Best of the Vineyard 2021: events and entertainment
Best Charity Event: A Taste of the Vineyard – The Vineyard Trust
Lawn of Dr. Daniel Fisher’s House, 99 Main Street, Edgartown, 508-627-4440, tasteofthevineyard.org
Finalist: 5K Run for Jabberwocky – Camp Jabberwocky
A Taste of the Vineyard must live big in the hearts of voters: it clinched the top spot despite being canceled for the past two years due to the pandemic. Fortunately, organizers promise the party will be back in 2022. The 5K run for Jabberwocky is making hearts beat faster in support of the beloved summer camp.
Best family activity: flying horse carousel
33 Lake Avenue, Oak Bluffs, 508-693-9481, winetrust.org
Finalist: Island Alpaca Company
1 Head of the Pond Road, Oak Bluffs, 508-693-5554, islandalpaca.com
The Flying Horses isn’t just for kids – competing for that coveted brass ring, while the Wurlitzer band’s recorded organ pieces will make everyone feel young again. Furry animals are on full display at Island Alpaca, where guests can get up close and personal with the happy herd.
Best Live Band or Musician: Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish
Finalist: Vineyard Sound
Johnny Hoy specializes in blues music and getting people to the dance floor. Who better to help us dance the blues of the year the music almost died? Look for him and his Bluefish at an island bar, event or wedding. The Vineyard Sound a capella group are known for turning street corners into venues with impromptu walking concerts, as well as regular performances.
Best Live Music Venue: The Ritz Cafe
4 Circuit Avenue, Oak Bluffs, 508-693-9851, theritzmv.com
Finalist: Former Whaling Church
89 Main Street, Edgartown, 508-627-4440, winetrust.org
The Ritz delivers powerful sound in a small space, the perfect combo for live music. Local bands such as the Black Eyed Susans and the Brothers McMahon rock the dive bar until the early hours of the morning. The Old Whaling Church is a wonderful place to enjoy classical music and guest artists.
Best Cinema, Festival or Series: Martha’s Vineyard Film Center
Tisbury Market, 79 Beach Road, Vineyard Haven, 508-696-9369, mvfilmsociety.com
Finalist: Entertainment theaters
65 Main Street, Edgartown, 508-627-8008, entertainmentcinemas.com/locations/edgartown
What’s so awesome about the MV Film Center? Stellar programming, a giant screen, and seats so comfortable they could put you to sleep if the movies weren’t so well organized, to begin with. Its international film festival in September is also a big success. Entertainment Cinemas is your benchmark for the latest blockbuster.
Best Off Season Event: Christmas in Edgartown
Downtown Edgartown, christmasinedgartown.com
Finalist: Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass & Bluefish Derby
Dock Street, Edgartown, mvderby.com
Edgartown receives a winter makeover during the annual Christmas weekend in Edgartown each December. From a parade to photos with Santa Claus, to lots of holiday sales, there is something for all the good boys and girls. During the Derby, fishermen roam the shore and the sea in search of a winning fish.
Best Radio Station: WMVY – 88.7 FM
489 State Road, West Tisbury, 508-693-5000, mvyradio.org
Finalist: WCAI Cape and Islands NPR – 90.1 FM
3 Water Street, Woods Hole, 508-548-9600, capeandislands.org
Across the country it’s just the same old song picked by the same old payola algorithm. In a sea of corporate radio stations, wmvy stands out with its eclectic mix of songs curated by sympathetic human DJs from the island. wcai offers a mix of local news and public radio. Without a doubt, the real winners are Vineyard listeners.
Best Performing Arts Organization: Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse
24 Church Street, Vineyard Haven, 508-696-6300, mvplayhouse.org
Finalist: Vineyard Sound
The beloved gambling house ensured that the show continued last year with a selection of streaming productions and online readings, shows, classes and music reviews. As for his next big act, stay tuned. The boys of Vineyard Sound never get old and never grow up. The ever-evolving members of the a capella group have been doo-wopping and shoo-bopping across the island for nearly thirty summers.
Best Summer Event: Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society Livestock Show & Fair
35 Panhandle Road, West Tisbury, 508-693-9549, marthasvineyardagriculturalsociety.org
Finalist: Grand Illumination Night
Trinity Park, Oak Bluffs, 508-693-0525 x14, mvcma.org
Although the Ag Fair went virtual last year, it was still a highlight of the summer. There were prerecorded craft demonstrations, a live broadcast of the tractor pull, and the lobby and barn entrances could be viewed online… blue ribbons and all! This summer, exhibition enthusiasts will be happy to learn that a Covid-safe version will take place from August 19 to 22. Grand Illumination also took a hiatus last year, but that didn’t stop some Camp Ground cabins from decorating.