Oak Bluffs: Annual fireworks

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Summer’s pleasure – outdoor shower. — Joanne Lambert

“Won’t you come and take me home? I’ve been too long at the fair.”  –Bonnie Raitt

Have you ever been too long at the fair? I can sure remember the long days back when my kids spent every single day there from open to close, working their way up from helping to set up stalls and signs to security and judging — never mind the hours spent on submissions of artwork and vegetables. I also put in some volunteer hours helping the Fair Ladies, who were the engine of the fair. My perfect fair day is to arrive midafternoon on Thursday, see everything in the Hall first, then the animals in the Barn, then my favorite fair food for dinner (tempura and strawberry shortcake), followed by a thorough shopping through the vendors and ending with dancing to some great music at the tent. No rides for me, but I might play some games of chance. And probably hit Floaters for a nightcap. Best of all is seeing friends and enjoying that late summer tradition together.

This column comes out on my mom’s birthday, August 18, so I’m going to just say her name. Rita Anne Daly Metayer was born in 1925 and like everyone in that generation, she lived through the Depression, WWII, the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, the Kennedy and King assassinations, all of it. She was an independent woman who was divorced and a working single mother, both scandalous for her time. She loved the Vineyard, and there is a bench with her name overlooking the beach, where she liked to sit watching the sky. Look for the bench with the wreath, and sit with Rita if you need some serenity.

On Friday we’ll once again enjoy the fabulous Oak Bluffs fireworks! Every year we say it was the best ever. The band concert begins at 8 pm, the fireworks will light up the sky starting around 9 pm. Parking will be available at Waban Park and Washington Park for a $10 fee. The town is managing the fireworks this year, and donations are welcome. If you enjoy this longstanding tradition, please donate to help defray the costs. And please remember to “carry-in, carry-out” at Ocean Park. See you at this celebration of summer!

Saturday, August 20, brings the Run for Jabberwocky 5K and Fun Run to support Camp Jabberwocky. This year you can run, walk, or roll in person on Saturday, or join virtually between August 18 and 22. Your registration fee and all donations received will directly benefit the camp, which is the longest-running summer camp for people with disabilities. The campers at Jabberwocky are an integral part of the Vineyard community — they participate in all the summer fun, they bring joy everywhere they go, and they get to enjoy some freedom from the confines their disabilities bring to their life. Camp is free for all participants, so your donations make the magic possible. For more information about the 5K and the camp, see campjabberwocky.org. Let’s go!

I stopped in at MVTV to see the current exhibit in its gallery, “Up Close,” which presents flower macro photography from Polly Hill Arboretum by Stephen Warriner. Check out his absolutely stunning close-ups of flowers; some are for sale.

On Wednesday, August 24, the free noon concert at Union Chapel will feature contemporary jazz with Becky Williams and Rich Giaimo.

Featherstone is hosting the Joanne Cassidy Band on Monday, August 22. If you didn’t catch Joanne and her band at the Tabernacle last Friday, I suggest you get tickets fast for Monday! On August 24, Adrienne Childs, the curator of the current exhibit in the Francine Kelly Gallery, will give her second (and last) talk about the exhibit at 4 pm.

On Tuesday, you can travel all the way to Edgartown to see Jon Zeeman on the lawn at the Edgartown library from 6:30 to 7:30.

The new gallery in town is the Center of Knowhere, in the space previously known and beloved as Primo’s Yoga studio. Val Francis and Ralph Grace opened the Knowhere Gallery on Dukes County Avenue in 2018, and then in 2020 they took over the Circuit Ave. space. The current exhibit, “Remembering You,” features bold and beautiful works by Charly Palmer that include early morning scenes on Oak Bluffs Beach. There will be a reception for a new exhibit, “Oh Say Can You See Me,” by artist Maria-Lana Queen on August 19 from 6 to 8 pm.

More August birthdays include Shaina Zacharski on the 18th, Dion Alley and Becky Rogers on the 19th, Alyssa DaSilva and Marilyn Wey on the 20th, and Erin deBettencourt on the 23rd.

Hope you enjoy the biggest week of summer — be careful and kind out there.

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