. Willie Parker. For the complete lineup and schedule, go to The festival will be held on Saturday, August 5, at the Harbor View Hotel in Edgartown and on Sunday, August 6, at the Chilmark Community Center.

Happy birthday to the Outermost Inn’s Ali Mead, who celebrates on Bastille Day, July 14.