While we all know that the island is popular summer destination, there are many things to do in the fall on Martha’s Vineyard as well! The many fall festivals and the famous fishing derby bring visitors to the island as the weather cools and the summer crowds go home.
Join the Striped Bass & Bluefish Derby
If you are a fisherman, the local derby is a fun way to enjoy fall on the Vineyard. The competition started on September 11th and continues all the way to October 15th, for five weeks of great fishing.
Initially started to promote tourism in the fall months, the Striped Bass & Bluefish Derby encourages locals and visitors to compete for prizes for catching the largest fish for each type. It has grown into a large annual event with 3500 anglers, joining the fun from either the shore or boat. The various competition classes include Flyrod, Junior and Senior Divisions. Prizes are given daily, weekly and of course, the overall festival best.
Starting in 1946, the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby has become one of the largest, oldest, and most prestigious fishing tournaments in the US. Registration is open at all at the tackle shops and Derby HQ throughout the entire fishing tournament.
First Fridays at Vineyard Haven
The last First Friday of the summer happens on October 7th on Main Street in Vineyard Haven. This festival of outdoor arts and culture starts at 4pm and lasts until 11pm, featuring outdoor vendors, live music, and delicious food. A great way to celebrate the end of the summer season with your community, while sampling some delicious food and enjoying the local bands.
19th Annual Vineyard Artisans Festival
This festival will be held rain or shine on October 8th and 9th at the historic Grange Hall in West Tisbury.from 10am to 4pm. Both parking and admission are free. With great food and a playground for kids, it is an event everyone in the family will enjoy.
This event provides a great display of the island’s most talented artisans, including weaving, fine furniture, pottery, leather goods, oil paintings, pastels, sculpture, wampum jewelry, hand knit items, photography, handmade books and much more.
The Pumpkin Festival at Morning Glory Farm
This free family event happens Saturday October 15th rain or shine, starting at 11am and lasting until 3pm. The annual Pumpkin Festival is a celebration of the harvest with all kinds of fun for the entire family, including games, hay rides, face painting, live music from the Flying Elbows. Be sure to watch the display of the amazing Punkin Chunkin’ Trebuchet as this mighty engine whips a hefty pumpkin across the field.
The Annual Living Local Harvest Festival
This event on Saturday October 22nd from 10am to 3pm is a great way to celebrate Fall on Martha’s Vineyard. This promises to be a fun day for the entire family with face painting, crafts, hayrides, pumpkin carving, & fresh apple cider. Besides being a celebration of fall, the festival also promotes sustainable living on Martha’s Vineyard through various workshops and demonstrations like yarn spinning or making flower wreaths. Living Local workshops cover recycling, local food & energy production, marine life, natural resource and land conservation. A great way to combine fun, local food & music with educational programs and activities to encourage a sustainable island community.
This two-day festival from October 1st to 2nd celebrates local fishermen and farmers and is an excellent way to show your support for the local fishing industry and practices.
The event features local food trucks and beverages where you can sample , live music performances, and interactive exhibits that the entire family can enjoy.
Other Ways to Enjoy Fall on Martha’s Vineyard
If you aren’t lucky enough to be on the island for the Pumpkin or the Harvest Festivals, you can always find an amazing array of seasonal fruits and vegetables at the weekly Farmers Market in West Tisbury at the Grange Hall. Market is open on both Saturdays and Wednesdays thru mid-October.
There are also plenty of ways to enjoy fall on Martha’s Vineyard outdoors, by enjoying the many hiking trails in the crisp cool air. Or you might bike along the coast of the Vineyard and take in its natural autumn beauty. You could also visit some of its most famous beaches at Aquinnah or Chilmark, swim in the seas, or do some kayaking.
So this might be the year for you to experience fall on Martha’s Vineyard. Come and see for yourself, why some people say it is the best time of year to travel.