Aquinnah: Community spirit


Come one, come all! This Saturday, the Aquinnah Fourth of July Parade will gather on Moshup Trail (at Old South Road) at 9:30 am. At 10 am sharp it will depart, and the entire parade will wind its way through town. The parade will be made up of “floats” (cars and trucks) only so that everyone can remain safely distant. The parade is in honor of essential workers, so please decorate your floats accordingly. There is a very cool-looking trophy for best float. I know there is some serious creativity in this town, so I expect the competition to be tight. People are encouraged to watch the spectacle from their driveways, wearing masks if outside your “bubble.” While some aspects of the parade will be different this year: no treasure hunt on the beach, no crowds of spectators on the sidelines and intermingled throughout the parade, I think it will still be a good time.

Congratulations, everyone! We got through our first outdoor town meeting in just about two hours. It was relatively painless, especially once the fog rolled in and we were not broiling in the sun. Short work was made of most of the warrant articles. There was an impassioned speech by Carole Vandal for the town to work more in concert with the tribe, and not dictate what the tribe can do with its own land. Carole’s comments were addressing a hefty legal fee that the town incurred fighting the gambling facility the tribe is building.

Renaissance House in Oak Bluffs will continue the annual tradition of producing the famous Frederick Douglass speech, “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?” This year they asked people to record themselves at home reading a segment of the speech. The videos will be compiled and shown on MVTV, YouTube, and other outlets.

If you have been missing the feeling that a good, collective yoga class brings you, then you are in luck. Rachel Elion Baird will be teaching yoga on the beach, beginning July 6. Classes are Monday through Friday at 8 am, weather permitting, on Lobsterville Beach. Please bring your own mat; social distancing is required, and class size will be limited. Classes will be held July 6 through 24 and August 10 through Sept. 7. Classes are $15 each, and a 10-class card is $100. Text Rachel at 802-989-9992 for more information. The Yard will host virtual yoga, Pilates, and dance classes all summer long, as will the Chilmark Community Center; go to or for all the details.

Welcome back to Rachel McDonald and her son, Mike, who will be here for the summer. Congratulations to Adrianna and Bruce Ignacio, who have been married for 50 years as of this past Saturday, June 27. Their family threw them a surprise (and it did manage to stay a surprise) small gathering to celebrate on Saturday. Here’s to many more happy years. Happy birthday to lunch lady extraordinaire (seriously, did you see “The Great Food Truck Race” this season?) Jenny Devivo, who celebrates on July 2, along with Albert Hutchinson. And a happy birthday to Shannon Sanderson, who celebrates on Wednesday. Happy birthday to Lyle Vanderhoop, who turned 7 on June 30. Happy Fourth of July, one and all.

If you have any Aquinnah Town Column suggestions, email Molly Purves,