Oak Bluffs: Juneteenth and Harborfest

Oak Bluffs celebrates Pride Month. — Joanne Lambert

“Life doesn’t come with an instruction book — that’s why we have fathers.”  –H. Jackson Brown

Father’s Day is Sunday, June 19. Congratulations to all the fathers out there who are doing the work of loving and caring and listening and guiding. Whether you are dad, stepdad, adopted dad, granddad, uncle, or any kind of father figure giving your time and love to a young person — you are appreciated, and you are important. Enjoy your day!

June 19 is also Juneteenth, the day we commemorate the official end of slavery in the U.S. On that date in 1865, Union Army General Gordon Granger released an announcement proclaiming freedom for all enslaved people in Texas, which was the last state of the Confederacy with institutional slavery. The date has been celebrated around the country every year since, and in 2021, it was recognized as a federal holiday. Monday, June 20, is the official holiday this year.

Juneteenth Jubilee 2022 events will include special film screenings at the Film Center all weekend. On Saturday, the M.V. Museum offers a series of speakers and forums from 10 am to 1 pm. The Tabernacle will host the Juneteenth Jubilee Creative Festival from 3 to 10 pm, which will include music, performance, and art. Union Chapel will be showing films from the M.V. Film Festival, titled “Resilience and Recognition: Short Films Through a Black Lens,” at 5 pm. On Sunday there are a variety of events, including a gospel brunch at the Edgartown Yacht Club, and “The Stories of the Enslaved,” with Elaine Weintraub and Carrie Tankard, at Memorial Wharf at 11 am. Back in Oak Bluffs, the Dunmere House on Pennacook Avenue, which was once owned by Joseph A. Sylvia and was listed in the “Green Book” guide for black travelers in the ’60s, will be dedicated as the 37th site on the M.V. African American Heritage Trail. “Taste of Juneteenth” at the P.A. Club from 6 to 9 pm will offer a food sampling showcase of local BIPOC chefs, featuring soulfully inspired dishes that reflect the Black cultural experience, fused with diverse cultures and traditions.

Along with all these exciting events, the Oak Bluffs Harbor Fest will take place on Saturday, June 18. This fun, all-day celebration on the harbor includes vendors, food, and music. Come out and support the artists, buy some treats, dance on the dock, and see your neighbors before the summer crowds take over!

Pride Weekend in Oak Bluffs was just fabulous — many thanks to the organizers! The parade and dance party in Ocean Park took place on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, filling the park with people of all ages, with rainbows and joyful colors flying. The banner on the bandstand read “Love Always Wins,” as everyone danced to the band Funktapuss and celebrated our LGBTQ community. It was moving to see school-age kids participating in the parade and feeling the freedom to be themselves. The Drag Brunch on Sunday was well-attended, and a lot of fun. Proud of O.B. and the NAACP for hosting such a lovely, inclusive event!

Sunday in the Park concerts at the bandstand continue this Sunday with one of my personal favorites, the Black Eyed Susans. Music is from 5:30 to 7:30; bring your chair, blanket, and picnic.

I spotted Christopher leading yoga on the beach on the weekend, and I am told that Inkwell Yoga class will be at 8 am on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through June. Bring your own mat or towel.

A small group of Polar Bears have been either swimming in the morning or plunging for exercise in the afternoon. Gail Barmakian and the swimmers, including Fran Gaskin, Jill Gault, Paul Getty, Tina Bowers, and Eva Skibilz take to the water at 8 am, while the exercise circle makes the plunge at 1 pm. The water is 62° — not for the faint of heart!

Don’t forget the Garden Club “Blooming Art” show this weekend: Friday and Saturday, 10am to 5 pm, Sunday 10 am to 3 pm.

Happy birthday to Diane Marino and Natalie DeHaro on June 17, along with Anne Caldwell and Rita Barbosa. On the 18th, we celebrate Rachel Araujo and Sir Paul McCartney. Big shout-out to my lifelong friend Miki Wolf on the 19th. Susan Smith shares June 20 with Lionel Richie. Birthday balloons to Kathleen Leo and Sandi Moquin on June 21 — you ladies share that date with Meryl Streep and Cyndi Lauper!

If you have any Oak Bluffs Town Column suggestions, email Joanne Lambert, joannelamber@gmail.com.