An ode to August: Illumination, Ag Fair, and fireworks make for the best month ever

Robinson's racing pigs take a leap into the pool.

Crowds of over 50,000 people occupied the Campground, the Ag Fair, and the Oak Bluffs fireworks last weekend, and we’re all feeling the aftermath like the day after Thanksgiving. The most anticipated week on Martha’s Vineyard came and went, and there’s no denying the end of summer is upon us.

Fireworks in Oak Bluffs.

The Island festivities were a success as always, and Wednesday’s Illumination Night kicked off the week’s lineup. A captivated crowd spilled out from the Tabernacle, and sang along with the Vineyard Haven Band before first light. The cottages lit up one by one, and the crowd slowly swayed through the Campground admiring a display that’s straight out of a storybook. Seldom see a frown on a warm night under a starry sky accompanied by friends, family, and a tradition that’s been going strong for more than 100 years.

Speaking of century-old traditions, the 156th Agricultural Fair was the place to be Thursday through Sunday. Rides, games, competitions, food, art, and livestock brought in a steady-flow of people, rain or shine. Colored ribbons caught the eyes of many, and whipping rides enticed those brave enough. Fairground food never disappoints, and the longest of lines are worth a Food Truck taco, Yommi popsicle, strawberry shortcake, root beer float, or Oak Bluffs Fire Association burger.

Explosions took over the sky at Ocean Park in Oak Bluffs Sunday night. The Vineyard Haven Band performed from the bandstand, overlooking a crowded lawn covered with blankets, chairs, people, and picnics. The fireworks launched around 9 pm, and could be heard and seen from miles away. The sparkling display is a end-of-summer tradition, and a true celebration of another season for the books. Here’s to the hard work and sunny skies that make up the always too-short summers on Martha’s Vineyard.

This story by Brittany Bowker originally appeared on