Diversions for the Dog Days

There’s so much happening on-Island in August. Above and beyond the traditional favorites – Illumination Night, the Agricultural Fair, and the Oak Bluffs fireworks – here are five fun things to get excited about.

1. A week of Kahoots. The popular (and prolific) Vineyard band Kahoots is hitting the road, and luckily for us, it’s an around-the-Island tour. The band will be jamming its indie rock sound in all six towns and Chappaquiddick from August 1 to 7, playing through its twelve albums in chronological order. The newest, “Play Something You Know,” is timed for release at the Saturday performance. Tickets are $5, on sale at the door, and shows are for fans of all ages (except those at bar venues). For a full schedule, visit the Kahoots Facebook page.

2. MV Jazz Festival. Kicking off with a Dixie band parade through Oak Bluffs, the first annual Martha’s Vineyard Jazz Festival brings the powerful vocals of six-time Grammy nominee Nnenna Freelon; a jazz photography exhibit compiled by Doris Clark; and a performance by students from Berklee College of Music – to name just a few highlights in this confluence of musical, literary, and visual art. The festival runs August 6 to 13. For a full schedule, visit Tickets are available through

3. Perseids meteor shower. The OB fireworks are always popular, but nature is hosting its own sky spectacle August 12 to 14, when the Perseids light show is visible. The best viewing time is after midnight, and State Beach and Katama offer wide-open horizons. Take advantage of the Vineyard’s low light pollution, grab a blanket and some bug spray, and find an open spot to ooh and ahh.

4. Chicken Alley Arts & Collectibles Show. For one day only, the thrift shop in Vineyard Haven becomes the most successful art gallery on the Island. Renowned art collector Olga Hirshhorn joins the volunteer staff at the Lagoon Pond Road shop to assemble an exhibition of the most valuable, quirky, and curious art, bric-a-brac, vintage clothing, jewelry, and more, presented gallery-style on August 14 from 1 to 5 p.m. Treasures abound, but so do treasure hunters – lines start forming at 10 a.m. All proceeds benefit Martha’s Vineyard Community Services.

5. Terra Martha, a picnic and evening with Carlo Petrini. The Italian founder of the international Slow Food organization will speak at the Tabernacle at the Oak Bluffs Camp Ground on August 23. Slow Food promotes creating sustainable food communities, preserving food traditions, and buying locally. The event is hosted by Slow Food Martha’s Vineyard and will be preceded by a picnic gathering with live music outside the Tabernacle from 5 to 7 p.m. Tickets to hear Carlo speak inside the Tabernacle are $10 each; $20 for premium seats. Doors open at 7 p.m.