41.39N 70.62W

Planning a Summer of Fun on Martha’s Vineyard


Oak Bluffs Harbor Festival

Spring may be slow in coming this year, but don’t be fooled, summer will be here before we know it!  Get started planning your Martha’s Vineyard vacation by heading to mvol.com to explore accommodations, restaurants and things to do on the Vineyard during the summer of 2018. And check out our list of special and recurring events below.

Just as a reminder, the Steamship Authority has posted its summer schedule and excursion customers can now make reservations under the SSA’s Headstart program. Visit its website for details.

Plan Your Trip Around a Special Event!
Dates for some of the biggest events of the summer have already been announced, so if you’re looking to plan your vacation around one of these, check out the ideas below. To stay up to date with all the new events added each week to the Vineyard calendar, visit MVOL.com frequently and also subscribe to our Island Time newsletter, delivered to your inbox every Thursday.

In Mid-June, Oak Bluffs kicks off the season at its Annual Harbor Festival with music, shopping, outdoor dining and boardwalk stroll.

Illumination Night

July is a great month to visit MV, since it starts out with a bang! July 4th offers a triple whammy, including Edgartown’s Independence Day parade, barbecue, and spectacular fireworks. Next, you can help Vineyard Haven celebrate it’s birthday at the town’s Annual Tisbury Street Fair on July 8. Main Street turns into a multi-block celebration filled with music, sales, street food, old friends and new.

August brings the three most popular events of the summer—all in one week:
The Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Fair is deservedly the summer’s most anticipated event. Midway rides share the fairgrounds with livestock events, skillet throws, judged exhibits of home arts, crafts and artwork, live music and more. Food stalls serve up chowder, BBQ, fried dough and other delectables that Islanders dream about all winter long. Come to the Fair – this year it’s August 16-19.

Illumination Night happens on Wednesday of that same week (August 15), and everyone in the family will enjoy the evening at the Camp Ground. Residents follow a century-old tradition by decorating their gingerbread cottages with paper lanterns. Come for the Community Sing and stay for the magical Illumination as the sky darkens.

Draft Horse Pull, Agricultural Fair

Two nights later, on August 17, the annual Oak Bluffs Fireworks signal the coming end of yet another summer season by filling the sky over Ocean Park with riotous color, fire and sound. Toast both nights with a summer-sized serving of ice cream!

Ongoing Summertime Favorites
Regardless of when you plan to visit the Vineyard this, or any summer in the foreseeable future, the following events are dependable favorites, enjoyed by decades of Island visitors.  Pencil them into your itinerary to enjoy whenever you happen to be vacationing.

Saturday mornings on Martha’s Vineyard just wouldn’t be the same without the West Tisbury Farmers’ Market to set the stage for weekend eating and entertaining. The market begins mid-June with Wednesdays being added as the season progresses.

If you are looking for Island-made jewelry, clothing, furniture, pottery and more, search no further, the Summer Artisans Festivals, offer the work of over 100 Island artists and craftspersons for sale. The Festival schedule typically begins in mid-June but is preceded by a Memorial Day event over the holiday weekend.

Amazing films and community fun make the Martha’s Vineyard Summer Film Festival and Cinema Circus a much-anticipated addition to Island summers. This year’s lineup of events has not yet been finalized but fun for the whole family, with special events for all ages, lies ahead in July and August.

Grab a chair or pillow, pack a picnic and head over to the Tisbury Amphitheater to take in the Vineyard Playhouse’s alfresco performance of Shakespeare in the Amphitheater. Wednesdays through Saturdays, in July and August.

As Island organizations make summer plans, dates for these and many more activities, events and celebrations will fill the days from Memorial Day to Columbus Day weekends and beyond.  And, once you’ve arrived, check back for daily updates and additions!