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Annual Martha’s Vineyard Food and Wine Festival

Just because summer’s over, doesn’t mean Martha’s Vineyard has shut down!
Fall is one of the most beautiful seasons on Martha’s Vineyard, the crowds have left, the rentals are cheaper and the sun is still out! But what is there to do? You may ask.

There’s a lot, including the Martha’s Vineyard Food and Wine Festival.

The MVFWF is an annual non-profit event that promotes local farms and seafood as well as wineries from all over the world. Most of the profits benefit The Martha’s Vineyard Museum in Edgartown. The Festival is October 17-19, 2008.

A few of the events scheduled are:

  • Small Plates from the Grill Grates featuring BBQ masters Andy Husbands and Dante de Magistris.
  • Duckhorn Wine Dinner at Atria hosted by Michael Brehart from Duckhorn Wine Co.
  • Grand Tasting hosted by the Martha’s Vineyard Museum features a variety of island chefs and guests including Kevin Crowell, Howard Imber,  Antonio Saccoccia, Christian Thornton.
  • Chocolate and Dessert Wines hosted by the Christina Gallery Featuring Lee Napoli’s handcrafted chocolates.

So if you love food, wine, chocolate and Martha’s Vineyard, be there! Tickets are on sale now.

For a complete listing of the events and times and to purchase tickets visit the website!

Martha’s Vineyard Fall Festival 2008: Living Local

Every September as the island quiets down, school picks up and the summer folk head to the mainland, the Vineyard community has a fall festival at the Ag Hall and fairgrounds in West Tisbury. It’s a pretty special festival, full of locals. One annual vacation renter told me the following story:

“We switched our vacation rental two years ago from our usual two weeks in June to two weeks at the end of September because our son was due in early July. We loved being on the island at the start of autumn, and our favorite part was the fall festival. There was so much to do and we felt like we not only got a glimpse, but were actually part, of the island’s unique year round community.”

The 2008 festival was called Living Local and featured everything local including: food, farmers, herbs, tonics, teas, tinctures, wool, clothes, furniture, bees, honey and more. There was also tons of information from local and regional providers of alternative energy, alternative waste and sustainability. There were speaker panels, workshops…and loads of great local food!

And, like that renter said, autumn is a special time to be on Martha’s Vineyard. The life of the island is happening, you get to wear wool socks at night and go to the beach during the day! Notably, the rental costs decrease after the peak months of the summer…a great time to book your slice of paradise.

What to do With Kids on Rainy Vineyard Days

Whether you’re here for the weekend or for the summer, rainy days do not need to mean being stuck in the house with bored kids and cabin fever. There are lots of great activities to do with your kids whether it’s lightly drizzling or you’ve got a daylong downpour.

It’s safe to assume that you’ll encounter a rainy day or two here on the Vineyard so be sure to pack rain gear for everyone – as well as books and a deck of cards. While everyone loves a day at the beach, families can have a great day spending time reading together (aloud or individually) or playing games – especially when you’ve had day after day of bright sunshine, this can be a relaxing break. Many vacation rentals come equipped with a bunch of games, but be sure to ask or bring your own.

If it’s somewhat wet, but not a total washout, it’s a great day for hiking on one of the many trails on the island. Put on the raincoats and boots and head to Cedar Tree Neck or the trails of Trustees of the Reservation and get the kids involved in the beautiful natural world here.

If it’s really pouring, travel to one of the town libraries to find new books or rent movies. Each town has it’s own library with great kid’s sections and most with extensive free movie rental. Town libraries have different hours so look up yours ahead of time. Also check to see what events they have going on for kids that day. There are often story times posted at each town library: Chilmark Library, Edgartown Library, Oak Bluffs Library, Vineyard Haven Library, West Tisbury Library, and Aquinnah Library (508-645-2314),

If renting movies and getting out the popcorn is your thing then Island Entertainment (508-693-7441) in Vineyard Haven also has a huge selection of movie rentals for the whole family. With everything from classics to new releases to cult and foreign films, you’re sure to find something to please even your family movie-buff. Hollywood Video (508-627-3533) in Edgartown’s Post Office Square also has a great selection and great rental rates.

If you are an arts & crafts family than a rainy day is the perfect opportunity to get down and be creative. Shirley’s Hardware in Vineyard Haven has a great selection of craft items from glue sticks to glitter and pipe cleaners to paper. There’s also Beadnicks (508-693-7650) off Main Street in Vineyard Haven where the beader in your family will think they’ve entered heaven. The shop’s mantra is “Don’t Worry, Bead Happy.” Sold individually and by weight, this huge selection of beads can be thrilling or somewhat overwhelming. Luckily there’s plenty of staff on hand to help you choose your beads and they’ll even sit down and help your kids create their masterpieces.

Rainy Day matinees are a tradition on Martha’s Vineyard. On sunny days, you won’t find a matinee anywhere on the island but on rainy days there’s usually at least one or two showings. There’s no rhyme or reason for which of the four movie theaters on the island will offer which movie but call 508-627-MOVY as one of them is sure to be showing something kid friendly.

Best of all? Martha’s Vineyard boasts some of the most breathtaking rainbows I’ve ever seen. So, when the rain does clear and you see that Vineyard sun poking through the clouds, make sure to go outside and look towards the sky.