Oak Bluffs: Gratitude, Beaver Moon, Strand Theatre, First Friday, and Island Community Chorus

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— MV Times

“We should just be thankful for being together. I think that’s what they mean by Thanksgiving, Charlie Brown.”   –Marcie, “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving”

Wishing you all a Thanksgiving Day that makes you feel thankful! Some people will be gathered with family or friends, some folks will be working or volunteering, some will be traveling, some will be alone. Gratitude can find you where you are, and it is a feeling that can change everything.

I am grateful that Thanksgiving is a bit early this year, giving us another week of November. I know that won’t stop people from decorating for Christmas over Thanksgiving weekend, or playing Christmas music, but I like a little more time between the holidays.

Have you recovered from the daylight savings time change yet? I thought it was just me, until a few other people remarked that 6 pm was feeling more like midnight. Making that change so abruptly seems a little crazy, when you think about it. We humans run our lives by schedules and by the clock. It doesn’t make sense to shift it so arbitrarily! There are states that don’t do it at all, another thing that makes it nonsensical, if you ask me.

The Felix Neck Fall Festival happens the day after Thanksgiving, as it has for 42 years. Hayrides, crafts, music, and food will go on from 10 am to 2 pm. Admission is free; this is a family-friendly community event.

The full moon rises on Monday, Nov. 27. This November full moon is called the Beaver Moon. No, not “Leave it to Beaver” — this is named for the time of year when beavers begin to take shelter in their lodges, having stored up their winter food. Hmm, not unlike us on the Island about this time of year! This moon has also been called the “Deer Rutting Moon” and the “Frost Moon.”

The Strand Theatre is hosting the premiere of “Renaissance: A Film by Beyonce” right here in Oak Bluffs on Thursday, Nov. 30. It is so exciting that the Strand has come back to life, thanks to seasonal residents Steve and Dorothy Capers. The 210-seat theater was built in 1915, during the silent film era, and was a staple of Oak Bluffs life for decades. Alfred Hall, grandfather of the current owners, bought it in 1932. The Hall family operated it until 2011. It came back to life in 2015 through the efforts of Richard Paradiso of the M.V. Film Society and Mark Snider, owner of Winnetu Resort, but was closed again at the outset of the pandemic. Steve Capers started producing the M.V. Comedy Festival in 2011, and saw the Strand as a place that needed a purpose. The summer comedy fest moved to the theater in 2022, and this past summer, the Capers brought world-class musical performances to the Strand, as well as comedy and movies. They have also partnered with the Oak Bluffs Association and other organizations to host events and workshops.

Now I know there are a lot of Beyonce fans on the Island, so you might want to get your tickets for this film premiere on Nov. 30. You can find them at strandtheatre-marthasvineyard.com. The film will show on several nights after the premiere as well, so don’t miss your chance to see it at the Strand!

Save the date: The final First Friday in Vineyard Haven of this year will be at the M.V. Museum on Dec. 1, from 5 to 8 pm. They’re promising food, music, festive vendors, and more.

The Island Community Chorus is rehearsing for its holiday concerts at the Old Whaling Church on Friday, Dec. 1, at 7:30 pm, and Saturday, Dec. 2, at 3 pm. Suggested donation for these amazing concerts is $20 (students and children are free).

Congratulations to Lorraine Parish, who just published a book, “Miles to San Miguel.” She wrote about her journey from successful fashion designer and shop owner on Martha’s Vineyard to a new life in a small Mexican town. It sounds like a great read!

Belated birthday wishes to Cathy Parker, who celebrated on Nov. 16. Gina deBettencourt and Brooke Hardman have Thanksgiving birthdays on the 23rd.

Pam Herman and Amie Lukowitz celebrate on the 24th. Birthday hugs to Jennie Driesen and Leslie Graham on the 25th. Bill Anderson Jr. and Nora Jardin blow out the candles on Nov. 26.

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