Best of the Vineyard 2017 Events and Entertainment

The votes are in, the ballots have been counted. And the winners are...

Best Charity Event: A Taste of the Vineyard, Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust

Dr. Daniel Fisher House lawn, Main Street, Edgartown, 508-627-4440

Runner-up: Possible Dreams Auction, Martha’s Vineyard Community Services

Winnetu Oceanside Resort, 31 Dunes Road, Edgartown, 508-693-7900

The biggest event of the summer is all about small bites. Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust’s A Taste of the Vineyard features nibbles and sips from Island restaurants and a rarely empty dance floor. At the Possible Dreams Auction, priceless experiences can be bought for the winning price for a good cause.

Best Movie Theater, Festival, or Series: Martha’s Vineyard Film Center

Tisbury Marketplace, 79 Beach Road, Vineyard Haven, 508-696-9369,

Runner-up: Entertainment Cinemas

65 Main Street, Edgartown, 508-627-8008,

Since opening in 2012, the Martha’s Vineyard Film Center has become the Vineyard’s premier year-round cinema. Audiences fill the purple seats for first-run films, special events, and festivals. Join the M.V. Film Society for ticket discounts. Entertainment Cinemas shows the latest blockbusters on two screens, and also offers 3-D screenings.

Best Family Activity: Flying Horses Carousel

33 Lake Avenue, Oak Bluffs, 508-693-9481,

Runner-up: The Barn, Bowl & Bistro

13 Uncas Avenue, Oak Bluffs, 508-696-9800,

Sure, some veteran merry-go-rounders have claimed to grab eight rings at a time on the Flying Horses. But when it comes down to it, snagging the brass ring is all about luck. Grease up your fingers with some hot buttered popcorn and giddy-up. At the Barn, Bowl & Bistro there is room in the ten lanes of ten pins for strike-rollers and gutter-ballers alike.

Best Summer Event: Oak Bluffs Fireworks

Deputy Chief Shawn Broadley, Chief John Rose, and Assistant Chief Manny Rose make sure the fireworks go off without a hitch.
Elizabeth Cecil

Ocean Park, Oak Bluffs, 508-693-0077

Runner-up: Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society Livestock Show and Fair

35 Panhandle Road, West Tisbury, 508-693-9549,

Fireworks night is small-town charm on a big scale. Get to Ocean Park early, mark your spot with a blanket, and enjoy the sounds of the Vineyard Haven Band until the big show starts. For even more charm that same week, check out the quilts and jams, say hello to the animals, and take a spin on the Ferris wheel at the annual Agricultural Fair.

Best Live Band or Musician: Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish


Runner-up: Mike Benjamin Band


Whenever Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish take the stage, the dance floor is sure to be packed. The soulful, bluesy singer and harmonica player leads a propulsive rhythm section with powerful, original tunes and crowd-pleasing covers. Versatile guitarist-singer Mike Benjamin never disappoints, whether solo or leading his band.

Best Live Music Venue: The Ritz

4 Circuit Avenue, Oak Bluffs, 508-693-9851,

Runner-up: The Tabernacle

80 Trinity Park, Oak Bluffs, 508-693-0525,

Rocking is always on the menu at the Ritz. With live music every night, the downtown stronghold provides a constant rotation of Island and Cape bands. At the Tabernacle, crowds can spill out onto the surrounding lawn and performers range from jazz and folk to Motown and soul.

Best Off-Season Event: Christmas in Edgartown

Various locations,
Runner-up: Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass & Bluefish Derby

Weigh Station, Dock Street, Edgartown,

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – or at least the off-season. For four full days Edgartown comes alive with the sound of jingle bells. Check out the Christmas parade, Teddy Bear Suite, and magical display at Donaroma’s Evening of Enchantment. During the month-long derby, fishermen crowd the shoreline and crowds gather at the weigh station to view the catches of the day.

Best Performing Arts Organization: Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse

24 Church Street, Vineyard Haven, 508-696-6300,

Runner-up: The Yard

1 The Yard, Chilmark, 508-645-9662,

Seating fewer than 100 in its beautifully restored nineteenth-century meeting house, the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse is a gem for theater-lovers who want to see high-quality, professional productions of new plays. The Yard brings the excitement of modern dance and movement art to Vineyard audiences.