Oak Bluffs: Fourth of July weekend!

Welcome back to Farm Pond, Vanessa! — Joanne Lambert

“A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with freedom.”  –Bob Dylan

I’m kind of in shock that I am writing about the Fourth of July weekend! This always seems to take us by surprise, I don’t know why. But as the crowds start to build in June, we marvel and wonder if there are more people here than last year? Then the big weekend arrives, and somehow, we settle once again into the summer pace. 

The Tabernacle will kick off its Sunset Concert series on Friday, July 1, with the Mike Benjamin Band. These free concerts are offered every Friday from 6 to 7:30; bring your chair or blanket, and picnic supper. See the full schedule at mvcma.org

The Island Community Chorus will perform its 2022 summer concert on Saturday, July 2, at 8 pm at the Tabernacle. The program will be filled with American songs, and will be dedicated to Peter Boak, who is retiring after 25 years as the ICC music director. This concert is free to the public — see you there! 

On Sunday evening, enjoy the Vineyard Haven Town Band at the Ocean Park bandstand. The free concert is 5:30 to 7:30, and yes, kids and adults still march and dance around the bandstand.

Last week I attended the fundraiser for Friends of Family Planning at the P.A. Club. It was a pig roast, deliciously prepared by Mo’s Lunch — succulent and tender roasted pork with all the fixings. The lawn was a beautiful spot to enjoy the food and company. I got to share a table with Lynn Vera and her sister Ellen, who had just celebrated her birthday on the porch of the Vera home on Ocean Park. I also caught up with Ken Petkus, whom some might remember from Edgar’s Bar & Grille out on South Beach. Ken’s son, Adam Petkus, has recently been appointed Oak Bluffs building inspector. Congratulations and welcome to Adam! I’m sure he will be a great addition to our town.

As I left the Family Planning fundraiser, I dropped a bag on Vineyard Avenue that contained my phone and my glasses. I didn’t realize it until I got home, went back, and searched to no avail. I came back home, feeling discouraged and frustrated about losing such valuables. Then an idea came to me to check social media — and to my amazement, I already had a message from Kerry Quinlan-Potter on East Chop, who had biked by, spotted the bag, and picked it up. What a relief — and what a wonderful act of kindness! 

Monday, July 4, marks opening day for the M.V. Polar Bears. In case you don’t know, the M.V. Polar Bears is an intergenerational, diverse, social group of people who are dedicated to health and wellness. The Polar Bears meet every day at 7:30 am at Inkwell beach from July 4 to Labor Day for swimming, water aerobics, and fellowship.

This tradition started over 70 years ago, and has been passed down through generations. While the Polar Bear swimmers do their laps from jetty to jetty, Caroline Hunter leads the circle aerobics with the help of instructors including Brenda Davenport, Renee Nolan, Janice Queen, Peggy Barmore, and Kathy Laskowski. Ms. Hunter has just returned from Cannes, France, where she represented the Polar Bears’ legacy at the annual Cannes Festival of Creativity by leading daily meditations in the Mediterranean Sea. 

On opening morning this year, the Polar Bears will honor Matthew E. Goode, of Roxbury and Oak Bluffs, a longtime Polar Bear who passed away peacefully at the age of 93 in January. There will also be a celebration of his life later on Monday, from 4 to 6 pm at the home he shared with his wife, Dr. Dolores Goode, and their family at 5 Dorothy West Avenue.

The M.V. Film Society will begin its outdoor summer film series at Featherstone on Wednesday, July 6, with “Summer of Soul,” the Oscar-winning documentary about the Harlem Cultural Festival of 1969. Movies start at 8:30, bring your chair/blanket — you can arrive earlier to picnic on the lawn. All tickets are in advance at mvfilmsociety.com

Musical Mondays at Featherstone starts July 11 with Jon Zeeman & Friends at 6:30 pm. Remember to get your tickets on the Monday before, starting at noon, at featherstoneart.org. You can also dance to Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish every Friday evening at Featherstone, if you get your tickets on the Friday before. 

Happy birthday to Donna Leon on June 30! On July 1, we send wishes to Catherine Doiron and Madeline Alley. Rich Michelson celebrates on July 3, and on the 5th, the birthday balloons go to Nick Diodati and Suzanne Rollins. 

Send me your news!