First Friday has Vineyard Haven hopping

Artists and artisans give a boost to local businesses.


On August 3 and Sept. 7 (the first Friday of each month), galleries and local businesses on Main Street in Tisbury will get a lift from wandering shoppers and lovers of art, from 4 pm to 9 pm.

Made possible in part by the Tisbury Business Association, this event started on the Island in June of 2017 as a way to bring local artisans and businesses together. Althea Freeman-Miller of Althea Designs is heading up the events, just as she did last year. She described First Fridays as a way to celebrate the talent that is abundant in the many galleries, not just just in Vineyard Haven, but all over the Island. She said the event isn’t restricted to on-Island artists. “The more artists and businesses that are involved, the better,” Freeman-Miller said.

First Fridays are nationwide events that started in larger cities and were eventually adopted by small towns.

Businesses like CB Stark Jewelers will team up with local artisans like Althea Designs, Elysha Joy Metals, and Wil Sideman. Some artists will debut art in their partner stores, while others will set up on the sidewalks. Many galleries save their latest and most eye-catching work for First Fridays, so be on the lookout for some never-before-seen exclusives.

The Green Room will sell specialty First Friday T shirts, along with other themed items that celebrate the event.

Local musicians like Good Night Louise and The Outskirts will set up in Owen Park next to some popular food vendors. The Austin Pincho stand, the Larder, the Art Cliff food truck, Blue Crab Catering, and Not Your Sugar Mamas will provide unique tastes that complement the variety of art. There will also be paddleboard tours available in the harbor at the bottom of Owen Park.

To finish off the evening, the MV Film Festival will have a free outdoor showing of “Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable,” in Owen Park.  

Freeman-Miller described First Fridays as shopping events that support and empower local artists. She said she hopes the events will become more popular each year.

With good music, tasty food, and beautiful art, this evening is sure to satisfy the senses.