Three Days in July

What to do, where to go, what to see, what to read, and more.

Fireworks and Parade 

Ray Ewing

July 4

Sure, the big fireworks show isn’t until August, but Edgartown still puts on a decent and timely show. And boy, can the town host a parade. We’re talking dancers, little leaguers, foam-headed sharks, even a button-tub fire engine.

Native Artisan Market & Festival

July 20

The annual event at the circle in Aquinnah is an opportunity to buy contemporary and traditional Indigenous arts from around the region while enjoying food, music, and tribal drumming. 

Possible Dreams Auction

July 21

You could easily attend some kind of fundraiser every day of the summer on the Island. But there’s only one that is hosted by comedian Seth Meyers and  benefits the always-deserving Martha’s Vineyard Community Services.

Where to Go

It’s well known that Martha’s Vineyard isn’t the easiest place to make a go of it as a restaurateur, which explains why Islanders both seasonal and year-round are intensely loyal to their favorite spots that have stood the test of time. (Check out the Best of the Vineyard results on page 46 for proof.) But there is an undeniable upside to the high turnover: every summer brings a new crop of gastronomic contestants to try. 

This year, the list is packed – and to many people’s surprise, the sometimes stuck-in-its-ways town of Vineyard Haven is leading the charge. The changes begin at the start of Main Street, where 9 Craft Kitchen & Bar, an upscale restaurant from the folks behind Edgartown’s 19 Raw and 19 Prime, has opened up inside the Mansion House. Further up Main Street, the team behind Salvatore’s Ristorante recently launched La Strada, a thirty-seat wine bar and lunch spot. And behind the old stone bank, developer Sam Dunn and Boston nightlife kingpin Patrick Lyons are opening El Barco, an outdoor taqueria. 

Not to be outdone on the taqueria front, Oak Bluffs is also getting a boost. Midnight Taco, a former food-truck-turned-food-stand located next to the Sand Bar, has opened a sit-down restaurant and bar across the street. Midnight Mediterranean, a gyro, kebab, and shawarma takeout spot, has taken over the former Midnight Taco location.

Meanwhile, over in Edgartown, Wicked Burger, a new venture by Alchemy chef and owner Christopher Stam, has opened shop on Upper Main Street. And coming soon: Seagrass Bar and Grill. The sports-bar-style hangout will be housed in the old Sharky’s Cantina location. Eat up!

What to Read

Swan Song by Elin Hilderbrand (Little, Brown and Company, 2024) 

The latest novel by bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand promises everything her fans have come to expect from her. When the Richardsons first move into their $20 million mansion on Nantucket, the attractive and wealthy couple already turn heads and raise eyebrows. When that house suddenly burns to the ground and their most valuable employee goes missing, however, residents have even more questions for the mysterious newcomers. With monied intrigue, not one but two yachts, and the social contretemps that often befall residents of a remote and exclusive island, Swan Song has all the ingredients of another satisfying summer beach read.

Beer Can Chicken: Foolproof Recipes for the Crispiest, Crackliest, Smokiest, Most Succulent Birds You’ve Ever Tasted by Steven Raichlen (Workman Publishing, revised 2024)

In the wrong hands, chicken can be bland, dry, and uninspiring. Chappaquiddick regular Steven Raichlen is not those hands. His updated cookbook, straightforwardly titled Beer-Can Chicken, assures even the most novice cooks that they can produce succulent, crispy chicken almost as easily as ordering takeout. For those looking to limit their alcohol intake, there are plenty of other foolproof recipes – from root beer game hens to “stoned” chicken – which, despite its misleading name, is just chicken cooked under a brick. 


$1 million - Amount that Tisbury resident Gecimar Silva recently won in the Massachusetts Lottery’s
Jaws-themed game.

30 - Number of years since Silva, who is a house painter by trade, has taken a vacation.

$751 million -  Amount that the four Jaws-themed movies have grossed, according to The Numbers, an industry website. 

Ray Ewing

“When I was windsurfing as a professional, there was no one here to practice against, so I would race the ferry and [see] how many times I could circle it between the Vineyard and Woods Hole.” 

– Windsurfing legend and Vineyard Haven resident Nevin Sayre, who was recently inducted into the international Windsurfing Hall of Fame.

What We’re Listening To

American-born Jewish rapper, reggae singer, and beatboxer Matisyahu has been called many things: a genius, an enigma, an outspoken activist, a lovable odd ball. Esquire magazine even dubbed him “the most interesting reggae artist in the world.” But come July 22, the moniker “headliner” should suffice. That day, he’ll take center stage and top billing at Chabad on the Vineyard’s Jewish Culture Festival, where he’ll be joined by Klezwoods, a Boston-based Klezmer band, as well as hometown group Prophets & Singers.

The event takes place from 4 to 8 p.m. at 371 Edgartown–West Tisbury Road in West Tisbury. Tickets are $75 ($36 for those under twenty-one) and include a gourmet Kosher buffet, art show, complimentary bar service, and wine tastings.

What You Missed

Tempest in a Tennis Court

For reasons unintelligible to the rest of the Island, Chilmark descended into a frenzy of recrimination over the summer tennis program at the town’s community center. The issue? Um, well. No one seemed to be able to say whether it was a foot fault or a bad line call. Being the Vineyard, town meeting voters appointed a study committee and kept the status quo for another year. “This whole issue, frankly, is an embarrassment to the town,” said select board member Jim Malkin.

Bank Error in Your Favor

Not to be outdone in the department of good town governance, Vineyard Haven narrowly avoided a Proposition 21/2 override vote to cover a budget shortfall when the finance director, Jon Snyder, discovered $1.8 million in town funds that had been squirreled away in a “hidden” row in the budget spreadsheet for nearly a decade. How and why it got “hidden” appears to be anyone’s guess, as does how nearly $2 million can sit in the coffers unnoticed for so long.  

What We’ll Miss

It stands to reason that if a picture is worth a thousand words, an art director is worth a thousand editors. For decades it seemed as if Alley Moore might just outlast that many scribblers-in-chief here at Martha’s Vineyard Magazine. Since 2003 he has made this publication not just elegant and beautiful, but a keepsake: the Island’s premier printed venue for photography, illustration, and art. As he sets off to spend more time on the water and in the moment, we wish him tight lines and fair winds. Though as editors we hate to admit it, words can’t describe how much he will be missed.