There's nothing quite like a Vineyard summer. While the Island is a beloved destination twelve months out of the year, June, July, and August are the most action-packed months, and it's no wonder why thousands of visitors and seasonal residents come back year after year to soak in the magic of the Vineyard summer. From endless days on the beach to countless open-air markets, live music concerts, and special events there's always something going on to entertain, inspire, and delight.
While new things are popping up year after year, here is a round-up of some of the Vineyard's tried and true can't-miss annual happenings that have become beloved traditions for residents and visitors alike.
Home to the freshest food on Martha's Vineyard! The West Tisbury Farmer's Market has been a coveted summer tradition since 1974. This open-air market invites the public to shop directly from our local farmers and food purveyors. Markets take place at the Martha's Vineyard Agricultural Hall every Wednesday and Saturday from 9am to 12pm June through October, rain or shine!
The Vineyard Artisans Festival returns to the Grange Hall in West Tisbury year after year, beginning for the season Memorial Day weekend. This time-honored summer event brings the wares of local artists, designers and craftsmen to visitors each week on Sundays and Thursdays through September.
Chilmark Flea is the oldest outdoor venue on the Island, typically happening on Wednesdays and Saturdays from June to September each year. The event takes place at the Chilmark Community Church off of North Road and you can expect to find high-quality handmade items from Vineyard artists and craftsmen, antiques, imports, and vintage goods.
Lobster rolls are everywhere on Martha's Vineyard but they are not all created equal. Grace Church in Vineyard Haven dishes out their award-winning lobster rolls (they're consistently named Best Lobster Roll according to Martha's Vineyard Magazine's "Best of the Vineyard") every Friday night during the summer. Be sure to try their chowder and pie too!
Historic Edgartown is the place to be for Fourth of July if you're looking to celebrate the red, white and blue. The day starts with a parade full of fabulous floats, classic cars, old fashioned and family fun, often followed by a classic Americana picnic at the Daniel Fisher House, live music at the Old Whaling Church, and a spectacular fireworks display over Edgartown harbor.
Calling all music lovers! Beach Road Weekend is a three day concert festival in Vineyard Haven's Veterans Park that is not to be missed. Participating musicians have included John Fogerty, Dispatch, Phil Lesh, Grace Potter, Matisyahu, moe., Tedeschi Trucks Band, and more.
The Martha's Vineyard Book Festival and Author Series bring some of the leading authors and writers to the island each year in August, thanks to the Vineyard Gazette. Hosted at the Chilmark Community Center the event features author talks, panels, and discussions.
Also known as Illumination Night, this magical evening typically takes place on the third Wednesday of every August. The gingerbread cottages of the Martha's Vineyard Camp Meeting Association are decorated with paper lanterns and illuminated at sunset, and the result is simply magnificent. The tradition dates back to the turn of the 19th century and it is an awe-inspiring can't-miss display.
The annual Oak Bluffs firework display lights up the sky above Ocean Park, making for a captivating sight. You may have seen fireworks before, but these aren't just any fireworks. The night usually kicks off with a live music performance in the gazebo followed by an impressive show in the sky. Typically takes place on the third Friday of August.
"The Ag Fair" is one of the crown jewels of August on Martha's Vineyard, which takes place at the Agricultural Hall in West Tisbury during the third week of August. This annual tradition has been going on for over 150 years and features rides, games, contests, competition, live entertainment, and more. It's a lot like an old-fashioned agricultural country fair complete with skillet toss, horse pull, woodsmen competition, art displays, dog and livestock shows!
Please be sure to check the individual events pages for specific dates and details year after year, and note that COVID may affect regular happenings. For a list of daily events and happenings visit the calendars of the Martha's Vineyard Times or the Vineyard Gazette.