The flower boxes are brimming, the store windows are freshly cleaned, and the dog water bowls are replenished — Vineyard Haven businesses and artisans are ready for the First Friday of the month.
On June 7, and every first Friday of the months following, Main Street shops will open their doors for a block party celebrating music, arts, and local businesses. Going into its third year, First Friday is an event intended to “celebrate the community of artists and makers on the Island,” according to organizer Althea Freeman-Miller, owner of Althea Designs.
“Vineyard Haven kind of needed a pick-me-up, and we wanted to remind people that the Vineyard is a destination for art and creative minds,” she said. “It really is inspiring to bring everything together.”
Every store and gallery on Main Street will display the work of local artisans for passersby to peruse — jewelry from Elysha Joy Metals, Littlest Fish, and Original Cyn, glass works from Wil Sideman, leather goods from Leather Treasures MV, and much more.
Accompanying the art will be tacos and sandwiches from Midnight Train Food Truck. Local musicians Porchlight, the Roundabouts, the Black-Eyed Susans, and more will play all evening in Owen Park and in stores.
The event organizers are also looking to host Island nonprofit and political organizations to share their messages.
What started three years ago as a small idea to unite the artistic community has since turned into a way to kick off the summer season and highlight the wide variety of cultural goods that Tisbury has to offer.
The block print artist sees it as an opportunity to give back to a town that keeps thriving, even through the colder months. “Vineyard Haven really is a central meeting spot. Even through the winter, the lights are always on, the businesses are open,” Freeman-Miller said. “We want to keep that special vibe going.
“Everyone from any town is invited to come. There are so many creative people on this Island with great ideas, I just want to support the dreams of the community.”
First Fridays will take place on June 7, July 5, August 2, and Sept. 6 on Main Street in Vineyard Haven.