Aquinnah: Merry and bright

— Kyra Steck

Has everyone noticed how festive our town is looking these days? From the Christmas lights around the lighthouse, the lights on the library and the lights and decorations on the town hall, Aquinnah is looking merry and bright. Do yourself a favor and take a walk or drive around town after dark and have a look. It’ll make you feel good even after the hardest day, I promise.

The Northeast Indigenous Artists Holiday Market is running on Facebook until Sunday, Dec. 12, at 11:59 pm. Check out the market to get wonderful items, like wampum jewelry created by Donald Widdis and Berta Welch, Michael Sellitti’s photographs and Janette Vanderhoop’s stone and bead jewelry. The Aquinnah Cultural Center (ACC) and the Northeast Indigenous Artist Alliance (NIAA) organized the market to help support Indigenous artists in a safe, socially distant manner.

In person this weekend we have the Aquinnah Artisans Holiday Fair at the Old Town Hall on Saturday, Dec. 11, and Sunday, Dec. 12, from 10 am to 4 pm. Artisans featured include Jamie and Woody Vanderhoop, Kathie Olsen and Charley Hoye, Kristina Hook, Donald Widdiss, Ava Castro, Susan Shea, Eva Weinstein, and Joan LeLachuer among many others. Food provided by Goldies Food Truck, Orange Peel Bakery, and the Friends of the Aquinnah Library bake sale. You must wear a mask to enter the space.

Also, this weekend “An Island Christmas — a Celebration of Land and Sea — Christmas Faire” will be held at the First Congregational Church of West Tisbury on Saturday, Dec. 11, from 9:30 am to 2:30 pm. They will have beautiful wreaths, swags, and centerpieces for sale, with decorations from both land and sea. There is also a silent auction with bidding open now until 5 pm on Saturday. To see the silent auction, go to

On Sunday, Dec. 12, at the First Congregational Church, David Behnke, baritone, and David Rhoderick, piano, will perform Franz Schubert’s monumental “Winterreise” at 3 pm. “Winterreise” was the last major work that Schubert completed before his death at age 33. The cycle is a musical setting of 24 poems by Wilhelm Müller that tells the story of a young man who, having been rejected by the woman he loves, sets out on a solitary winter journey. Tickets are $20 and are available at the door on the day of the performance. All proceeds will benefit the church.

The Island Climate Action Network is hosting some events over the upcoming week. On Saturday, Dec. 11, at 10 am “How to Make an Emergency Preparedness Kit” with Carolina Cooney, Oak Bluffs library program coordinator, Forrest Filler, of the Community Emergency Response Team program and Liz Durkee, MVC climate planner. On Sunday, Dec. 12, at 10 am there will be a Climate Café at Rosewater Market. Gather in person to participate in a high school environmental club led discussion of climate related public health and safety issues. On Tuesday, Dec. 14, at 2 pm, A Fate We Can Control — Wildfire Hazard Plan Overview and Q & A with Dan Doyle, MVC special projects planner. To attend any of the events go to

It was nice to see the beautiful Billie Diamond, who was here last week to celebrate her birthday. Until next time Billie! Happy Birthday to Chris Manning who celebrates on Dec. 12! I am going to say it twice since this will be the first birthday that he celebrates without his Grandma June, who would have put it in her column, so Happy Birthday to Chris Manning who celebrates on Dec. 12!