While the Oak Bluffs fireworks and Illumination Night have both been canceled, the Oak Bluffs Business Association is trying to save Harborfest from the chopping block this summer.
At a selectmen’s meeting Tuesday evening, town officials said they awaited Gov. Charlie Baker’s four-phase plan to reopen the economy.
Harborfest is scheduled for June 20, and OBA executive director Christine Todd said she would see about postponing it until July. “We have been optimistic that we would be able to host, knowing full well that it might not take on the same feel,” Todd said.
Selectman Brian Packish said once Gov. Charlie Baker’s advisory board releases its four-phase plan to reopen the economy, the town might have more guidance on how to plan events. Packish did say he liked the idea of postponing Harborfest, but asked to take it up at the next selectmen’s meeting.
In other business, town administrator Robert Whritenour told selectmen the town meeting logistics team is looking at the Tabernacle, the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School football field, or a local park as potential locations for annual town meeting.
Whritenour said the logistics team is also awaiting Baker’s four-phase plan.
Selectmen also approved that Whritneour sign an application to the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development for community development block grants for rental and mortgage assistance, small business and microenterprise forgivable loans, Social Services, or any other programs for residents of the towns of Oak Bluffs and Tisbury.
The Department of Housing and Community Development has made $19.6 million available for local communities through the federal CARES Act.
“We’re extraordinarily mindful of the impact that COVID-19 has had on local businesses,” Whritneour said. “And we look forward very, very much … to the federal government putting together a program of relief of microenterprises, which dominate our economy by far.”