Oak Bluffs: Blooming Bids for Kids, Juneteenth potluck, Amistad replica, and Harborfest

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—MV Times

“A father carries pictures where his money used to be.”  –Steve Martin

Father’s Day is Sunday, June 18. Be sure to give some love to the fathers in your life. I see them on the Little League field, coaching and encouraging the kids. I see them at the rink, at the soccer field, on the playground, in the grocery store: teaching life lessons just by showing up and caring, by encouraging and protecting. Be sure to tell the fathers you know that they are important and appreciated!

Please note this correction: Big Brothers Big Sisters 11th annual “Blooming Bids for Kids” on Friday, June 16, is at THE FIELD GALLERY (not Featherstone, as I reported last week), from 5 to 7 pm.

Pride weekend in Oak Bluffs was just fabulous! Many thanks to the organizers and the creative floats, the bands, and all the volunteers giving out flags and colorful prizes. The parade started the party in the park, the band had everyone dancing, and then the dark clouds rolled in and the rain poured down. It only slightly dampened the fun, and then the sun brought a perfect rainbow over the water!

June 19 is Juneteenth, the day we commemorate the official end of slavery in the U.S. On that date in 1965, 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 19, is the official holiday this year.

The Juneteenth flag will be raised at the Tabernacle on Saturday, followed by musical performances and speakers. On Sunday, the Portuguese-American Club will host “Taste of Juneteenth” from 6 to 9 pm. Over a dozen guest chefs will offer food samplings featuring soulfully inspired dishes that reflect the Black cultural experience. There will be vendor booths, art, and live music. The winner of the Marie B. Allen Juneteenth Creative Arts contest will present the winning piece.

The O.B. library will celebrate with a Juneteenth Potluck on June 20. Using “Watermelon and Red Birds,” by Nicole A. Taylor, participants are invited to choose a recipe to cook and bring the result to share with others from 5:30 to 6:30 pm. Kind of a cookbook book club!

In Vineyard Haven, a replica of the Amistad will host public tours all weekend. On Monday in Edgartown, the Yacht Club is hosting a Juneteenth gospel brunch featuring Bill Pinkney, the first African American to solo-circumnavigate the globe, and a performance by R and B artist Athene Wilson.

Along with all these exciting events, the Oak Bluffs Harborfest will take place on Saturday, June 17. This fun all-day celebration on the harbor includes vendors, food, and music. Be sure to join Hannah from the library to make some chalk art, and stop into the library tent for Juneteenth crafts. Come out and support the artists, buy some treats, dance on the dock, and see your neighbors before the summer crowds take over! A new feature this year is the O.B. Sandcastle Contest at North Bluff Beach, from 11 to 2. Bring your shovels, pails, and imagination! Prizes will be awarded for youth, adult, and family sculptures.

A celebration of the life of Lori Robinson Fisher will take place on Saturday, June 17, at the P.A. Club at 2 pm.

The family of Herb Wass invites the community to celebrate his life on Sunday, June 18, at the Tabernacle. Herb passed away on Oct. 24, 2022, at his favorite place, the family home in the Campground, where he and Dorothy have spent every summer since 1963. The celebration of his remarkable life is at 2 pm, followed by a reception under the MVCMA tent.

The library is hosting a six-week series, “My Life, My Health,” starting on June 20. Community health specialists Doreen Anderson and Karen Dowd will facilitate the program aimed at addressing common chronic health problems, and how to be proactive in managing your own health. Register at danderson15@partners.org.

Oak Bluffs’ own “tiny bar,” the Alley, is sponsoring a team in the women’s softball league this year. The Alley Cats and team captain Collette Jordan have two games in the books, including the first home run of the season, by catcher Jenna Lambert.

Happy birthday to Kathryn Townes, Corinna Black, and Gayle Poggi on June 16. Natalie DeHaro celebrates on the 17th, along with Anne Caldwell and Rita Barbosa. On the 18th, we celebrate Rachel Araujo and Sir Paul McCartney. Pam Swan shares June 20 with Lionel Richie. Birthday balloons to Teddie and Robbie Pacheco on the 21st! June 22 is the day for Paula O’Connor and Sandi Moquin.

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

—Joanne Lambert