August Amusements

Ray Perry frisbee golf
Ray Perry of Edgartown aims for a basket at the disc golf course in the state forest. He made it.

This month is the culmination of the Island’s delightful summer mayhem. The fireworks, the fair, the traffic! It’s packed with a lot of great events, from your own backyard barbecues to catered galas. These five events and activities may have flown under your radar – if so, you might need to tweak your schedule. A word to the wise: Tickets go fast for everything this time of year. Buy early so you don’t miss out, and whatever you get up to, let’s take this summer out with a bang.

1. Frisbee forest fun. At the heart of the Island lie 5,100 acres of woods filled with paved and unpaved paths for biking, hiking, and horseback riding – along with the Island’s course for Frisbee golf, a family-friendly sport where players try to get their disc to the hole in the least number of throws. With thirty-six holes and fifty-four tee boxes, a round can take from forty-five to ninety minutes. It’s free to play and discs are available at the Lazy Frog in Oak Bluffs, Sports Haven in Vineyard Haven, or at Airport Mobil just up the road. Access the course from a parking lot along Barnes Road in Oak Bluffs. The sylvan shade of Manuel F. Correllus State Forest is calling.

2. Opera alfresco. Wendy Taucher Dance Opera Theater presents something you may not have seen before: professional opera performed in a field. Singers from Opera Noire of New York, along with other acclaimed vocalists, perform Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi on the grassy lawn of Featherstone Center for the Arts in Oak Bluffs on August 3, 4, and 5. The hilarious classic Italian opera hails from the commedia dell’arte tradition, and even non–opera buffs will probably recognize its famous aria “O Mio Babbino Caro.” Opening night is a gala – with champagne and hors d’oeuvres followed by the hour-long opera and dinner with the cast. The event is tented for better sound quality, and advance tickets ($15 to $300) are recommended and available on The gala evening starts at 6 p.m., while Saturday and Sunday performances are at 7 p.m. Savor metropolitan culture, Vineyard-style.

steve burns moth
Storytelling Steve Burns with The Moth.

SOLD OUT 3. Spoken word. The Moth, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to storytelling and a Peabody Award–winning radio and podcast phenomenon, presents Big Night: The Moth Mainstage on Martha’s Vineyard at Union Chapel in Oak Bluffs on Monday, August 13. For a stage show, the group solicits the stories of real people (submitted online or over the phone), selects a few, pairs them with radio favorites or stories by known personalities, and orchestrates a simply staged production of storytelling. WCAI’s Jay Allison, producer of The Moth Radio Hour, will give opening remarks, and five storytellers (including Steve Burns, best known from Nickelodeon’s Blues Clues) will present verbal capsules of themselves. Check out the group’s website,, where tickets can be purchased: $35 for general admission (advance tickets recommended). Each production is unique, so look for some distinctive Island spin!

4. Huff and puff. August is road race month, with three choice scenic routes. Sweating up and down the hills of Middle Road at the Chilmark Road Race has become a hallmark of summer (Saturday, August 11). Participants in the Jabberwocky 5K will run, walk, and wheel around Katama to benefit Vineyard Haven’s Camp Jabberwocky (Saturday, August 18). The Sullivan 5K to benefit the hospital takes runners along East Chop’s high bluffs overlooking the windswept Sound (Saturday, August 25). So choose your favorite scenery or run all three. Let the races begin!

kelly morris yoga
A stretch with Kelly Morris from New York City.

5. Namaste. Yoga is part of the rhythm of Vineyard life, with classes stretching from morning till night, up-Island and down every day. The Martha’s Vineyard Yoga Festival, now in its third year, has expanded to a five-day celebration of yoga culture, August 30 to September 3 (Labor Day weekend). A range of classes is offered at almost every yoga studio on the Island, with superstar teachers coming in from LA, NYC, the Hamptons, and western Mass. And it’s not just yoga – Chris Fischer of Beetlebung Farm is hosting a vegan feast in his own farm’s greenhouse, there’s a sunset stand-up paddle board session at Quitsa, free meditation every morning at Squibnocket Beach in Chilmark, and the Chilmark Community Center will become an Island café and yoga gear shop for the weekend. The schedule is flexible: Classes, workshops, and meals are all ticketed individually and are available for advance purchase at It’s time to get your om on.