Celebrate Columbus Day Weekend on Martha’s Vineyard

Sumac at Nat’s Farm. – Nina Bramhall

Columbus Day weekend on Martha’s Vineyard unofficially marks the end of the busy season here on the Island. Many seasonal businesses close, droves of seasonal residents depart, and the tempo of the Island shifts to a calmer, quieter pace. October is still a great time to visit; the weather is cooler and crisper but perfect for strolls along the beach or hikes along the various wooded trails. Fall foliage makes for picturesque settings and beautiful drives up-Island.

Columbus Day weekend is also host to several special events for residents and visitors alike looking to make the most of a long autumn weekend on Martha’s Vineyard. Here’s a few ideas if you’re planning to be on-Island this time of year.

13th Annual Art of Chocolate Festival: October 7 – 9, Featherstone Center for the Arts, Oak Bluffs.

Taste chocolate concoctions made by Island bakers, artists and chocolate lovers at this annual festival. Event kicks off with a preview party October 7 from 6–8pm followed by the festival on October 8 and 9 from 12–4pm. For more information and to purchase tickets visit featherstoneart.org/2016-events.

Vineyard Artisans Columbus Day Weekend Festival: October 9, Grange Hall, West Tisbury.

One day only to catch all your favorite Island artisans and the last show until Thanksgiving Weekend. Weaving, fine furniture, pottery, leather goods, oil paintings, pastels, mixed media, sculpture, wampum jewelry, hand knit items, clothing, photography, handmade books and much more. Indoors and outdoors, rain or shine. Free parking and free admission. For more information visit vineyardartisans.com.

Popcorn Festival, October 9, Native Earth Teaching Farm, Chilmark.

Fall farm fun. People, poultry and pygmy goats celebrate popcorn. Share some snacks with the friendly farm animals. Free admission. For more information visit nativeearthteachingfarm.org.

71st Annual Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby: through October 15, Island-wide.

An iconic Island event that attracts fishermen, women and children from around the world. Fish the waters of Martha’s Vineyard and compete for a chance to win daily prizes and the chance at the grand prizes, including an EASTERN 22 SISU with Outboard and Trailer or a 2016 Chevrolet Colorado. For more details and registration information visit mvderby.com.

Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse presents The Second Girl: runs through October 8, Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse, Vineyard Haven.

A sew play by Ronan Noone, directed by MJ Bruder Munafo. With Eugene O’Neill’s classic Long Day’s Journey Into Night as a backdrop, The Second Girl is set in the downstairs world of the Tyrone family kitchen in August 1912. For tickets and more information visit mvplayhouse.org.