Martha's Vineyard Events: 2024

Jen Hawkins O'Hanlon, REALTOR®


Martha's Vineyard, a hub of culture, beauty, and community, is set to host a series of engaging events throughout 2024. Each event, unique in its way, promises to offer memorable experiences for both locals and visitors alike. Here's an insight into some of the island's standout happenings:

Bike The Vineyard: MS Ride 2024

Whether you're an avid biker or just a weekend warrior, you'll enjoy this ride that kicks off on May 4, offering an unparalleled opportunity to explore the stunning scenery of Martha's Vineyard on two wheels. Participants can choose from route distances of 18, 26, and 60 miles, passing by iconic landmarks like the Aquinnah and East Chop Lighthouses. The event emphasizes the spirit of community and the shared goal of supporting the National MS Society.

Porchfest Edgartown

Martha's Vineyard is set to welcome a new addition to its cultural calendar with the inaugural Porchfest in Edgartown on May 18th. Embracing the spirit of Porchfest as a nationwide celebration, this event promises a day of communal joy and entertainment, showcasing the collaborative spirit of neighbors, musicians, and local businesses. The streets and porches of Edgartown will come alive with the sound of music, offering live performances free of charge to everyone in attendance. This initiative mirrors the success seen in various towns across America, reinforcing the essence of community and shared experiences. Martha's Vineyard eagerly anticipates a day filled with melodies, bringing together family, friends, and music lovers for an unforgettable experience. Should the weather not cooperate, a rain date is set for Sunday, May 19th, ensuring that the festivities will go on.

Environmental Film Festival

The Martha's Vineyard Environmental Film Festival, poised for its 10th edition from May 23-26, 2024, continues to enlighten and inspire through the power of cinema. Hosted by the Martha's Vineyard Film Society in collaboration with the Vineyard Conservation Society, this festival has become a pivotal platform for showcasing environmental issues and initiatives. Since its inception, the event has been dedicated to presenting films that provoke thought, drive change, and highlight the urgent need for environmental stewardship. Taking place at various venues across the island, including the main hub at the M.V. Film Center, the festival offers a curated selection of documentaries, feature films, and discussions that delve into critical topics such as conservation, climate change, and sustainable living. (MV Film Society)​.

MV Food & Wine Festival

The Martha's Vineyard Food & Wine Festival, happening from June 6-9, 2024, is a celebration of the island's rich bounty, featuring the finest seafood and farm-fresh ingredients. This four-day event attracts food lovers from across the nation to experience grand tastings, seminars, chef demonstrations, and exclusive private dinners. After a successful return from a pandemic hiatus, the festival aims to expand its programming in 2024, moving to the start of the summer to showcase the culinary excellence of Martha's Vineyard and New England​.

LGBTQIA+ Pride Weekend

The Martha's Vineyard LGBTQIA+ Pride Weekend, a vibrant celebration of love, diversity, and community, is set to paint Oak Bluffs in every color of the rainbow from June 9th to June 11th, 2024. This event, which has quickly become a cornerstone of the island's annual cultural calendar, invites everyone to participate in a weekend filled with joy, acceptance, and unity. The festivities kick off with a lively parade up Circuit Avenue, where participants and onlookers alike can revel in the spirit of inclusivity that defines the weekend. Additional highlights include a kick-off party, drag brunch shows, and various other events designed to celebrate and support the LGBTQIA+ community. As the Pride Weekend unfolds, Oak Bluffs transforms into a beacon of pride, showcasing the island's commitment to fostering a welcoming and supportive environment for all​ (Vineyard Gazette Calendar)​.

Taste of the Vineyard Gourmet Stroll & Patron's Party

A Taste of the Vineyard Gourmet Stroll marks the beginning of the island's summer season with an extraordinary evening of indulgence, set for Thursday, June 13, 2024. This prestigious event, eagerly awaited by both locals and visitors, serves as a showcase for the finest culinary offerings from Martha's Vineyard's top restaurants, caterers, and beverage suppliers. As the Vineyard Preservation Trust's most significant fundraiser, the Gourmet Stroll is more than just a social event; it's a commitment to preserving the island's historic landmarks. Attendees can expect an immersive experience of dining, drinking, and dancing under the stars at the Dr. Daniel Fisher House, making it a night to remember​​​​​​.

The Patrons' Party, following on Saturday, June 15, is the glamorous continuation of the celebration. This evening is dedicated to the Union Chapel and includes live music, fine dining, and an auction featuring unique items and experiences. The Gourmet Stroll and the Patrons' Party together not only kick off the summer in style but also contribute to the conservation efforts of the Vineyard Preservation Trust, underlining the importance of community and heritage on Martha's Vineyard​​.

These events highlight the island's commitment to preserving its unique history while celebrating its vibrant culinary scene. Each ticket purchased contributes directly to these preservation efforts, making it an enjoyable way to support the community. Whether you're a foodie, a history buff, or simply looking for an exceptional way to start the summer, the Taste of the Vineyard offers an unmatched experience that combines gourmet delights with philanthropy.

Oak Bluffs Harbor Fest

The Oak Bluffs Harbor Fest, an eagerly anticipated annual event, transforms the Oak Bluffs harbor into a lively festival ground. Celebrated on June 15th this year, this day-long festivity features an array of local vendors, musical performances, and a variety of kid- and family-friendly activities, including a Chalk Walk and Sandcastle Contest. It's designed to kick off the summer with a bang, inviting both islanders and visitors to enjoy the vibrancy of Oak Bluffs through music, food, and shopping, all in a beautiful waterfront setting. The event is free, offering something for everyone to enjoy​​.

Edgartown Race Weekend

Set for June 20-22, 2024, this is one of the premier regattas in the United States, taking place annually on Martha's Vineyard. This event is known for its competitive spirit, featuring a mix of coastal and offshore races, including the historic 'Round-the-Island' race. Open to various classes, it draws teams from across the U.S. and internationally, making it a highlight on the East Coast racing calendar. For more details, visit the Edgartown Yacht Club's website.

Juneteenth Jubilee Festival

The Martha's Vineyard Juneteenth Jubilee Cultural Festival is a vibrant celebration of freedom, held at The Tabernacle in Oak Bluffs. Organized by the Inkwell Haven Foundation in partnership with the Martha’s Vineyard Camp Meeting Association, the festival features a diverse lineup of speakers, musicians, and cultural performances. Scheduled for June 20-23, 2024, the event is a testament to the island's rich African American heritage and its ongoing commitment to recognizing and honoring the significance of Juneteenth.

Edgartown Parade and Fireworks

The annual event is set to dazzle Martha's Vineyard with a blend of community charm and patriotic spirit on the 4th of July. This year, the streets of Edgartown will burst into life with vibrant floats, music, and performers, creating a festive atmosphere for all. As dusk falls, the sky above Edgartown Harbor will light up with a spectacular fireworks display, painting the night with vivid colors. This event is a celebration of unity and joy, promising an unforgettable experience for the community and visitors alike.

Generations Picnic

The Generations Picnic, hosted at the historic Dr. Daniel Fisher House in Edgartown by the Martha's Vineyard Preservation Trust will take place on Friday, July 12th, from 4:30-7:30pm. This annual event introduces Island families to the importance of preserving community heritage and features music, refreshments, and activities for all ages, emphasizing the Trust's preservation efforts in a fun setting. Held at a venue representing Martha's Vineyard's rich history, the picnic encourages community engagement with the island's cultural landmarks​​​​.

Possible Dreams Auction

The 46th Annual Possible Dreams auction, set for July 21, 2024, at the Winnetu Oceanside Resort on Martha's Vineyard, promises to be the island event of the summer, continuing its tradition as the largest fundraiser for MV Community Services. Hosted by Seth Meyers, this much-anticipated event offers participants the chance to bid on unique experiences both on and off the island, thereby directly contributing to the well-being of their community. Following the success of the previous year, the organizers invite everyone to join in supporting this cause that stands at the heart of community service and engagement on Martha's Vineyard.

African American Film Festival

A highlight in the island's cultural landscape, the African American Film Festival is set to return from August 2-10, 2024, bringing together filmmakers, critics, enthusiasts, and the community for a celebration of African American cinema. While specific dates for the 2024 festival are yet to be announced, the event traditionally takes place in August, offering a rich program that includes screenings of both established and emerging filmmakers' works, panel discussions, and networking events. This festival not only showcases the diversity and creativity within African American storytelling but also provides a platform for dialogue on relevant social, economic, and political issues. The upcoming edition promises to continue its legacy of fostering a deeper understanding of African American culture and history through the power of film, making it an essential event for both the local community and visitors to Martha's Vineyard. Further details on the schedule, guest speakers, and featured films can be found on the web site.

Chilmark Road Race

The Chilmark Road Race, a cherished annual tradition since 1978, is gearing up for another memorable run on August 10, 2024, along the scenic yet challenging Middle Road in Chilmark. This event, celebrated for its picturesque but demanding route, especially from 1.5 to 2.6 miles where it becomes notably hilly, culminates at Beetlebung Corner near the Town Hall. The race is not just a test of endurance but also a significant community gathering, with all proceeds aiding the operations of the Chilmark Community Center and enabling scholarships for year-round residents. Registration, limited to 1600 runners and online only, opens on July 1, 2024, at 8am and is expected to fill quickly, highlighting the event's popularity and community support. This race could not happen without the dedication of numerous volunteers who contribute in various capacities, from managing parking to distributing water, all of whom receive a free shirt as a token of appreciation. As participants prepare for the 3.1-mile challenge, they not only look forward to the physical test but also the opportunity to contribute to a vital cause, making the Chilmark Road Race a highlight of the summer on Martha’s Vineyard.

Grand Illumination

Grand Illumination Night, a luminous tradition dating back to the late 19th century, will cast its enchanting glow over Martha's Vineyard once again on Wednesday, August 14th, 2024. Originating within the Martha's Vineyard Camp Meeting Association (MVCMA) in Oak Bluffs, this event has historically marked the culmination of a religious revival camp meeting. The tradition began as a celebratory close to these gatherings, initially illuminating the area with lanterns to honor the visit of dignitaries. Over the years, it has evolved into a festive night where the charming gingerbread cottages of the campground are adorned with colorful lanterns, creating a magical atmosphere that draws both island residents and visitors from far and wide. As the night unfolds, attendees are treated to a vibrant display of lights, music, and community camaraderie, making Grand Illumination Night a cherished highlight of the summer season on the island.

Agricultural Fair

The Martha's Vineyard Agricultural Fair, a staple of island tradition and community celebration, is poised to mark its 162nd year from August 15-18, 2024. Rooted in the rich agricultural heritage of Martha's Vineyard, the fair originated in 1858 as a modest exhibition. Today, it flourishes at the Martha's Vineyard Agricultural Society grounds in West Tisbury, showcasing a blend of livestock, local craftsmanship, and the quintessential joys of a summer fair. Attendees can look forward to a diverse array of events, from animal shows and produce competitions to thrilling rides and delicious local food. The fair serves as a vibrant testament to the island's commitment to agriculture, community, and family fun. As preparations for the 2024 fair continue, both islanders and visitors alike eagerly anticipate another year of memorable festivities, celebrating the enduring spirit and contributions of the agricultural community on Martha's Vineyard.

Oak Bluffs Fireworks

The Oak Bluffs Fireworks, an eagerly awaited summer spectacle on Martha's Vineyard, is set to illuminate the sky on Friday, August 16, 2024, with a rain date of August 17. This annual event, taking place in the picturesque setting of Ocean Park, has been a key feature of the island's summer calendar, drawing both locals and visitors alike to experience the dazzling display over the harbor. The tradition of the Oak Bluffs Fireworks goes back many years, becoming a symbol of the island's vibrant community and its ability to bring people together in celebration. As night falls after 9pm, the sky will burst into color, choreographed to music, providing a mesmerizing experience against the backdrop of the ocean. With the town of Oak Bluffs sponsoring the event, supported by generous donations, attendees are encouraged not to set up blankets unattended before 4pm, ensuring a fair and enjoyable viewing experience for everyone. This event not only marks a highlight of the summer but also showcases the charm and spirit of Oak Bluffs, making it a must-see for anyone visiting Martha's Vineyard during the summer​ (Oak Bluffs MA Gov)​.

Striped Bass & Bluefish Derby

The Martha's Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby, a fishing competition steeped in tradition and community spirit, is eagerly anticipated to run from Sunday, September 15, through Saturday, October 19, 2024. Since its inception in 1946, the Derby has grown from a small local contest to one of the most prestigious fishing tournaments on the East Coast, attracting anglers from all over to participate in the thrill of the catch. The event is island-wide, with Derby Headquarters located in Edgartown, serving as the central hub for weigh-ins and celebrations. This nearly five-week-long event not only fosters a competitive spirit among fishermen but also supports the local community through scholarship funds, making a significant impact on the lives of Martha's Vineyard residents. The 79th Derby promises to continue this legacy, offering both seasoned and novice anglers alike the opportunity to partake in an enduring tradition that highlights the beauty and camaraderie of Martha's Vineyard​ (MV Derby)​.

As Martha's Vineyard gears up for a remarkable year of cultural celebrations, culinary delights, and communal gatherings, the diverse lineup of events scheduled for 2024 underscores the island's vibrant spirit and rich heritage. From the scenic bike rides and environmental awareness at the film festival to the unity shown during the LGBTQIA+ Pride Weekend and the traditional charm of the Grand Illumination Night, each event weaves a unique thread into the fabric of Martha's Vineyard's community tapestry. These gatherings not only promise unforgettable experiences for every visitor and local but also reflect the island's commitment to inclusivity, environmental stewardship, and cultural appreciation. As the year unfolds, Martha's Vineyard stands as a beacon of joy, diversity, and unity, inviting all to partake in its celebrations and to create lasting memories on this enchanting island. Whether you're drawn by the allure of the culinary scene, the thrill of competition, or the simple pleasure of community gatherings, Martha's Vineyard in 2024 is the place to be, offering something special for everyone.


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