What's Happening this Month?

The summer truly comes into swing in July, a month bursting with beach time and barbecues. A lot of us have our own rituals this month, and there’s something to be said for old favorites, but there are new classes, events, and spaces sprouting up on the Vineyard all the time. This month’s rundown pays homage to a few classics and suggests some new ways to have fun.

fourth of july edgartown

1. July fourth. Edgartown resembles a scene in a Norman Rockwell painting with marching bands, bedazzled floats, community groups, and antique cars weaving their way through the star-spangled historic streets during the parade, which begins at 5 p.m. There’s enough time to dine before dusk, when you’ll want to be settled on Lighthouse Beach for the fireworks, which soar over the lighthouse and twinkle, reflected in the harbor. Bring a picnic blanket and consider staking out a spot early. Some roads close before the parade, and parking is scarce by early afternoon, so get to Edgartown early, be ready to walk, and make sure to wear your best red, white, and blue.

2. Living classroom. Get up-close and personal with the marine life of Sengekontacket with a Felix Neck naturalist every Saturday morning. At this hour-long, hands-on family event, participants explore different parts of the pond each week, discovering the crabs, jellyfish, whelks, horseshoe crabs, mussels, clams, plant life, and birds that call the brackish pond home. Free and no sign-up necessary; meet at the little bridge on State Beach (the first bridge as you leave Oak Bluffs) at 9:30 a.m. Dress for sun and water. 508-627-4850. Get to know some of the Vineyard’s other residents and learn about pond preservation.


3. Arboretum aesthetics. Art comes to mind as one wanders through the landscapes of the Polly Hill Arboretum in West Tisbury, and a series of summer workshops will guide you in capturing some of that natural beauty. Artist Genevieve Jacobs offers “Drawing from Nature” to teach observation and sketching techniques. Classes are July 11 and 25 (and August 8 and 22) from 10 a.m. to noon ($15 to $25/class). Call to preregister (508-693-9426). If you aren’t ready to release the artist within, other workshops there will simply help you better appreciate Mother Nature’s palette.

4. Art house. Movie night took on a new life this past fall with the opening of the Martha’s Vineyard Film Center. Founded by the Martha’s Vineyard Film Society, the state-of-the-art theater pulls in an array of international films, documentaries, independent films, and classics, with limited trailers, an introduction before each film, and frequent special events. One highlight is the biopic film John Belushi: Dancing on the Edge, followed by a Q&A about the life of the comedian with his widow, Judy Pisano-Belushi, and friends on July 12. Tickets ($100) benefit Martha’s Vineyard Community Services; details at Don’t miss the gourmet concessions featuring Not Your Sugar Mamas.

5. Fit list. When the sun is out, it’s hard to be indoors – especially at the gym. Join Hawaii transplant Nicole Corbo for a stand-up paddleboard lesson and then advance to fitness classes (with sprints, sit-ups, and planks!). In paddle yoga with Caitlin Lewis, the anchored board becomes a yoga mat (Nicole’s and Caitlin’s classes are at Joanne Scott offers outdoor Tai Chi on Tuesdays at noon on the lawn of the West Tisbury Congregational Church ($10/class), as well as daily at dawn at scenic locations (508-693-5955). Swim instructor Corinne de Langavant moves from pool to ocean, offering beginner to advanced group and individual lessons (508-423-9566), and Robert MacLean teaches individual swim lessons that combine technical skill with ocean knowledge (508-560-1300). And voilà – exercise en plein air.