151st Grand Illumination canceled

Annual Oak Bluffs event is the latest summer cancellation.

Illumination Night has been canceled for this year amid the ongoing pandemic. - Gabrielle Mannino

The 151st Grand Illumination Night in Oak Bluffs has been canceled, according to Martha’s Vineyard Camp Meeting Association executive director CJ Rivard. 

The camp meeting association’s board met Wednesday night to decide on the event, which features campground residents decorating their homes with paper lanterns in an array of colors and designs. It typically attracts a large group of people who walk through the campgrounds captivated by the array of colorful lights.

The announcement comes a day after the annual August fireworks were canceled.

Other major events such as Beach Road Weekend, Taste of the Vineyard, and the Agricultural Fair I’ve also been canceled this summer.

Originally scheduled for Aug. 19, it marks only the second time in Illumination Night’s 150 year history that the event has been canceled. 

In an email to The Times, Rivard said it was a sad decision but a necessary one amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“Everyone’s health and safety is our first priority, and we hope to have an online tribute of some kind instead, to commemorate the evening,” Rivard said in the email.

“Illumination has always been more about celebrating family and community than it is about lights and lanterns… so it’s fitting to honor these values by continuing to stay strong, focusing on safety and avoiding crowds.”

The Times covered the event last year and made a video which can be viewed here.


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